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[411] spreading consternation among the inhabitants. The heavy guns of Fort Williams, however, soon found the range of the Confederate batteries, and after a few shots the latter were compelled to retire, leaving one gun upon the ground.

Meanwhile, the Confederate left, which was to have commenced the attack, had not stirred; Van Dorn listened in vain; the sound of musketry, which amid the roar of cannon, frequently harmless, is always an indication of serious fighting, was not heard. Officers who had been sent to the left were unable to find General Hebert. The latter at last presented himself at headquarters in person toward eight o'clock, to announce that he was sick, and had made none of the dispositions ordered. His command was naturally taken from him, but this just punishment could not compensate for lost time. Price's batteries had been silenced along the whole line; the firing of sharpshooters had assumed the proportions of a regular combat, and the battle, thus brought on, rendered the precise execution of the plan conceived by Van Dorn extremely difficult. Finally, at half-past 9 o'clock, Hebert's division, led by Green, advanced en masse against Davies. After crossing the track of the Jackson Railway it followed the Bolivar road; this road ascended a gentle acclivity, in the centre of a large clearing, until it reached the summit, which was crowned by the new Richardson redoubt. The compact Confederate column debouched into this clearing, where it was at once received by a murderous fire of shrapnels and musketry. Nothing, however, could stop it. Green deployed his division; his left, formed by McLean's brigade, engaged a portion of Hamilton's division in front of Fort Powell; in the centre Gates marched directly against the Richardson redoubt. Cabell's brigade, detached from Maury's division, supported this attack, while Green's old brigade followed the railroad on the right, and Colbert's, at the extreme left, placed itself en potence to prevent Hamilton from striking the Confederate line obliquely. The assault of Gates was terrible. His gallant soldiers did not allow themselves to be intimidated by the shower of balls that rained upon them; while this fatal slope was strewn with the dead and wounded, the survivors reached the parapet of the work, and surrounded the guns which were firing into their ranks at

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