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Our lines halted, and we were tortured with anxiety as we speculated whether our men would charge or retreat. The enemy occupied lines and fences and stone-walls, and their batteries made gaps in the National ranks. Our long-range guns were immediately turned in that direction and we cheered every well-aimed shot. One of our shells blew up a caisson close to the Confederate line. The IX Corps leadership would not remain mere observers for long. After 0910, around the time French's division was assaulting the Sunken Road, Colonel Delos P.

The honor of taking the bridge had gone to Srurgis's division, though not without a considerable cost in bloodshed. 56 CHAPTER 5 THE ATTACK OF NAGLE'S BRIGADE IX CORPS' FIRST ATTACK AT SHARPSBURG had been a fiasco, costly not only in terms of the men engaged and lost, but in the additional troops required to be brought to bear against Toombs's and Benning's Georgians. With the mangling of the 11th Connecticut, and part of Crooks's brigade involved in a fight of its own farther to the north, Burnside and Cox called upon another IX Corps force to take the bridge—the men of Sturgis's 2nd Division.

More important, Jones's artillery enjoyed a clear line of sight nearly all the way to the bridge. For a battle that would become known as "Artillery Hell," the broad view the Confederate gunners enjoyed south of Sharpsburg meant they would play a major role in the fighting to come. Jones would need all the advantages he could possibly obtain since his infantry strength was pathetically weak. Several Southern commanders and troops who wrote about Sharpsburg are almost apologetic in their description of the numbers mustered to fight in Jones's line.

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Antietam Burnside's Bridge (Battleground America)


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