War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0420 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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this point some of our most valuable officers. Among them was Colonel H. W. Kingsbury, of the Eleventh Connecticut, and Lieutenant-Colonel Bell, of the Fifty-first Pennsylvania.

Colonel Crook's brigade crossed immediately after Sturgis' division, and took its position in support in rear. General Rodman's division succeeded in crossing the fords below, after a sharp fight of musketry and artillery, and joined on to the left of Sturgis, Scammon's brigade crossing after him and taking his position in rear and in support. General Willcox's division was ordered across to take position on the right of General Sturgis. In describing the ground here and the bridge, I cannot do better than to copy that contained in the excellent report of General Cox:

The bridge itself is a stone structure of three arches, with stone parapet above, this parapet to some extent flanking the approach to the bridge at either end. The valley in which the stream runs is quite narrow, the steep slope on the right bank approaching quite to the water's edge. On this slope the roadway is scarped, running both ways from the bridge end, and passing to the higher lands above by ascending through ravines above and below, the other ravine being some 600 yards above the bridge, the turn about half that distance below. On the hill side immediately above the bridge was a strong stone fence, running parallel to the stream; the turns of the roadway were covered by rifle-pits and breastworks made of rails and stone, all of which defenses, as well as the woods which covered the slope, were filled with the enemy's infantry and sharpshooters. Besides the infantry defenses, batteries were placed to enfilade the bridge and all its approaches. The crest of the first hill above the bridge is curved toward the stream at the extremes, forming a sort of natural tete-de-pont. The next ridge beyond rises some what higher, though with less regularity, the depression between the two being but slight, and the distance varying in places from 300 to 700 yards.

The dispositions being completed, about 3 o'clock, in accordance with instructions received from the general commanding, I directed General Cox to move forward with the whole command, except Sturgis' division, which was left in reserve, in the order in which they were formed, and attack the town of Sharpsburg and the heights on the left.

The following batteries accompanied their divisions, the remainder being left on the heights to cover the movement: With Sturgis' division, Clark's and Durell's; with Willcox's division, Cook's battery; with Cox's division, was over the river during a part of the engagement.

This order was obeyed in the most cheerful and gallant manner, the officers and soldiers moving forward with the greatest enthusiasm, driving everything before them. General Willcox, with General Crook in support, moved up on both sides of the Sharpsburg road, and succeeded in reaching the outskirts of the village. General Rodman succeeded in carrying the main heights on the left of the town, one of his regiments (the Ninth New York) capturing one of the most formidable of the enemy's batteries; but at this juncture the enemy was largely reenforced by General A. P. hill's light division, which had just arrived from Harper's Ferry, and by numerous batteries from their extreme left. During the attack General Rodman was forced to bear more to the left than was intended when the advance was ordered, and General Cox was forced to move him more to the right with a view to strengthening the line, during which movement General Rodman was mortally wounded while gallantly leading his command to the assault.

At this time Colonel Harland's brigade was driven back, leaving the battery which they had captured. Colonel Scammon's brigade changed its front to the rear on its right, thus protecting our left flank. It was now nearly sundown. I at once ordered General Sturgis' division forward in supports, and, notwithstanding the hard work in the early part