the water. Miller's battery drove these back, but their sharpshooters succeeded in stopping the work on the bridges, as it was impossible to open with our artillery so long as the pontoniers were at work and the enemy's cover was proof against our infantry fire.
All the batteries that could be brought to bear were now, by order of General Burnside, turned upon the town, and soon rendered it untenable by any considerable body. Again the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters was beaten down by the artillery; the work of throwing the bridges resumed by men who volunteered for the purpose, but with the same results. A few hundred sharpshooters, scattered among the cellars, in ditches, and behind stone walls, drove them from the bridges.
About 2.30 o'clock I proposed to fill the bateaux, not yet in their placed in the bridges, with infantry, to make a dash to the opposite side, while the troops should land and attack the enemy in his cover, to row the pontoons to their places and complete the bridges. This plan was adopted. Major Doull, inspector of artillery, on my staff, took charge of all the operations at the middle bridge. The guns were again brought into operation at both bridges, and, under direction of Colonel Tompkins at the upper and Major Doull at the middle bridge, a furious cannonade completely suppressed the enemy's fire, when the boats, at a given signal-the cessation of the fire-pushed across. The men (volunteers from the Seventh Michigan and Eighty-ninth New York) jumped out and dashed at the enemy, driving him from his cover and capturing over 80 prisoners.
At the lower bridges less difficulty was experienced two. Five batteries-two withdrawn from the divisions waiting to cross, and three from De Russy's division-were brought near the bridges, and soon drove off the enemy's sharpshooters' who endeavored to prevent the cutting down of the banks, to form practicable road for artillery.
When the troops commenced crossing, the enemy opened on them from his batteries on the crests opposite the upper bridges, but without doing any damage. They were replied to by some of the batteries of the right, right center, and left center divisions.
This day (Friday, December 12) was spent in crossing the troops and their batteries. The enemy occasionally fired upon the troops during the passage, and were replied to by our rifle batteries in position. The light 12-pounders, which had been drawn from the divisions the previous day, to cover the construction of the bridges, rejoined them as they crossed.
At the upper bridges there passed the river, with Sumner's grand division, ten batteries, consisting of fourteen rifles and forty-two 12 pounders; and with Butterfield's corps and Whipple's division, of Stoneman's corps, nine batteries, consisting of twenty-six light rifles and twenty-two light 12-pounders, making in all nineteen batteries, of one hundred and four guns, which passed the river with the troops.
The greater number of these could not be used, but were left in the streets of Fredericksburg, and a potion was ordered back to the north side. Of the nineteen batteries which crossed, seven (marked*) were wholly or partially engaged.
4 12-pdrs, C, 5th, U. S., Captain Ransom.
4 12-pdrs., A, 1st Pa., Lieutenant Simpson.
6 3-inch, 1st N. Y. Pa., Lieutenant Cowan.
4 3-inch, F, 1st Pa., Lieutenant Ricketts.
4 3-inch, G, 1st Pa., Captain Amsden.
With Sumner's Grand Division.
6 3-inch A, 1st R. I., Captain Arnold.*
4 10-pdrs., E, 4th U. S., Lieutenant Dickenson.
L and M, 3rd U. S., Captain Edwards.
2 12-pdrs. howitzers
6 12-pdrs., B, 1st R. I., Captain Hazard.*
6 12-pdrs., C, 4th U. S., Lieutenant Thomas (1 sec.*)
6 12-pdrs., I, 1st U. S., Lieutenant Kirby (1 sec.*)
6 12-pdrs., A, 5th, U. S., Lieutenant Gilliss.
6 12-pdrs., G, 1st N. Y., Lieutenant Frank (2 sec.*)
6 12-pdrs., D, 1st N. Y., Captain Osborn.