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[593] undertaking or to change his plan. But instead of doing this, he clung to his purpose with the persistency of men whom disappointments irritate without enlightening. He ordered Franklin to charge the enemy once more, and this time with the whole of his forces, in order to draw all his attention and facilitate a new attack upon the right. He was not aware that his numerous assaults in that direction had been solely repelled by Longstreet's artillery and four brigades of infantry, whilst at the other extremity of the line Jackson had brought but little more than one-half of his troops into action. He demanded of Franklin to achieve the first success; to accomplish this he should have given this general the support of all the troops who were not participating in the fight elsewhere.

Hooker, one of whose divisions was in Fredericksburg and two on the left wing, had three others in addition on the north side of the river, which might also have been sent in that direction. Burnside ordered him to push them across the river, but it was only for the purpose of leading them to that part of the battle-field which had already been uselessly drenched in blood; one of them was to support Sturgis' division on the left, the other two were to attempt a new attack against the wall which had baffled all the efforts of French and Hancock. Hooker started at once with the divisions of Sykes and Humphreys, of Butterfield's corps, designated for this dangerous expedition. He was justly looked upon as one of the bravest and most enterprising generals of the army. Since the battle of Williamsburg, where he had fought almost along against Longstreet, down to that of Antietam, where he was wounded, he had acquired for himself, through his entire deportment, the nickname of ‘Fighting Joe,’ which his soldiers had given him. But when he beheld the positions he was ordered to attack, after questioning French and Hancock as to the means of approaching them, his military instinct clearly demonstrated to him the impossibility of succeeding in such an attempt, and he sent an aide-de-camp to Burnside, asking for a counter-order. The general-in-chief was inflexible. Hooker was so thoroughly convinced that he adopted one of those resolutions which none but men whose courage is above suspicion can take with impunity. Instead of leading his soldiers to a useless butchery, he recrossed

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