Confederate Soldier in the 3rd Alabama Infantry
(1) Within the first few hours of the battle, Gen. D.H. Hill sent more than half of his 5,000 soldiers to reinforce the northern end of the Confederate line. Of the two brigades that remained in the lane, one was commanded by Gen. Robert Rodes and the other by Gen. G.B. Anderson. Combined, they numbered about 2,200 men.
(2) The first Federal soldiers to attack the Sunken Road were Gen. William H. French's troops. At approximately 9:30 a.m., these men crested the ridges just in front of the Sunken Road, and the bloody work began. French had close to 5,000 men under his command.
(3) About 10:30 a.m. Gen. Israel Richardson's division, led by the famous Irish Brigade, advanced and added over 4,000 soldiers to a Union attack where "the missiles of death were flying so thickly."
(4) Some 3,800 Confederate reinforcements, under Gen. Richard H. Anderson, attempted to strengthen the line in the road, but were unsuccessful. Near 1:00 p.m., Richardson's men broke through and captured the Sunken Road. As the Confederates retreated, one soldier remembered that "the minnie balls, shot and shell rained upon us from every direction except the rear."
Som of the Federal troops were able to continue south to the Piper Farm, but were driven back by a desperate Confederate stand. When the fighting ended, over 5,000 soldiers had been killed or wounded. Neither side gained a decisive advantage.
During the fighting around the Sunken Road, two generals fell mortally wounded. Confederate Gen. George B. Anderson was shot in the ankle and died from infection a month after the battle. After the Sunken Road had fallen, Union Gen. Israel Richardson was hit by a fragment of an artillery shell. He died at the Pry House in early November 1862.
Battle for a Farm Lane
Approximate Time of Action: 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Approximate Number of Soldiers engaged
Approximate Number of Casualties for Each Army
Union Army of the Potomac 2,900 killed, wounded, missing
Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
2,500 killed, wounded, missing