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[586] at the extremity of the wood beyond the railroad. His line was formed by three brigades drawn up in the rear of the track, Lane in the centre, a little in advance of the others, Pender on the left, and Archer on the right, separated from each other by considerable intervals. Behind these intervals, along the military road, were Gregg's brigade on the right and Thomas' on the left.

Meade's Pennsylvanians were well-tried troops whom we have already seen fighting gallantly before Richmond, at Beaver Dam and on the bloody battle-field of Glendale. As they advanced through the open plain which separated them from the woods, with a brilliant sun shining upon them, a sharp fire of musketry broke out along the entire skirt of the wood; and the Federal artillery having remained silent for fear of injuring them, the Confederate guns covered the advancing column with grape. Nothing, however, could stop them; the extremity of the wood was reached, and Brockenborough forcibly driven to the other side of the railroad, the battery posted in the vicinity being also obliged to retire in great haste. Meade's dash did not stop there; but quickly crossing the railway track without slackening his pace, he carried the entrenchments defended by Lane's brigade. The first line of the Confederates was pierced. Sinclair's Federal brigade, supported by that of Magilton, dispersed Lane's soldiers, while, on his left, the brigade of the Union general Jackson, having penetrated into the interval of the enemy's line, flanked Archer's left, drove it back in disorder and pushed on as far as the military road, where it encountered Gregg's brigade, which scarcely expected such a vigorous attack. Gregg himself, having mistaken the enemy for Confederate soldiers of the first line, forbade his men to fire; and when a discharge of musketry at short range undeceived him at last, he fell mortally wounded. The most exposed regiment of the line, called Orr's Rifles, was almost annihilated. The remainder of the brigade re-formed with difficulty some distance in the rear. In the mean while, Meade's right, after driving Lane's brigade before it, had become engaged with Thomas' brigade, which made a stand before him. It was a critical moment; it would require one or two fresh divisions to penetrate the gap that Meade opened through the first

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