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[587] Confederate line, and immediately to attack the second, for the Pennsylvania division had completely exhausted its strength. No reinforcements, however, were within reach. Doubleday on the left had long remained watching the Richmond road; Gibbon on the right, after a vigorous attack, allowed himself to be stopped by the last brigade on the left of Hill's line, on the border of the railroad; more to the right, the whole of Smith's corps, numbering about twenty-one thousand men, was deployed in front of the enemy's centre, with which his skirmishers only exchanged occasional shots. In this direction the Federals had not made a serious attack, but it would have required several hours to bring a part of Smith's corps to the relief of the extreme left. Birney's division had not come up on a line with the point occupied by Meade previous to the attack. Franklin had established his headquarters far in the rear; and being desirous to execute the orders he had received literally, he did not dare to engage the greater portion of his forces, holding them in readiness for the movement along the Richmond road mentioned in Burnside's despatch. Therefore, in the absence of a well-specified plan and the want of positive instructions for the concentration of his troops, Franklin found that he had scattered the fifty thousand men placed under his command along a too extended line, whilst Meade's five thousand soldiers, deprived of timely support, were about to lose in an instant all the advantages obtained by their courage.

A portion of Archer's brigade was, in fact, making a bold stand on the extreme Confederate right; the soldiers of Lane, Gregg and Brockenborough rallied at the appeal of their officers, and there were three strong divisions in their rear that had not yet been in action, which were hastening to their relief. Whilst Paxton's brigade of Taliaferro's division was advancing and stopping the Federals in front, Early, who on this occasion commanded Ewell's division, fell upon their left flank with three brigades. It was impossible to withstand any longer such superior forces; the Union general Jackson was killed while vainly endeavoring to stem the tide of the advancing foe, whose forces were four or five times as great as Meade's soldiers. The latter were driven back upon the railroad, and crossed it in disorder. Early, at the head of his division and the debris

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