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[391] behind the piles of bridge material, first opened a vigorous fire upon Colonel Fizer's position, aided by a fresh opening of the batteries. Under cover of this fire, a number of boats were prepared, into which the men were then rushed, and the boats pulled rapidly for the southern bank. The Mississippi marksmen kept up their fire, and with effect, until the boats were under shelter of the banks, when, having already delayed the enemy even longer than the occasion required, Colonel Fizer ordered his small force to fall back to the market house, where it was again disposed to resist the enemy's advance. The troops who first crossed in the boats, remained under shelter of the bank, until reinforced by other boat loads, when they advanced a short distance in the city, and captured about a hundred sharpshooters, who did not know of the retreat of their comrades, or who were unwilling to run the gauntlet to escape. Among the prisoners were the three companies of the 8th Florida, under Captain Boyd, which were captured entire. Captain Boyd had protested in the morning that his position was too exposed, and although he occupied it during the day, he kept up but little fire from it. The bridges were now rapidly completed, and troops crossed over, and about sun-down, Howard's division advanced into the city, and encountered Colonels Carter and Humphries with parts of the 13th and 21st Mississippi regiments. A sharp skirmish ensued, and was continued for two hours after dark, when the enemy retired to the vicinity of his bridges. About 7 P. M., there being no longer any object in holding the town, General McLaws ordered the force in the town to be withdrawn to the telegraph road, under Marye's Hill, a position which he had selected for another obstinate stand. General Barksdale expressed his belief that he could hold the town, and begged permission to do so, but the order was reiterated, and on the morning of the 12th the Confederate force was formed at the foot of the line of hills over-looking the plain, upon which the Federal army was now debouching. The losses of only three of the five regiments in the town were reported separately for this day, and they were as follows: 8th Florida--seven killed, thirty-seven wounded, forty-four missing, total, eighty-eight; 21st Mississippi--seventeen killed, thirty-eight wounded, sixteen missing, total, seventy-one; 13th Mississippi--total, one hundred and sixteen.

On the 12th, the crossing of the Federal army was continued, and occupied nearly the whole day. Sumner's Grand Division crossed opposite the town and was sheltered on the two lower streets parallel to the river, which were on a slope toward the stream. The Ninth Corps on its left flank, extended to Deep Run, where it connected with Franklin's

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