War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0444 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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an eminence and to the left of Captain Weed's battery, already engaged. Several of the enemy's batteries were soon silenced, and two of the caissons blown up, yet he made heavy demonstration toward our center and right, and it became necessary to send Captain Clark's battery up, which soon got into position on the left of Captain Durell's.

I now received orders from General Burnside to move still farther to the left and front, and cross Antietam Bridge. The batteries were, therefore, withdrawn and placed in new positions, so as to aid in clearing the wood on the opposite bank, strongly occupied by the enemy. One section was placed on the right of Benjamin's battery, in rear of the cornfield, through which the division moved toward the bridge. Another section was placed on the right of the road, about 400 yards from the bridge, but did not open. Captain Clark's battery was ordered to a position on the right of the woods, near the slope occupied by the division the previous night, and one section held in reserve. The First Brigade, General Nagle, now moved toward the bridge, while the Second Brigade, General Ferrero, was formed in line of battle in the corn-field some 200 yards in rear. The bridge was strongly defended by the enemy, and the approaches to it exposed to a murderous fire from behind breastworks. The importance of carrying it without delay was impressed upon me by General Burnside, and I went in person to the vicinity of the bridge, and ordered the Second Maryland, Colonel Duryea, and Colonel Griffin, Sixth New Hampshire, to move over at a double-quick and with bayonets fixed. They made a handsome effort to execute this order, but the fire was so heavy on them before they could reach the bridge that they were forced to give way and fall back.

Meantime orders arrived from General Burnside to carry the bridge at all hazards. I then selected the Fifty-first New york and the Fifty-first Pennsylvania from the Second Brigade, and directed them to charge with the bayonet. They started on their mission of death full of enthusiasm, and taking a route less exposed than the regiments which had made the effort before them, rushed at a double-quick over the slope leading to the bridge and over the bridge itself with an impetuosity which the enemy could not resist, and the Stars and Stripes were planted on the opposite bank at 1 o'clock p. m., amid the most enthusiastic cheering from every part of the field from where they could be seen. Having crossed the bridge, the Second Brigade filed to the right, the First Brigade to the left, and both moved up and occupied the high grounds at once, throwing out skirmishers on all sides, who soon became hotly engaged, yet held their ground, though with considerable loss on both sides.

The enemy had by this time been re-enforced, and had their batteries placed on still higher ground, and within 500 or 600 yards of our position, and all concentrated on it. Too weak to advance, we could only lie down and await re-enforcements, and here the troops displayed their heroism more, if possible, than on any former occasion, for the enemy opened with canister and grape, shell and railroad iron, and the vehicles of destruction fell like hail among them, killing and wounding large numbers and fairly covering us with dust, yet not a man left his place except to carry off his wounded comrade. Toward evening we were re-enforced by the division of Cox, under Colonel Scammon, Rodman, and Willcox. These divisions were formed into line of battle and moved forward, my division being held in reserve, except the batteries, which reported to General Rodman. The enemy, however, had received large re-enforcements, and at twilight my division was ordered forward, General Ferrero on the right, to the support of Willcox, and General