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Antietam: Burnsides Bridge (Battleground America).

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Overall, the assumption of divisional command by such novices on the eve of a great campaign could not have proved a boon to the IX Corps' fighting efficiency and its ability to meet the many tasks that lay ahead. One of the most important of those tasks was also the most innocuous, finding a route across the Antietam's shallow' waters. McClellan visited with Burnside on the night of the 16th to tell his subordinate of the IX Corps' role. The most obvious crossing point was the Lower Bridge, but the narrow span should have seemed more of an impediment than an attraction to the Federal advance.

Otto's neighbor Sherrick also had a farm lane, heading directly north to connect with the Boonsboro Pike. 35 BURNSIDE'S BRIDGE Over this landscape of hills and ravines, fields, fences, and farm lanes, lay the Confederate far right i flank, a position that had become of increasing importance as the day progressed. Here, by the waning morning hours of 17 September 1862, the Army of Northern Virginia's fate was in the hands of Brigadier General David Rumph Jones, one of Robert E. Lee's more obscure but experienced division commanders.

G. T. Anderson's Brigade had held the left of the line on the Boonsboro Pike earlier in the day but was ordered north around 0730, when the line's left became the responsibility of Pickett's Brigade of Virginia regiments. Under Brigadier General Richard B. Garnett, it was spread 36 Face Off at Burnside's Bridge out, east of Sharpsburg, between Boonsboro Pike and the road leading to the Lower Bridge. Extending the line farther south was Jenkins's Brigade of South Carolinians under Colonel Joseph Walker in position south of Lower Bridge Road in front of Sharpsburg's southeastern corner.

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