In pursuance of this order, at 11 a.m. the head of Piatt's brigade entered the city, but the troops of Couch's corps were so densely massed upon the river bank as to obstruct the passage,and the column was compelled to halt, the pontoon bridge, being crowded and the troops stretching far to the rear. While halted in this position, the enemy observed them and opened a galling fire of shells, which fell near the head of the bridge and into the ranks of the Twelfth New Hampshire Regiment, wounding 2 officers and 5 men, 2 of them severely. The range was remarkably accurate, and, therefore, after crowding the leading regiment upon the Fredericksburg shore, the rest, by direction of General Couch, were retained upon the opposite bank, sheltered as far as possible, at the foot of the slope and in ravines. A portion of the One hundred and twenty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers took post at the mills, but subsequently was relieved, to enable the regiment to recross the river and join the division, which was directed by General Stoneman to bivouac upon the north bank and guard the ford near Falmouth during the night.
Upon the morning of the 13th, orders were received to cross the river and send one brigade to report to General Willcox; with the remained of the division to guard the approaches to the city from the west, and protect the right flank of Howard's division while making an attack in front. Piatt's brigade was placed in position; the One hundred and twenty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers deployed as skirmishers upon the Fall Hill road, between the two canals, above the city and upon the crest of the ridge upon which stands Mrs. Washington's monument, and two companies of the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York Volunteers were advanced in front of Kenmore mansion, supported by the Twelfth New Hampshire Volunteers, the remainder of Piatt's brigade in reserve. Of the two batteries four pieces were placed by General Piatt at the upper end of the city, to sweep the flats and bridges across the canal and four others near the upper junction of Charles and Prince Edward streets with Fauquier and Lewis streets, to command the approaches from the front. Carroll's brigade reached its position just in time to move forward to the support of a portion of Willcox's corps, which, having suffered severely was retiring. He was directed to take the crest of a hill in front.
This little command, numbering scarcely 600 muskets, with a loud shout rushed upon the assailants, and,after a sharp engagement, drove them from the ridge and held the crest as directed, successfully resisting the efforts of superior forces striving to regain it.
For a notice of the many who distinguished themselves in this affair, I would refer to the reports of brigade and regimental commanders.
I beg leave, however, to mention in terms of commendation the bravery and skill of Colonel Carroll himself, who, by the energy and rapidity of his attack, gained success with a small sacrifice of life. At night, the only time, when, from his position, he could communicate with the rear, as the enemy covered the space not only with the fire from their batteries but also with that of sharpshooters, Colonel Carroll sent a staff officers to report that his ammunition was nearly exhausted. Lieutenant Eddy, my aide-de-camp and ordnance officer, accompanied by Lieutenant Weise, of the ambulance corps, and an orderly went out to find the position of Carroll's brigade, for the purpose of forwarding the needed supplies. Neither of the parties has since been heard from. They probably entered the enemy's lines and were captured. Carroll's brigade retained its position until the night of the 14th, when it was