Franklin's corps had attacked and carried the ridge about five miles further south, at Crampton's Gap, where the pass had been so stubbornly defended by Mahone's and Cobb's brigades with artillery and a detachment of Hampton's cavalry as to cause considerable loss to our troops.
Before they could take the proper precautions Lee was upon them and once more the rebel yell that had swelled in victory on so many fields rang out in triumph. The front lines of the men in blue were driven in, then whole brigades were thrown back, and Harry felt a wild thrill of delight when he beheld success where success had not seemed possible.
The enfilading fire from batteries right and left still continued; the fierce fitful flashes of the bursting shells becoming more visible with the approach of night. Onward we went, picking our way among the fallen dead and wounded of Brigades who had preceded us in the fight, with feet fettered with mud, struggling to keep place in the line.
Another and still more certain conclusion was that the wagon train was getting very far behind. However, the morning was still sweet, and the column, as a whole, cheerful. It was a long column the Stonewall Brigade, three brigades of Loring's, five batteries, and a few cavalry companies; eight thousand, five hundred men in all. Mid-day arrived, and the halt for dinner.
"Not yet; I have sent an officer down to inquire. The enemy have been trying to bridge the river." "I suppose so," Jackson replied. "I have ordered one of my brigades to come to the head of the bank as soon as they can be formed up, to help Barksdale if need be, but I don't want to take them down into the town.
Jaureguiberry had reached the southern suburb of Pontlieue at about nine o'clock that morning after a night march from Ecommoy. He had divided his miscellaneous force of 9000 men into three brigades. As they did not seem fit for immediate action, they were drafted into the reserves, so that their arrival was of no particular help that day.
Emory prolonged the line of battle to the Red Bud on the right by posting Sharpe's and Birge's brigades of Grover, with Molineux and Shunk in the second line, the 9th Connecticut deployed as skirmishers to cover the right flank of Birge.
"II. The Third Brigade will be thrown to the attack of his centre and rear toward Centreville. "III. The Second and Sixth Brigades united will also push forward and attack him in the rear by way of Centreville, protecting their own right flanks and rear from the direction of Fairfax Station and Court House.
Richardson's Brigade is already down the ridge, in his old position at Blackburn's Ford, when Davies with his brigade reaches it, from Centreville, and, by virtue of seniority, takes command of the two brigades. At 10 o'clock, there is a lull in this Union fire. The Artillery ammunition is running short.
The four subdivisions were well commanded, as were the divisions and brigades of the whole army. General Halleck was a man of great capacity, of large acquirements, and at the time possessed the confidence of the country, and of most of the army.