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[594] the river in order to see his chief in person and try to dissuade him from so disastrous a project.

Burnside, being detained by some strange fatality on the left bank of the river, had not left the Phillips mansion; he had no opportunity of taking a close survey of the positions he persisted in trying to carry, nor had he witnessed the scenes of carnage of which those positions had been the theatre; he had neither shared the dangers nor acquired the experience of those who had attacked them, and who had been fortunate enough to come back; his duty, therefore, was to listen to them. But the ruling idea which had taken hold of a mind wearied by a too heavy responsibility misled the heart and the reason of this brave soldier. The officers who surrounded him, silent witnesses of a scene which they have often related since, saw with terror the unfortunate Burnside striding up and down the terrace, from whence he could survey the whole battle-field: pointing to the heights, wreathed with smoke, whence the Confederate artillery was battering his troops, he repeated mechanically, ‘That height must be carried this evening.’ Hooker failed to obtain any other reply to his representations, and nothing was left for him but to obey.

One hour and a half had thus elapsed. Meanwhile, there had been but little fighting along the Federal left. As we have said, Franklin's line was so much extended that he had not time to collect his forces and attack the enemy with any chance of success. The positions occupied by Hood were as formidable as those of Jackson, and well flanked with artillery. Smith's corps was posted in front of these positions, but at a considerable distance; the greater part of his forces were ranged along a prominent angle of Deep Run, in the vicinity of the Richmond road; Howe's division, on the left, being more advanced than the others, fronted the heights of Bernard's Cabin and the adjoining woods, which were occupied by Hood's right and the left of A. P. Hill. The ground through which it would have been necessary to lead the troops in order to concentrate them was rough and difficult, and their march would certainly have been delayed until night. On the other hand, an attack made by a single division would have experienced the same fate as that of Meade. The Confederates, encouraged by this inaction, determined at last, about three o'clock,

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