At Hazel Grove, Lee's artillerists enjoyed perhaps their greatest success of the war. No sooner had the Union army evacuated the ridge than Southern cannon appeared - first four pieces, then eight, twelve, sixteen. Within an hour more than thirty guns crowned this ridge. Eager hands rammed home charges and sent shot and shell screeching toward the center of the Union line at Fairview, 1200 yards away.
The concussion of the cannon blasts deafened some of the artillerists and caused the noses of others to bleed. Burning powder filled the air with black, acrid smoke that filled the lungs and stung the eyes. Even worse was the counter-battery fire from Fairview. Union shells exploded among the Confederate guns, disemboweling men and horses alike. It was, admitted one officer, "a very hot place."
In the end, however, the Confederates were victorious. After five hours of fighting the Union army abandoned Fairview and retreated toward the Rappahannock River. For the men of Lee's artillery, it had been a glorious day.