to assault the position. Two 20-pounder Parrotts of Simmonds' battery and two sections of McMullin's battery were left in the rear in position near the turnpike, where they did good service during the day against the enemy's batteries in the gap. Colonel Scammon's brigade was deployed, and, well covered by skirmisher, moved up the slope to the left of the road, with the object of turning the enemy's right, if possible. It succeeded in gaining the crest and establishing itself there, in spite of the vigorous efforts of the enemy, who was posted behind stone walls and in the edges of timber, and the fire of battery which poured in canister and case-shot on the regiment on the right of the brigade. Colonel Crook's brigade marched in columns at supporting distance. A section of McMullin's battery, under Lieutenant Crome (killed while serving one of his guns), was moved up with great difficulty, and opened with canister at very short range on the enemy's infantry, by whom, after having done considerable execution, it was soon silenced and forced to withdraw. One regiment of Crook's brigade was now deployed on Scammon's left and the other two in his rear, and they several times entered the first line and relieved the regiments in front of them when hard pressed. A section of Simmond's battery was brought up and placed in an open space in the woods, where it did good service during the rest of the day.
The enemy several times attempted to retake the crest, advancing with boldness, but were each time repulsed. They then withdrew their battery to a point more to the right, and formed columns on both our flanks. It was now about noon, and a lull occurred in the contest which lasted about two hours, during which the rest of the corps was coming up. General Willcox's division was the first to arrive. When he reached the base of the mountain, General Cox advised him to consult General Pleasonton as to a position. The latter indicated that on the right, afterwards taken up by General Hooker. General Willcox was in the act of moving to occupy this ground when he received an order from General Reno to move up the Old Sharpsburg road and take a position to its right, overlooking the turnpike. Two regiments were detached to support General Cox, at his request. One section of Cook's battery was placed in position near the turn of the road (on the crest), was proceeding to deploy to the right of the road, when the enemy suddenly opened (at 150 yards) with a battery which enfiladed the road at this point, drove off Cook's cannoneers with their limbers, and caused a temporary panic, in which the guns were nearly lost. But the Seventyninth New York and Seventeenth Michigan promptly rallied, changed front under a heavy fire, and moved out to protect the guns, with which Captain Cook had remained. Order was soon restored, and the division formed in line on the right of Cox, and was kept concealed as much as possible under the shelter of the hillside until the whole line advanced. It was exposed not only to the fire of the battery in front, but also to that of the batteries on the other side of the turnpike, and lost heavily. Shortly before this time Generals Burnside and Reno arrived at the base of the mountain, and the former directed the latter to move up the divisions of General Sturgis and Rodman to the crest held by Cox and Willcox, and to move upon the enemy's position with his whole force as soon as he was informed that General Hooker (who had just been directed to attack on the right) was well advanced up the
General Reno then went to the front and assumed the direction of affairs, the positions having been explained to him by General Pleasonton. Shortly before this time I arrived at the point occupied by