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not only his direct charges but also the imputations and insinuations by which he endeavors to bolster them, and thus to show how unreliable his statements are. It is much more likely in view of all this that Major General Hancock had forgotten in his nervous excitement, what he had said, than that Major McGilvray a cool clear headed old sailor and a man of high character had invented a tissue of falsehoods with no apparent object. At first there was bare assertion on the part of Major General Hancock and I met it with explanation and a statement of the facts as I understood them. As he now denies my statements and impeaches my word and good faith I bring other and positive evidence in extracts from letters of two battery commanders who belonged to the Army of the Potomac at the time. _ The first proves conclusively that Major McGilvray knew who the General Officer was, who gave him his orders at Gettysburg, and that he made substantially the same statement to another that he made to me. The second is from a battery commander of McGilvrays brigade who was present at the interview between Major General Hancock and
Major McGilvray This date is on page 2 [1875?]
Captain John Bigelow of Boston who commanded the 9th Massachusetts Battery, wrote me November 4th 1875, and in reference to Major General Hancocks instance? in point as follows.
"During several weeks of the winter of 1863-4 Colonel McGilvray of the Maine Artillery while awaiting assignment to duty stopped with me at Brandy Station as my guest __ repeatedly he has told me of his experience at Gettysburg especially on July 3rd. He has told me how on that day he had a very considerable amount of artillery massed on the left of the Second Corps, and so ranged as to sweep its front. How Hazard had more on Cemetery Hill [Ridge] which could so? ranged with his as to oblige the enemy attacking the Second Corps to pass through a destructive crossfire + + + + of your explicit instructions that the batteries should reserve their ammunition until the grand charge should commence for which the enemy were undoubtedly preparing. He told me that during the cannonade by the enemy General Hancock came riding upon in hot haste and wished him to reply to the enemy with his batteries, giving the old excuse that it was necessary in order to keep his men steady. But McGilvray would not receive orders from him + + + + then again he was in ?no wise under General Hancocks orders + + He was placed in command and received his instructions from General Hunt + + + General Hancock seemed unnecessarily excited was unduly emphatic and as there was nothing in sight except puffs of smoke 1500 and more yards away his orders would result in a most dangerous and irreparable waste of ammunition. Hazard however did not withhold his fire + + When the enemy charged, McGilvray said he was ready with an abundance of ammunition and from his batteries gave a heavy and destructive fire. The fire from Hazard on the contrary was very light, probably because his ammunition had been expended as General Hancock ordered."
McGilvray always stoutly maintained that had General Hancock not interfered , and had Hazard reserved his fire as you ? the enemy could not have got a handful of men through the cross fire which Hazard and he would have poured over the open field in front of the Second Corps + + +"
"Again General I hope you will answer General Hancock and claim for the artillery at Gettysburg, the credit which hitherto it has never received."
Captain Patrick Hart, 15th Independent (New York) battery of McGilvrays brigade writes me from Port Hudson, La. June 30th 1879, as follows: -
"1st After you passed along the line previous to the opening of the cannonade of the 3rd July at Gettysburg, Colonel McGilvray came to me and directed me to reserve my fire. I informed him that General Hunt had given me orders to that effect as he passed along the line; the Colonel appeared satisfied with my remark, Col. Kelly, Col. McGilvray and I were standing in my battery when General Hancock rode up and asked why in + do you not open fire with these batteries; Colonel McGilvray answered that our instructions were to reserve our fire as long as we possibly could, General Hancock answered with an oath that unless our batteries opened fire his troops would not stand it much longer + + + + I am the Captain who refused to fire when General Hancock ordered me to do so.
"2nd _ I heard every word that passed between General Hancock and Colonel McGilvray, as the remarks commenced with me and ended with Colonel McGilvray" + + +
"4th _ In regard to so much of the line which the Artillery Reserve held on the 3rd previous to the opening of the enemys guns I passed in rear of many of our batteries and I cannot now believe any man that our rear was at any point without infantry + + +
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Transcribers note: The date of 1875 is on the 2nd page. Hunt makes reference to the date of June 30th 1879 for the letter from Captain Hart, so Hunts letter is later than 1875.