This chapter describes the engagement between the Federals and Confederates. The use of conventional assault tactics against well-protected infantry and massed artillery was staggering. Yet both armies had not yet recognized the importance of field entrenchments or the necessity of flanking strong positions. Burnside's limited information about the fighting on the Federal left, the poor staff work, the absence of effective reconnaissance, and ignorance of the terrain west of town resulted in Federal troops being ordered to attack the strongest part of the Confederate line.
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