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[219] compelled to succumb to overwhelming numbers that brigade had lost no honor. It was impossible for me to reinforce Barksdale with a larger force than I sent to him, and I then weakened very much the defences on the right. Had Sedgwick communicated his purposes to me and informed me that he would assault Marye's and Lee's Hills and those positions alone, then I would have moved my whole force to those points and held them against his entire force.

As it was, a division of Sedgwick's corps larger than my own immediately confronted the position occupied by the three brigades of my division left after Hays had been sent to Barksdale, and if that position had been abandoned and the brigades defending it moved to the left, the division confronting it, and which was constantly demonstrating towards it, would have moved up, taken possession of the line, and then moved upon my rear, compelling me to abandon the works on the left practically without a struggle, or submit to a much greater disaster than that which occurred. Sedgwick would hardly have been so blind as to rush his troops up against the strong positions at Marye's and Lee's Hill's while defended by a force sufficiently large to hold them, when there would have been an easy way open to him for their capture and that of the whole force defending them by simply moving a portion of troops to the rear. Marye's Hill would have fallen much sooner than it did, if it had been occupied by my whole force, or if a force sufficiently strong to prevent the position from being turned had not been retained on the right. By holding the position on the right, therefore, the fall of Marye's Hill and the consequent advance of Sedgwick's column above were both very considerably retarded, and when the catastrophe did happen there was left a considerable force to threaten and fall upon Sedgwick's rear. I think I may claim that the force entrusted to my command had accomplished all that could reasonably

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John Sedgwick (5)
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