In accordance with the order mentioned above, the Eleventh Connecticut advanced to the stream and warmly engaged the enemy across it. Crook's brigade in moving forward was brought under so lively an infantry fire, as well as that of artillery, that it was forced to halt and open fire in return, and Strugis' division, passing by the rear, came first to the bridge, and was ordered to cross under protection of the artillery fire. General Strugis ordered forward the Second Maryland and Sixth New hampshire, which charged at double-quick with fixed bayonets, but the concentrated fire upon the bridge forced them to fall back. After repeated brave efforts these regiments were withdrawn, and the Fifty-first New York and Fifty-first Pennsylvania, from the same division, were ordered up.
About the same time Colonel Crook, of the Second Brigade, Kanawha Division, succeeded in getting a section of Simmonds' battery, supported by the Twenty-eight Ohio Infantry, in position to bear directly upon the enemy's positions at the farther end of the bridge, and, aided by these guns, the fresh troops charged with great enthusiasm, bearing down all opposition, and, at 1 o'clock, planted their banner on the opposite bank. In this desperate fight in the valley, Colonel Kingsbury, of the Eleventh Connecticut, fell, cheering his men on to duty.
General Sturgis' division immediately marched over, deploying one brigade to the right and the other to the left of the bridge, and advanced up the slope, driving the enemy before them. This division was followed by Colonel Crook's brigade of the Kanawha Division, which took position on the right.
Meanwhile General Rodman's division and the First Brigade of the Kanawha Division, under Colonel Scammon, had succeeded in crossing at the ford below, after a sharp engagement and under a heavy musketry and artillery fire, and successfully took the position assigned at the left of the line of the crest above the bridge. The three divisions of the corps at this time on the right bank of the Antietam occupied the exact positions assigned them before the commencement, except that on the right the division of Sturgis was in front, and Crook's brigade in support of it,, the order being reversed by the causes before stated.
The stubbornly contested fight at the bridge having almost exhausted the ammunition and greatly fatigued the troops engage, I sent a request to General Burnside that Willcox's division, which had been held in reserve on the left bank, might be sent over and take its place on the right front, putting Strugis' division in reserve at the head of the bridge. This was immediately ordered by General Burnside, and General Willcox came promptly forward with his command. During the interval the enemy kept up and incessant cannonade, and, having the exact range of the valley and the ravines, his shells came in very fast, annoying us a good deal and causing numerous casualties, notwithstanding the men were kept lying on the ground near the crests of the hill while the changes in the line and the partially new formation after the arrival of Willcox's division were being made.
At about 3 o'clock, the necessary changes in the line having been completed, the order to advance was received from General Burnside, and the whole force, except Strugis' division, was put in motion. General Willcox on the right, his whole division in line and supported by Colonel Crook, was ordered to move on Sharpsburg, which lay about a mile distant to the right of our front. General Rodman, supported by Colonel Scammon, was ordered to move in the same direction, first dislodging the enemy from his front, and then changing direction to the right bringing his command en echelon on the left of General Willcox. The