The 22nd N.C. Regiment in the Gettysburg Campaign
On June 4, 1863, Lee put his army in motion toward the Shenandoah Valley to begin the campaign that would end at Gettysburg. Ewell's corps moved first and was followed by Longstreet's corps. Hill's corps remained temporarily at Fredericksburg to watch the Federal forces opposite the town. Ewell's corps defeated an enemy force at Winchester on June 13, and Longstreet's corps occupied Culpeper Court House. The Federal forces at Fredericksburg began moving north the same day, and Hill's corps was ordered to follow. Ewell's corps crossed the Potomac River and entered Maryland on June 16 and was joined by the leading elements of Hill's and Longstreet's corps on June 24. By June 27 Hill's corps was encamped near Champbersburg. On June 29 Hill was ordered to move to Cashtown, and Longstreet was directed to follow the next day. Ewell's corps, which had proceeded eastward to Carlisle, was ordered to rejoin the army at Cashtown or Gettysburg as circumstances required.
General Henry Heth's division of Hill's corps reached Cashtown on June 29, and the next morning General James J. Pettigrew's brigade was sent to Gettysburg to procure supplies. Finding the town occupied by the enemy, Pettigrew retired to Cashtown. During the evening of June 30 General Hill arrived at Cashtown with Pender's division and decided to attack with Heth's and Penders divisions the next morning. Heth's division was formed in line of battle, and Pender's division was formed in line behind Heth's. Scale's brigade was second from the left with the left of the brigade on the Chambersburg Pike. After marching about a quarter of a mile the line halted, and the brigade on Scales's left was moved to the right of the division line. This left Scales's brigade on the extreme left of the division line. After a thirty-minute wait the line moved forward. Ewell's corps came in from Carlisle and struck the enemy in the right flank as Heth's division came under fire, and the Federals were driven from three defensive lines. Heth's division was then relieved by Pender's , and the attack continued until the Federals retired throught the streets of Gettysburg and began to fortify Cemetery Hill just south of the town. General Scales reproted the brigade's encounter with the enemy as follows (Official Records, S.I, Vol. XXVII,pt. 2, pp 669-670):
We pressed on until coming up with the line in our front, which was at a halt and lying down. I received orders to halt, and wait for this line to advance. This they soon did, and pressed forward in quick time. That I might keep in supporting distance, I again ordered an advance, and, after marching one-fourth of a mile or more, again came upon the front line, halted and lying down. The officers on this part of the line informed me that they were without ammunition and would no advance farther. I immediately ordered my brigade to advance. We passed over them, up the ascent, crossed the ridge, and commenced the descent just opposite the theological seminary. Here the brigade encountered a most terrific fire of grape and shell on our flank, and grape and musketry in our front. Every discharge mad sad havoc in our line, but still we pressed on at a double-quick until we reached the bottom, a distance of about 75 yards from the ridge we had just crossed, and about the same distance from the college, in our front. Here I received a painful wound from a piece of shell, and was disabled. Our line had been broken up, and now only a squad here and there marked the place were regiments had rested. In less that ten minutes after I was disabled and left the field, the enemy, as I learn, gave way, and the brigade, with the balance of the division, pursued them to the town of Gettysburg.
During the attack, every brigade field officer except one was disabled. General Scales reported that the brigade lost: 9 officers killed, 45 wounded, and 1 missing. The ranks were decimated by the loss of: 39 men killed, 336 wounded, and 115 missing. Some of the missing and slightly wounded returned to duty during the night, and Colonel William Lee J. Lowrance of the 34th Regiment N.C. Troops, who assumed command of the brigade after Scales was wounded, reported that it numbered about 500 men.
After nightfall the brigade was ordered to the extreme right of the army, and on the morning of July 2 it was moved farther to the right on line with the artillery. About 1:00 P.M. the brigade was relieved by General Richard H. Anderson's division and ordered to rejoin Pender's division in the center of the line. General Pender was mortally wounded on July 2, and James H. Lane was placed in temporary command of the division pending the arrival of General Isaac R. Trimble. On the morning of July 3 Lane's and Scales's (Lowrance's) brigandes were ordered to the right to take part in an attack to be launched against the Federal center. General Trimble arrived in time to take command of the two brigades as they formed in line behind the artillery. The attack was to be made by George E. Pickett's division of Longstreet's corps on the right, supported by Cadmus M. Wilcox's brigade on the right rear, and by Heth's division (commanded by General Pettigrew) of Hill's corps on the left, supported by the two brigades of Pender's division under General Trimble.
About 1:00 P.M. the Confederates began a heavy cannonade which continued for two hours. The attack column then moved in front of the artillery and formed for the attack. Colonel Lowrance, still commanding Scales's brigade, reported the action as follows (Official Records, S.I, Vol. XXVII, pt. 2, pp. 671-672):
Then we were ordered forward over a wide, hot, and already crimson plain. We advanced upon the enemy's line, which was in full view, at a distance of 1 mile. Now their whole line of artillery was playing upon us, which was on an eminence in our front, strongly fortified and supported by infantry. While we were thus advancing, many fell, but I saw but few in that most hazardous hour who even tried to shirk duty. All went forward with a cool and steady step, but ere we had advanced over two-thirds of the way, troops form the front came tearing through our ranks, which caused many of our men to break, but with the remaining few we went forward until the right of the brigade touched the enemy's line of breastworks, as we marched in rather an oblique line. Now the pieces in our front were all silenced. Here many were shot down, being then exposed to a heavy fire of grape and musketry upon our right flank. Now all apparently had forsaken us. The two brigades (now reduced to mere squads, no numbering in all 800 guns) were the only line to be seen upon that vast field, and no support in view. The natural inquiry was, What shall we do? And none to answer. The men answered for themselves, and, without orders, the brigade retreated, leaving many on the field unable to get off, and some, I fear, unwilling to undertake the hazardous retreat. The brigade was then rallied on the same line where it was first formed.
Following the failure of the assault, Lee held his army ready to repulse an expected attack. On the night of July 4 the army began its retreat, and on July 7 it reached Hagerstown, where a defensive line was established to hold the enemy while preparations were made to re-cross the Potomac. On July 13 the crossing was begun. Hill's corps, acting as rear guard, retired under heavy enemy pressure, and Scales's (Lowrance's) brigade barely escaped entrapment and capture. Colonel Lowrance reported the retreat and the battle at Falling Waters as follows (Official Records, S.I, Vol. XXVII, pt. 2, p. 672):
We remained in line of battle near this place [Gettysburg] until the evening of the 4th, when we retreated to Hagerstown, where we arrived on the 7th and remained until the 11th, and were then drawn out in line of battle, and remained so until the night of the 13th, during which time the enemy were drawn up in our front, but remained inctive, excepting some skirmishing, which resulted in loss on our part of 2 killed, several wounded , and several captured.
Then commenced our retreat to Falling Water, and we arrived there at 10o'clock on the morning of the 14th; and, while resting for a few hours ere we crossed, whether it was in order to cross over the wagon trains, artillery, &c., I cannot say, but just as we were moving out to cross the river, were attacked by a squad of cavalry, which caused some detention. Then, all being quiet, I moved off, as directed, toward the river, but ere I had gone more that 300 yards, I was ordered by General Heth to take the brigade back to the support of those who were acting as rear guard;and, having done so, I took a position on the right of the center, which point appeared to be threatened, but was immediately ordered by General Heth to form the brigade on the extreme left; and having formed the brigade, as directed, by moving there in quick time (being informed that that point was threatened), I found the men were quiet exhausted from pressure of heat, want of sleep, want of food, and the fatigue of marching; and at this very moment I fount the troops on our right giving way, whereupon I sent Lieutenant [John D.] Young , acting as aide-de-camp, to rally them, which he did after some time. Then I was ordered to join on their right, and, while making a move to this effect, ere we had come to the top of the hill on which they were, I rode forward, and saw the whole line in full retreat some 200 or 300 yards, to my rear; the enemy were pursuing, and directly between me and the bridge.
The move, I understand since, was made by order, but I received no such orders, in consequence of which I was cut off. But I filed directly to the rear, and struck the river some three-quarters of a mile above the bridge, and then marched down the river; but the enemy had penetrated the woods, and struck the river between us and the bridge, and so cut off many of our men who were unwilling to try to pass, and captured many more who failed from mere exhaustion; so in this unfortunate circumstance we lost nearly 200 men.
Scales's troops were saved from capture by the defensive stand of Pettigrew's brigade, during which General Pettigrew was mortally wounded. Pettigrew's men crossed the river around noon, just before the bridge was cut. Thus ended Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania. Losses of the 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops during the campaign were officially reported as 20 men killed and 69 wounded.
When the Federal army crossed into Virginia in mid-July Lee moved his army east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. By August 4 the Army of Northern Virginia occupied the Rapidan River line, and the Federal army had take position on the Rappahannock River line. (General Cadmus M. Wilcox was assigned to command Pender's division after General Trimble was captured on July 3, and the 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops now belonged to Scales's brigade, Wilcox's division, Hill's corps. General Scales returned to duty after his wound healed and resumed command of the brigade.)
Information transcribed by Christopher J. Army:
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