The enemy was repulsed, and retired behind the crest of a hill, from which they kept up a desultory fire. General R. H. Anderson's division came to Hill's support and formed in rear of his line. At this time, by a mistake of orders, General Fodes' brigade was withdrawn from its position during the temporary absence of that officer at another part of the field. The enemy immediately pressed through the gap thus created, and G. B. Anderson's brigade was broken and retired, General Anderson himself being mortally wounded. Major General R. H. Anderson and Brigadier-General Wright were also wounded and borne from the field.
The heavy masses of the enemy again moved forward, being opposed only by four pieces of artillery, supported by a few hundred men belonging to different brigades, rallied by General D. H. Hill and other officers, and parts of Walker's and R. H. Anderson's commands, Colonel Cooke, with the Twenty-seventh North Carolina Regiment, of Walker's brigade, standing boldly in line without a cartridge. The firm front presented by this small force and the well-directed fire of the artillery, under Captain Miller, of the Washington Artillery, and Captain Boyce's South Carolina battery, checked the progress of the enemy, and in about an hour and a half he retired. Another attack was made soon afterward a little farther to the right, but was repulsed by Miller's guns, which continued to hold the ground until the close of the engagement, supported by a part of R. H. Anderson's troops.
While the attack on the center and left was in progress, the enemy made repeated efforts to force the passage of the bridge over the Antietam, opposite the right wing of General Longstreet, commanded by Brigadier General D. R. Jones. This bridge was defended by General Tombs with two regiments of his brigade (the Second and Twentieth Georgia) and the batteries of General Jones. General Tombs' small command repulsed five different assaults made by greatly superior force, and maintained its position with distinguished gallantry.
In the afternoon the enemy began to extend his line as if to cross the Antietam below the bridge, and at 4 p. m. Tombs' regiments retired from the position they had so bravely held. The enemy immediately crossed the bridge in large numbers and advanced against General Jones, who held the crest with less than 2,000 men. After a determined and brave resistance, he was forced to give way, and the enemy gained the summit.
General A. P. Hill had arrived from Harper's Ferry, having left that place at 7.30 a. m. He was now ordered to re-enforce General Jones, and moved to his support with the brigades of Archer, Branch, Gregg, and Pender, the last of whom was placed on the right of the line, and the other three advanced and attacked the enemy, now flushed with success. Hill's batteries were thrown forward and united their fire with those of General Jones, and one of General D. H. Hill's also opened with good effect from the left of the Boonsborough road. The progress of the enemy was immediately arrested and his lines began to waver. At this moment General Jones ordered Tombs to charge the front of the Federal line. The enemy made a brief resistance, then broke and retreated in confusion toward the Antietam, pursued by the troops of Hill and Jones, until he reached the protection of his batteries on the opposite side of the river. In this attack the brave and lamented Brigadier General L. O'B. Branch was killed, gallantly leading his brigade.
It was now nearly dark, and the enemy had massed a number of batteries to sweep the approaches to the Antietam, on the opposite side of