The increasing use of the web for serving http content, for database transactions, etc. can place heavy stress on servers. Flash crowds can occur at a server when there is a burst of a large number of clients attempting to access the service, and an unprepared server site could be overloaded or become unavailable. This paper discusses an extension to the http protocol that allows graceful performance at web servers under flash crowds. We implement our modifications for the Apache web server, and call the new system as Overhaul. In Overhaul mode, a server copes with a stampede by offloading file transfer duties to the clients. Overhaul enables servers to chunk each requested document into small sections and distribute these partial documents to clients. The clients then share the sections amongst themselves to form a complete document. Overhaul enables a web server to remain responsive to further requests from other clients and at the same time helps conserve the amount of bandwidth utilized by a flash crowd. We present detailed experimental results comparing the benefits of using Overhaul under flash crowds and under normal operating situations. Although we restrict our studies to static content, the Overhaul architecture is applicable to improving web services in general.