Private, 1st Infantry Regiment, Reserve Brigade of Philadelphia, which continued wearing grey long after other Federal units changed to blue. During the Antietam campaign, however, they wore dark blue fatigue blouses. Painting by Ron Volstad

made better progress against Lawton's command. Jackson's formations were nearly destroyed during the initial Federal assault.

Lee realized that Jackson's position would collapse unless timely assistance were sent. The failure of McClellan to put pressure along the entirety of the Confederate line permitted Lee to order various formations to Jackson's assistance. Jackson was able, therefore, to employ his reserve formation, the two brigades commanded by Hood. Hood's regiments, particularly his Texas regiments, were rapidly becoming known as the shock troops of Lee's army. At approximately 0700, Hood's two brigades were ordered by Jackson to drive the Federals out of the cornfield and to restore the centre of the Confederate left.

T This post-war print by Lewis Prang shows the Union advance into the cornfield.

Hood's Counter-Attack

Hood's men were outnumbered, but they were relatively fresh and the Federals did not expect them. 'It was here', wrote Hood in his report, 'that I witnessed the most terrible clash of arms, by far, that has occurred during the War.' Colonel William Tatum Wofford, a pre-war lawyer, newspaper editor and plantation owner commanding Hood's old brigade in the action, wrote of his men: 'They fought desperately; their conduct was never surpassed.' Hood's assault fell on the 'Iron Brigade', 4th Brigade/1st Division/I Corps, commanded by Colonel John Gibbon, who had the 6th Wisconsin on his right and the 2nd Wisconsin on his left. The

M Major General George G. Meade commanded a division in I Corps during the battle; he would eventually receive command oj the entire Army of the Potomac and command it at Gettysburg. At Antiet-am, his men followed Doubleday's, advancing through the North Woods into the cornfield.

▼ This church used by members of the Dunker faith, a pacifist group, was on the Hagerstown Road at the edge of the West Woods. The 125th Pennsylvania Infantry entered the woods just on the right of the church, seen here some years after the war.

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