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[517] if the left wing of the enemy, taking advantage of its success, should seize this position, the Federal army would be completely turned. Without waiting for the execution of these orders, Rosecrans started at full gallop in the direction of his centre, called thither by a new battle which had just begun.

Withers' division had, in fact, attacked the Federal positions on that side with a fierceness equal to that of Cleburne and McCown, but it had not obtained the same success as the latter. Sheridan, who had been expecting this attack since daylight, was fully prepared to receive it. Sill on the right, Robertson on the left, were posted along wooded slopes and among rocks, whence they commanded several large cotton-fields, which the enemy would have to cross without shelter; their batteries were planted in the most prominent positions, whilst Schaeffer's brigade stood ready to support them..

It was about the time when Cleburne was stopped in front of the hospital, that Polk made his great attack upon the Federal centre. The left column, under Cheatham, marched against Sheridan; Loomis' brigade on the left, that of Manigault on the right, bravely advanced amidst a shower of balls and shrapnels which thinned their ranks. They compelled the Federals to abandon a portion of the ground they occupied, but they had scarcely taken possession of it when they found themselves exposed to a still more furious fire than at first. Loomis was wounded, and his brigade, after a desperate struggle, was driven back; on the right Manigault had also been repulsed with considerable losses. Cheatham pushed his second line forward, Vaughn's brigade resumed the fight on the left, and that of Many on the right, but this attack was fruitless, although fully as sanguinary as the first. Sheridan was in the midst of his soldiers, whose efforts he directed with the quick glance of a warrior who knows how to turn the least obstacles to account. Just as Vaughn's troops were beginning to give way, Sill, boldly resuming the offensive, charged them at the head of his soldiers, and drove them back in disorder. In this short space of time the Confederate brigade lost one-third of its effective force. But the heroic Sill, a victim to his zeal, fell mortally wounded in the very midst of the enemy's battalions. Maney's brigade, which

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Philip Sheridan (3)
Loomis (2)
Cleburne (2)
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Withers (1)
Sill (1)
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Robertson (1)
Leonidas Polk (1)
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