Beginning just after 4:00 pm and continuing into darkness, charging Confederate infantry made repeated assaults up these gentle slopes. In several places those attacks came within point-blank range of the Union lines. This ground is such a place.
The position here was held by Gen. Charles Griffin's brigade with regiments from New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Earlier in the day his men supported the artillery. Casualties were light. But with the setting sun came orders to move forward through the guns and meet the foe.
It was late afternoon when troops commanded by Gen. John B. Magruder rushed forward in hopes of silencing the deadly accurate Union guns. Their efforts climaxed in a brief but bloody struggle against Griffin's infantry. Sulfurous battle smoke clouded the field as the two lines converged, the range so close that it was impossible to miss. "We murdered them by the hundreds," remembered one Union survivor.
"Now came the grandest sean of all...the rebels charged back on the 9th [Massachusetts], following them right into our lines....Our men were ready & as soon as the 9th was out of the way we poured in such a volley that there was very few left of them on our end of the line." Capt. Marshall Chapin, 4th Michigan Infantry