Selected Reports From The Official Records

And Other Sources

List of Reports


General George Meade - Union Commander

General Warren, Chief Engineer

General Dan Sickles, Third Corps Commander

Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, Commander Twentieth Maine

General Henry J. Hunt, U. S. Army, Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac.

Captain Winfield Scott, Captain 126th New York Vol. Infantry.


General Robert E. Lee, Confederate Commander

General Meade's Official Report

Official Records of the Rebellion, page114 , Chapter XXXIX.

October 1, 1863.


I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the operations of this army during the month of July last, including the details of the battle of Gettysburg, delayed by the failure to receive until now the reports of several corps and division commanders, who were severely wounded in the battle. On June 28, I received the orders of the President of the United States placing me in command of the Army of the Potomac. The situation of affairs at that time was briefly as follows: The Confederate army, commanded by General R. E. Lee, estimated at over 100, 000 strong, of all arms, had crossed the Potomac River and advanced up the Cumberland Valley. Reliable intelligence placed his advance {Ewell's corps} on the Susquehanna, at Harrisburg and Columbia; Longstreet's corps at Chambersburg, and Hill's corps between that place and Cashtown.

My own army, of which the most recent return showed an aggregate of a little over 100, 000 was situated in and around Frederick, Maryland, extending from Harper's Ferry to the mouth of the Monocacy, and from Middletown to Frederick. June 28 was spent in ascertaining the position and strength of the different corps of the army, but principally in bringing up the cavalry, which had been covering the rear of the army in its passage over the Potomac, and to which a large increase had just been made from the forces previously attached to the Defenses of Washington.

Orders were given on that day to Major-General French, commanding at Harper's Ferry, to move with 7, 000 men of his command to occupy Frederick and the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and, with the balance of his force, estimated at 4, 000, to remove and escort the public property to Washington.

On the 20th, the army was put in motion, and on the evening of that day was in position, the left at Emmitsburg and the right at New Windsor. Buford's division of cavalry was on the left flank, with the advance at Gettysburg. Kilpatrick's division was in the front at Hanover, where he encountered this day General Stuart's Confederate cavalry, which had crossed the Potomac at Seneca Creek, and, passing our right flank, was making its way toward Carlisle, having escaped Gregg's division, delayed in taking position on the right flank by the occupation of the roads by columns of infantry.

On the 30th, the right flank of the army was moved up to Manchester, the left still being at Emmitsburg, in the vicinity of which place three corps {the First Eleventh, and Third} were collected, under the orders of Major-General Reynolds. General Buford having reported from Gettysburg the appearance of the enemy on the Cashtown road in some force, General Reynolds was directed to occupy Gettysburg.

On reaching that place on July 1, General Reynolds found Buford's cavalry warmly engaged with the enemy, who had debouched his infantry through the mountains on the Cashtown road, but was being held in check in the most gallant manner by Buford's cavalry. Major-General Reynolds immediately moved around the town of Gettysburg, and advanced on the Cashtown road, and without a moment's hesitation deployed his advanced division and attacked the enemy, at the same time sending orders for the Eleventh Corps {General Howard} to advance as promptly as possible. Soon after making his dispositions for the attack, Major-General Reynolds fell, mortally wounded, the command of the First Corps devolving on Major-General Doubleday, and the command of the field on Major-General Howard, who arrived about this time, 11. 30 a. m. , with the Eleventh Corps, then commanded by Major-General Schurz.

Major-General Howard pushed forward two divisions of the Eleventh Corps to the support of the First Corps, now warmly engaged with the enemy on the ridge to the north of the town, and posted his Third Division, with three batteries of artillery, on the Cemetery Ridge, on the south side of the town. Up to this time the battle had been with the forces of the enemy debouching from the mountains on the Cashtown road, known to be Hill's corps.

In the early part of the action, success was on our side, Wadsworth's division, of the First Corps, having driven the enemy back some distance, capturing numerous prisoners, among them General Archer, of the Confederate army. The arrival of re-enforcements for the enemy on the Cashtown road, and the junction of Ewell's corps, coming on the York and Harrisburg roads, which occurred between 1 and 2 p. m. enabled the enemy to bring vastly superior forces against both the First and Eleventh Corps, outflanking our line of battle, and pressing it so severely that about 4 p. m. Major-General Howard deemed it prudent to withdraw these two corps to the Cemetery Ridge, on the south side of the town, which operation was successfully accomplished; not, however, without considerable loss in prisoners, arising from the confusion incident to portions of both corps passing through the town, and the men getting confused in the streets.

About the time of this withdrawal, Major-General Hancock arrived, whom I had dispatched to represent me on the field, on hearing of the death of General Reynolds. In conjunction with Major-General Howard, General Hancock proceeded to post the troops on the Cemetery Ridge, and to repel an attack that the enemy made on our right flank. This attack was not, however, very vigorous, and the enemy, seeing the strength of the position occupied, seemed to be satisfied with the success he had accomplished, desisting from any further attack this day.

About 7 p. m. , Major-Generals Slocum and Sickles, with the twelfth Corps and part of the Third, reached the ground, and took post on the right and left of the troops previously posted. Being satisfied from the reports received from the field that it was the intention of the enemy to support with his whole army the attack already made, and the reports from Major-Generals Hancock and Howard on the character of the character of the position being favorable, I determined to give battle at this point; and, early in the evening of the 1st, issued orders to all the corps to concentrate at Gettysburg, directing all trains to be sent to the rear, at Westminster.

At 10 p. m. of the 1st, I broke up my headquarters, which until then had been at Taneytown, and proceeded to the field, arriving there at 1 a. m. of the 2d. So soon as it was light, I proceeded to inspect the position occupied, and to make arrangements for posting the several corps as they should reach the ground. By 7 a. m. the Second and Fifth Corps, with the rest of the Third, had reached the ground, and were posted as follows: The Eleventh Corps retained its position on the Cemetery Ridge, just opposite the town; the First Corps was posted on the right of the Eleventh, on an elevated knoll, connecting with a ridge extending to the south and east, on which the Twelfth Corps was placed, the right of the Twelfth Corps resting on a small stream at a point where it crossed the Baltimore pike, and which formed, on the right flank of the Twelfth, something of an obstacle.

The Cemetery Ridge extended in a westerly and southerly direction, gradually diminishing in elevation until it came to a very prominent ridge called Round Top, running east and west. The Second and Third Corps were directed to occupy the continuation of the Cemetery Ridge on the left of the Eleventh Corps. The Fifth Corps, pending the arrival of the Sixth, was held in reserve. While these dispositions were being mad, the enemy was massing his troops on an exterior ridge, distant from the line occupied by us from 1 mile to 1 1/2 miles. At 2 p. m. the Sixth Corps arrived, after a march of 32 miles, accomplished from 9 p. m. the day previous. On its arrival being reported, I immediately directed the Fifth Corps to move over to our extreme left, and the Sixth to occupy its place as a reserve for the right.

About 3 p. m. I rode out to the extreme left, to await the arrival of the Fifth Corps and to post it, when I found that Major-General Sickles, commanding the Third Corps, not fully apprehending the instructions in regard to the position to be occupied, had advanced, or rather was in the act of advancing, his corps some half a mile or three-quarters of a mile in front of the line of the Second Corps, on the prolongation of which it was designed his corps should rest. Having found Major-General Sickles, I was explaining to him that he was too far in advance, and discussing with him the propriety of withdrawing, when the enemy opened on him with several batteries in his front and on his flank, and immediately brought forward columns of infantry and made a most vigorous assault.

The Third Corps sustained the shock most heroically. Troops from the Second Corps were immediately sent by Major-General Hancock to cover the right flank of the Third Corps, and soon after the assault commenced the Fifth Corps most fortunately arrived and took position on the left of the Third, Major-General Sykes, commanding, immediately sending a force to occupy the Round Top Ridge, where a most furious contest was maintained, the enemy making desperate but unsuccessful efforts to secure it. Notwithstanding the stubborn resistance of the Third Corps, under Major-General Birney {Major-General Sickles having been wounded early in the action}, the superiority of numbers of the enemy enabling him to outflank the corps in its advanced position, General Birney was compelled to fall back and reform behind the line originally designed to be held.

In the meantime, perceiving the great exertions of the enemy, the Sixth Corps, Major-General Sedgwick, and part of the First Corps {to the command of which I had assigned Major-General Newton}, particularly Lockwood's Maryland brigade, together with detachments from the Second Corps, were all brought up at different periods, and succeeded, together with the gallant resistance of the Fifth Corps, in checking and finally repulsing the assault of the enemy, who retired in confusion and disorder about sunset, and ceased any further efforts on the extreme left. An assault was, however, made about 8 p. m. on the Eleventh Corps from the left of the town, which was repelled, with the assistance of troops from the Second and First Corps. During the heavy assault upon our extreme left, portions of the Twelfth Corps were sent as re-enforcements. During their absence, the line on the extreme right was held by a very much reduced force. This was taken advantage of by the enemy, who, during the absence of Geary's division of the Twelfth Corps, advanced and occupied a part of his line.

On the morning of the 3d, General Geary {having returned during the night} attacked at early dawn the enemy, and succeeded in driving him back and reoccupying his former position. A spirited contest was, however, maintained all the morning along this part of the line, General Geary, re-enforced by Wheaton's brigade, Sixth Corps, maintaining his position, and inflicting very severe losses on the enemy. With this exception, the quiet of the lines remained undisturbed till 1 p. m. on the 3d, when the enemy opened from over one hundred and twenty-five guns, playing upon our center and left. This cannonade continued for over two hours, when our guns, in obedience to my orders, failing to make any reply, the enemy ceased firing, and soon his masses of infantry became visible, forming for an assault on our left and left center. The assault was made with great firmness, directed principally against the point occupied by the Second Corps, and was repelled with equal firmness by the troops of that corps, supported by Doubleday's division and Stannard's brigade of the First Corps.

During the assault, both Major-General Hancock, commanding the left center, and Brigadier-General Gibbon, commanding Second Corps, were severely wounded. This terminated the battle, the enemy retiring to his lines, leaving the field strewn with his dead and wounded, and numerous prisoners in our hands. Buford's division of cavalry, after its arduous service at Gettysburg on the 1st, was on the 2nd sent to Westminster to refit and guard our trains. Kilpatrick's division, that the 29th, 30th, and 1st had been successfully engaging the enemy's cavalry, was on the 3rd sent on our extreme left, on the Emmitsburg road, where good service was rendered in assaulting the enemy's line and occupying his attention.

At the same time, General Gregg was engaged with the enemy on our extreme right, having passed across the Baltimore pike and Bonaugh-town road, and boldly attacked the enemy's left and rear. On the morning of the 4th, reconnaissances developed that the enemy had drawn back his left flank, but maintained his position in front of our left, apparently assuming a new line parallel to the mountains. On the morning of the 5th, it was ascertained the enemy was in full retreat by the Fairfield and Cashtown roads. The Sixth Corps was immediately sent in pursuit on the Fairfield road, and the carry on the Cashtown road and by the Emmitsburg and Monterey Passes.

July 5 and 6 were employed in succoring the wounded and burying the dead. Major-General Sedgwick, commanding the Sixth Corps, having pushed the pursuit of the enemy as far as the Fairfield Pass, in the mountains, and reporting that the pass was a very strong one, in which a small force of the enemy could hold in check and delay for a considerable time any pursuing force, I determined to follow the enemy by a flank movement, and, accordingly, leaving McIntosh's brigade of cavalry and Neill's brigade of infantry to continue harassing the enemy, put the army in motion for Middletown, Md. Orders were immediately sent to Major-General French at Frederick to reoccupy Harper's Ferry and send a force to occupy Turner's Pass, in South Mountain. I subsequently ascertained Major-General French had not only anticipated these orders in part, but had pushed a cavalry force to Williamsport and Falling Waters, where they destroyed the enemy's pontoon bridge and captured it guard. Buford was at the same time sent to Williamsport and Hagerstown.

The duty above assigned to the cavalry was most successfully accomplished, the enemy being greatly harassed, his trains destroyed, and many captures of guns and prisoners made. After halting a day at Middletown to procure necessary supplies and bring up the trains, the army moved through the South Mountain, and by July 12 was in front of the enemy, who occupied a strong positions on the heights of Marsh Run, in advance of Williamsport. In taking this position, several skirmishes and affairs had been had with the enemy, principally by the cavalry and the Eleventh and Sixth Corps. The 13th was occupied in reconnaissances of the enemy's position and preparations for attack, but, on advancing on the morning of the 14th, it was ascertained he had retired the night previous by a bridge at Falling Waters and the ford at Williamsport.

The cavalry in pursuit overtook the rear guard at Falling Waters, capturing two guns and numerous prisoner. Previous to the retreat of the enemy, Gregg's division of cavalry was crossed at Charlestown and Shepherdstown, had a spirited contest, in which the enemy was driven to Martinsburg and Winchester and pressed and harassed in his retreat. The pursuit was resumed by a flank movement, the army crossing the Potomac at Berlin and moving down the Loudown Valley. The cavalry were immediately pushed into the several passes of the Blue Ridge, and, having learned from scouts the withdrawal of the Confederate army from the lower valley of the Shenandoah, the army, the Third Corps, Major-General French, in advance, was moved into the Manassas Gap, in the hope of being able to intercept a portion of the enemy.

The possession of the gap was disputed so successfully as to enable the rear guard to withdraw by way of Strasburg, the Confederate army retiring to the Rapidan. A position was taken with this army on the line of the Rappahannock, and the campaign terminated about the close of July. The result of the campaign may be briefly stated in the defeat of the enemy at Gettysburg, his compulsory evacuation of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and withdrawal from the upper valley of the Shenandoah, and in the capture of 3 guns, 41 standards, and 13, 621 prisoners; 24, 978 small-arms were collected on the battle-field. Our own losses were very severe, amounting, as will be seen by the accompanying return, to 2, 834 killed, 13709 [13, 713] wounded, and 6, 643 missing; in all, 23, 186 [23, 190].

It is impossible in a report of this nature to enumerate all the instances of gallantry and good conduct which distinguished such a hard-fought field as Gettysburg. The reports of corps commanders and their subordinates, herewith submitted, will furnish all information upon this subject. I will only add my tribute to the heroic bravery of the whole army, officers and men, which, under the blessing of Divine Providence, enabled a crowning victory to be obtained, which I feel confident the country will never cease to bear in grateful remembrance.

It is my duty, as well as my pleasure, to call attention to the earnest efforts of cooperation on the part of Maj. General D. N. Couch, commanding Department of the Susquehanna, and particularly to his advance, 4, 000 men, under Brig. General W. F. Smith, who joined me at Boonsborough just prior to the withdrawal of the Confederate army.

In conclusion, I desire to return my thanks to my staff, general and personal, to each and all of whom I was indebted for unremitting activity and most efficient assistance. Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

GEO. G. MEADE, Major-General, Commanding.


GENERAL: I transmit herewith the report of Brig. General T. H. Ruger, commanding First Division, Twelfth Army Corps, and those of his brigade and regimental commanders, of the operations of his division at the battle of Gettysburg. These reports were only recently received by me, owing to General Ruger being detached with a large portion of his command not long after the battle, and soon after his return the corps was ordered to Tennessee. I beg these reports may be placed on file as part of my official report of that battle. I embrace this opportunity to make certain correction and alterations in my report, to which my attention has been called by Major-General Slocum. These alterations are as follows:

1. In relating the occurrences of July 2, I state: In the meantime, perceiving the great exertions on the part of the enemy, the Sixth Corps {Major-General Sedgwick}, and part of the First Corps {to the command of which I had assigned Major-General Newton}, particularly Lockwood's Maryland brigade, together with detachments from the Second Corps, were all brought up, &c.

This should read:

In the meantime, perceiving the great exertions on the part of the enemy, the Sixth Corps {Major-General Sedgwick}, and part of the First Corps {to the command of which corps I had assigned Major-General Newton}, together with detachments from the Second Corps, were all brought up. Subsequently the First Division and Lockwood's brigade, of the Twelfth Corps, under the immediate command of Brigadier General A. S. Williams, the temporarily commanding the corps, arrived at the scene of action, the services of Lockwood's brigade being particularly mentioned.

2. In relating the occurrences of July 3:

During the heavy assaults upon our extreme left, portions of the Twelfth Corps were sent as re-enforcements. During their absence, the line of the extreme right was held by a much-reduced force, and was taken advantage of by the enemy, who, during the absence of Geary's division, Twelfth Corps, advanced and occupied a part of the line. On the morning of the 3d, General Geary, having returned during the night, was attacked at early dawn by the enemy, but succeeded in driving him back and occupying his former position. A spirited contest was maintained all the morning along this part of the line. General Geary, re-enforced by Wheaton's brigade, Sixth Corps, maintained his position, inflicting severe losses on the enemy.

This should read:

During the heavy assaults upon our extreme left, the First Division and Lockwood's brigade, of the Twelfth Corps, were sent as re-enforcements, as already reported. Two brigades of Geary's division {Second, of this corps} were also detached for the same purpose, but did not arrive at the scene of action, owing to having mistaken the road. The detachment of so large a portion of the Twelfth Corps, with its temporary commander, Brigadier General A. S. Williams, left the defense of the line previously held to the remaining brigade of the Second Division, commanded by Brigadier-General Greene, who held the left of the Twelfth Corps, now become the extreme right of the army. The enemy, perceiving the withdrawal of our troops, advanced and attacked General Greene with great vigor, who, making a gallant defense, and being soon re-enforced by portions of the First and Eleventh Corps, contiguous to him, succeeded in repulsing all the efforts of the enemy to dislodge him.

After night, on the return of the detachments sent to the left, it was found the enemy was occupying portions of the line of breastworks thrown up by the Twelfth Corps. Brigadier-General Williams, in command, immediately made arrangements by the disposition of his artillery and instructions to both divisions, commanded, respectively, by Brigadier-Generals Geary and Ruger, to attack the enemy at daylight, and regain the position formerly occupied by the corps. In the meantime, the enemy brought up strong re-enforcements, and at early daylight a spirited contest commenced, which continued until after 10 a. m. , the result of which was the repulse of the enemy in all his attempts to advance and his final abandonment of the position he had taken the evening before. During this contest, Shaler's brigade, Sixth Corps, was sent to re-enforce the Twelfth Corps. With this exception, the lines remained undisturbed, &c. I should be glad, as an act of justice, if this communication could be published.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

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Historicus's Version

Writing under the pseudonym "Historicus", Dan Sickles set forth his version of the Battle of Gettysburg in a letter to the New York Herald, March 12, 1864

Official Records of the Rebellion, page127, Chapter XXXIX.


To the Editor of the Herald:

The battle of Gettysburg is the decisive battle of this war. It not only saved the North from invasion, but turned the tide of victory in our favor. The opinion of Europe on the failure of the rebellion dates from this great conflict. How essential, then, that its real history should be known. Up to this moment no clear narrative has appeared. The sketches of the press, the reports of Generals Halleck and Meade, and the oration of Mr. Everett, give only phases of this terrible struggle, and that not very correctly. To supply this hiatus, I send you a connected, and, I hope, lucid review of its main features. I have not ventured to touch on the thrilling incidents and affecting details of such a strife, but have confined myself to a succinct relation of its principal events and the actors therein. My only motive is to vindicate history, do honor to the fallen, and justice to the survivors when unfairly impeached.

General Meade took command of the Army of the Potomac on Sunday, the 28th of June, at Frederick, Md. On Monday, as he states, the army was put in motion, and by Tuesday night the right flank had reached Manchester and the left occupied Emmitsburg. General Buford's cavalry had advanced as far as Gettysburg, and reported that the Confederate army was debouching from the mountains, on the Cashtown road. Upon this intelligence, General Reynolds was ordered to advance on Gettysburg with the First and Eleventh Corps, which he reached early on the 1st of July, and found Buford's cavalry already engaged with the enemy-the corps of General Hill. Rapidly making his dispositions, General Reynolds joined in the conflict, and soon fell, mortally wounded. The command of the field then devolved on General Howard, of the Eleventh Corps, who maintained his position till about 2 p. m. , when the enemy was heavily re-enforced by the arrival of Ewell's corps.

The battle now raged fearfully, between Hill's and Ewell's corps on one side and the First and Eleventh Corps on the other, till about 4 p. m. , when General Howard was compelled to yield to the superior numbers of the enemy, and fall back {losing many prisoners-nearly 4, 000} to the south side of Gettysburg. His position was eminently critical, when, to the great relief of both the general and our valiant troops, a division of the Third Corps, under the immediate command of General Sickles, arrived, and the fighting for that day was at an end. It should be mentioned that the Third Corps was stationed at Emmitsburg, by order of General Meade, with a view to protect that important point; but information continuing to reach General Sickles that the First and Eleventh Corps were in great danger, he decided to assume the grave responsibility of moving to their relief without orders.

Leaving two brigades at Emmitsburg, he made a forced march of 10 miles, in spite of the heat and dust, in three hours, and had the satisfaction to be hailed by General Howard, on his reaching the field, with the flattering phrase, "Here you are, general, always reliable, always first, " a generous tribute from one soldier to another. General Slocum, of the Twelfth Corps, had arrived a short time before, but his corps was then some 4 miles distant. In the early part of the evening {Wednesday}, a conference of the leading generals took place, when some insisted on falling back toward Taneytown, while others urged the expediency of maintaining their present position as offering rare advantages for the inevitable and decisive contest that must occur on the following day. It appears that General Meade had issued a circular {of which I saw several copies} on the morning of Wednesday, July 1, to all his corps commanders, stating that his advance had accomplished all the objects contemplated, namely, the relief of Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and that he would now desist altogether from the offensive. He proposed to post the whole army in line of battle on Pipe Creek, the right flank resting on Manchester and the left on Middleburg, involving an entire change of front, and there await the movements of the enemy.

The position which General Meade had selected for the final struggle between the two armies was some 15 miles distant from Gettysburg, where fate willed that it should occur. Whether this important circular ordering him to fall back reached the lamented Reynolds before he became engaged at Gettysburg, it is difficult to say. It could not have failed to reach General Sickles; but he happily determined to push on to the rescue of the First and Eleventh Corps, already engaged. It is strange that General Meade should make no mention in his report of this singular and most important fact: that he issued a plan of campaign on Wednesday, July 1, directing his whole army to retire and take up the defensive on Pipe Creek almost at the moment that his left flank was fiercely struggling with the right wing of the enemy. This proves how often the plans of a general are frustrated by unlooked-for contingencies.

General Meade broke up his quarters at Taneytown, as he states, at 11 p. m. on Wednesday, and reached Gettysburg at 1 a. m. Thursday, July 2. Early in the morning he set to work examining the position of the various army corps. It is hardly true to say that he imitated the example of all prudent commanders on the eve of a battle, and made a complete survey of the ground he occupied. It was on these occasions that the genius of the first Napoleon revealed itself; for at a glance he saw the advantages of his own position and the assailable point of the enemy.

It seems that General Lee was somewhat more astute than Meade in this, for in his report he states what he deemed "the most favorable point" for his attack. "In front of General Longstreet: {opposite our left wing}, Lee remarks, " the enemy held a position from which, if he could be driven, it was thought our army could be used to advantage in assailing the more elevated ground beyond, and thus enable us to reach the crest of the ridge. That officer, then was directed to carry this position. " It is plain enough that Lee regarded the point where our left was posted as the key to our position, and if that could be taken from us our defeat was inevitable. It is not to be supposed that General Meade refused to see this; but as he makes no mention of it in his report, I propose, for the sake of the future historian of the battle, to tell what I know about it. Near this important ground was posted the valiant Third Corps, and its commander, General Sickles, saw at once how necessary it was to occupy the elevated ground in his front toward the Emmitsburg road, and to extend his lines to the commanding eminence known as the Round Top, or Sugar Loaf hill. Unless this were done, the left and rear of our army would be in the greatest danger. Sickles concluded that no time was to be lost, as he observed the enemy massing large bodies of troops on their right {our left}.

Receiving no orders, and filled with anxiety he reported in person to General Meade, and urged the advance he deemed so essential. "O, " said Meade, :generals are all apt to look for the attack to be made where they are. " Whether this was a jest or a sneer Sickles did not stop to consider, but begged Meade to go over the ground with him instantly; but the commander-in-chief declined this on account of other duties. Yielding, however, to the prolonged solicitations of Sickles, General Meade desired General Hunt, chief of artillery, to accompany Sickles, and report the result of their reconnaissance. Hunt concurred with Sickles as to the line to be occupied- the advance line from the left of the Second Corps to the Round Top hill-but he declined to give any orders until he had reported to General Meade remarking, however, that he {General Sickles} would doubtless receive orders immediately. Two p. m. came, and yet no orders. Why was this? Other orders than those expected by General Sickles were, it appears, in preparation at headquarters. It has since been stated, upon unquestionable authority, that General Meade had decided upon a retreat, and that an order to withdraw from the position held by our army was penned by his chief of staff, General Butterfield, though happily its promulgation never took place. This order is probably on record in the Adjutant-General's Office.

Meanwhile the enemy's columns were moving rapidly around to our left and rear. These facts were again reported to headquarters, but brought no response. Buford's cavalry had been massed on the left, covering that flank with outposts, and videttes were thrown forward on the Emmitsburg road. While awaiting the expected orders, Sickles made good use of his time in leveling all the fences and stone wall, so as to facilitate the movements of his troops and to favor the operations of the cavalry. What, then, was the surprise of Sickles to see of a sudden all the cavalry withdrawn leaving his flank entirely exposed! He sent an earnest remonstrance to General Meade, whose reply was that he did not intend to withdraw he cavalry, and that a part of this division {Buford's} should be sent back. It never returned.

Under these circumstances, Sickles threw forward three regiments of light troops as skirmishers and for outpost duty. The critical moment had now arrived. The enemy's movements indicated their purpose to seize the Round Top hill; and this in their possession, General Longstreet would have had easy work in cutting up our left wing. To prevent this disaster, Sickles waited no longer for orders from General Meade, but directed General Hobart Ward's brigade and Smith's battery {Fourth New York} to secure that vital position, and at the same time advancing his line of battle about 300 yards, so as to hold the crest in his front, he extended his left to support Ward an cover the threatened rear of the army. These dispositions were made in the very face of the enemy, who were advancing in columns of attack, and Sickles dreaded lest the conflict should open before his dispositions were completed. At this juncture he was summoned to report in person at headquarters, to attend a council of corps commanders. His preparations were of such moment and the attack so near, that General Sickles delayed attending the council, while giving all his attention to the carrying out of his orders. A second peremptory summons came from General Meade, and, leaving his unfinished task to the active supervision of General Birney and General Humphreys, Sickles rode off to the rear to headquarters. Before he had reached there, the sound of cannon announced that the battle had begun.

Hastening rapidly on, he was met by General Meade at the door of his quarters, who said, "General, I will not ask you to dismount; the enemy are engaging your front; the council is over. " It was an unfortunate moment, as it proved, for a council of war. Sickles, putting spurs to his horse, flew back to his command, and, finding that Graham's brigade was not advanced as far as he desired, he was pushing that brigade and a battery forward about 100 yards, when General Meade at length arrived on the field. The following colloquy ensued, which I gathered from several officers present:

"Are you not too much extended general?" said Meade. "Can you hold this front?"

"Yes, " replied Sickles, "until more troops are brought up; the enemy are attacking in force, and I shall need support. "

General Meade then let drop some remark showing that his mind was still wavering as to the extent of ground covered by the Third Corps.

Sickles replied, :General, I have received no orders. I have made these dispositions to the best of my judgment. Of course, I shall be happy to modify them according to your views. "

"No, " said Meade, "I will send you the Fifth Corps, and you may send for support from the Second Corps. "

"I shall need more artillery, " added Sickles.

"Send to the Artillery Reserve for all you want, " replied Meade; "I will direct General Hunt to send you all you ask for. "

The conference was then abruptly terminated by a heavy shower of shells, probably directed at the group, and General Meade rode off. Sickles received no further orders that day. There is no doubt, I may venture to add, that Sickles' line was too much extended for the number of troops under his command; but his great aim was to prevent the enemy getting between his flank and the Round top alluded to. This was worth the risk, in his opinion, of momentarily weakening his lines.

The contest now going on was of the most fierce and sanguinary description. The entire right wing of the enemy was concentrated on the devoted Third Corps; for the object of Lee, as he states, was "to carry" the ground which Sickles occupied, and which both generals evidently regarded as of the highest importance. While this terrific combat was raging on our left, Lee ordered Ewell "to attack" our right wing and Hill " to threaten" our center, both with the object, as he says in his report, to divert re-enforcement from reaching our left, which, as we have seen, Longstreet was "directed to carry. " Well may General Meade in his report say, "the Third Corps sustained the shock most heroically:" for they fought like lions, against tremendous odds, for nearly an hour before the Fifth Corps, under Sykes, came up, who was immediately put in position by General Sickles to the left of the Third Corps, and General Sykes was desired to relieve Ward's brigade and Smith's battery on the Round Top, and hold the line from thence to Birney's left {First Division, Third Corps}. Strange to say, this movement was not promptly carried out, and there was imminent danger of losing the Round Top, for Longstreet was making desperate exertions to "carry it. "

Fearing this result, Sickles sent orders to General Crawford, of the Fifth Corps, to re-enforce Ward's brigade; but he declined to move without orders from his own corps commander, Sykes; but Captain [Alexander] Moore, of Sickles' staff, at length overcame his scruples, and he reached the disputed point just in time to prevent its falling into the enemy's hands. Considering our force unequal to the exigency, Sickles called on the heroic troops of the Second Corps for support, and they gave it with a will. The struggle now became deadly. The columns of Longstreet charged with reckless fury upon our troops; but they were met with a valor and stern fortitude that defied their utmost effort.

An alarming incident, however, occurred. Barnes' division, of the Fifth Corps, suddenly gave way; and Sickles, seeing this, put a battery in position to check the enemy if he broke through this gap on our front, and General Birney was sent to order Barnes back into line. "No, " he said; "impossible. It is too hot. My men cannot stand it. Remonstrance was unavailing, and Sickles dispatched his aides to bring up any troops they met to fill this blank. Major [Henry E. ] Tremain, of his staff, fell in with General Zook, at the head of his brigade {Second Corps}, and this gallant officer instantly volunteered to take Barnes' place.

When they reached the ground, Barnes' disordered troops impeded the advance of the brigade. "If you can't get out of the way, " cried Zook, "lie down, and I will march over you. " Barnes ordered his men to lie down, and the chivalric Zook and his splendid brigade, under the personal direction of General Birney, did march over them and right into the breach. Alas! poor Zook soon fell, mortally wounded, and half of his brigade perished with him.

It was about this time-near 7 p. m. - that Sickels was struck by a cannon-ball that tore off his right leg, and he was borne from the field. It was now pretty clear that General Meade had awakened to the fact which he treated with such indifference when pressed on him by Sickles in the morning-that our left was the assailable point, if not the key to our position, for he began to pour in re-enforcement whose presence in the beginning of the action would have saved thousands of lives.

"Perceiving great exertions on the part of the enemy, " says Meade's report, " the Sixth Corps {Sedgwick's} and part of the First Corps {Newton's}, Lockwood's Maryland brigade, together with detachments from the Second Corps, were all brought up at different periods, and succeeded, together with the gallant resistance of the Fifth Corps, in checking and finally repulsing the assault of the enemy, who retired in confusion and disorder about sunset, and ceased any further effort. " If this remarkable concentration of troops was necessary, at last, to save the left of our army, it is almost incredible that the single corps of General Sickles was able to withstand the impetuous onset of Longstreet's legions for nearly an hour before any succor reached it.

On Friday, July 3, the enemy renewed their effort to carry out the original design of Lee by overthrowing our left wing, and Longstreet was re-enforced by Pickett's three brigades, and further supported by one division and two brigades from Hill's corps. In addition to this heavy mass of infantry, the entire artillery of the rebel army was concentrated against our left. After his oversight of the day before, it may be supposed that General Meade was better prepared to defend his left, and had made adequate preparations.

About 1 p. m. the enemy opened a furious cannonade upon our left and left center, which continued some two hours, with occasional responses from us. At about 3 p. m. the enemy moved forward in column, and once more essayed to carry our position on the left. It was during this conflict that General Hancock, commander of the Second Corps, a gallant soldier and accomplished office, was wounded by a musket-ball and obliged to retire. He contributed greatly by his energy and valor to the success of the day. Meanwhile our artillery opened with vigor, and inflicted great damage. After a severe and prolonged struggle, the enemy at length fell back, and abandoned the contest.

"Owing to the strength of the enemy's position, " says Lee's report, "and the reduction of our ammunition, a renewal of the engagement could not be hazarded. " Hence it is plain that our good fortune in preserving our position on the left gave us the victory at Gettysburg; and yet General Meade, no having sufficiently examined the ground before the battle, disregarded the repeated warnings of that sagacious officer, General Sickles, as well as the report of his own chief of artillery, General Hunt, who concurred in all the suggestions of the commander of the Third Corps.

Without meaning to injustice to General Meade, it must be admitted that his report of this great battle is at such variance with all the statements which have appeared in the press, that it is due not only to history, but to the indomitable prowess of our heroic army, that every fact sustained by concurrent testimony should be given in order to fully establish the truth. I reserve for any suitable occasion abundant documentary evidence to support the facts furnished. On Saturday, July 4, both armies continued to face each other during the entire day, without either manifesting a disposition to attack.

"The enemy, " says Meade, "drew back his left flank, but maintained his position in front of our left, " as if always conscious that our vulnerable point was there, and they were loth to retire from it. On the night of the 4th, Lee, finding his ammunition exhausted and his subsistence imperiled, decided to withdraw, and he began his retreat toward Williamsport, with 4, 000 of our prisoners and all his immense trains. On the morning of the 5th, this event became known, and General Meade dispatched the Sixth Corps in pursuit, together with some squadrons of cavalry.

"The 5th and 6th of July were employed, ' says Meade's report, 'in succoring the wounded and burying the dead. " The enemy made good use of all this precious time in pushing on toward Williamsport as rapidly as possible; and it was fortunate for them that detachments were not detailed for these solemn and affecting duties and that our whole army was not launched in prompt and eager pursuit. They were burdened with heavy trains filled with plunder, without ammunition, and woefully demoralized. Had the half of our army, flushed with success, fallen on them in flank or rear, or anywhere or anyhow, General Lee might have got across the Potomac, but his army never. "The trains, with the wounded and prisoners, " says Lee's report, "were compelled to await at Williamsport {about the 8th of July} the subsiding of the river and the construction of boats. as the enemy had not yet made his appearance. "

The rebel army must have trembled with anxiety lest the dreaded Yankees should heave in sight before they could escape over the swollen Potomac, which Providence seemed to have destined as the place of their surrender. It was not till the 12th of July that our army, too long delayed, came up; but, unfortunately, the enemy had nearly finished their preparations for flight. "An attack, " says Lee, "was awaited during that and the succeeding day. This did not take place, though the two armies were in close proximity. " General Meade in his report gives no explanation.

The press of the day stated that General Meade again held councils of war at this supreme moment, and that several of his general opposed falling on the crippled enemy. All we know is that Lee, having completed his preparations, slipped quietly over the river on the morning of the 14th. "The crossing was not completed until 1 p. m. , " says Lee, "when the bridge was removed. The enemy offered no serious interruption, and the movement was attended with no loss of material excepting a few disabled wagons and two pieces of artillery, which the horses were unable to drag through the deep mud. " I seems that General Meade and the recalcitrant members of the council of war finally made up their minds to attack.

"But on advancing on the morning of the 14th, " reports General Meade, "it was ascertained he [the enemy] had retired the night previous by the bridge at Falling Waters and the ford at Williamsport. " In striking confirmation of the sketch now given of this important battle, it may be interesting to quote a few brief extracts from the diary of a British officer who was a guest of General Lee during the campaign in Pennsylvania, and which was published in Blackwood's Magazine in September last. The writer was an eye-witness of the battle of Gettysburg, and the hearty praise he lavishes upon the Confederate troops and their generals shows that all his sympathies were with the South, and he takes no pains to conceal his prejudices against the North.

Speaking of the moment when the columns of Longstreet had been finally repulsed by our left on Friday afternoon, July 3, he says: "It is difficult to exaggerate the critical state of affairs as they appeared about this time. If the enemy or his general had shown any enterprise, there is no saying what might have happened. General Longstreet talked to me, " he narrates, "for a long time about the battle. The general said the mistake Lee had made was in not concentrating the army more and making the attack with 30, 000 men instead of 15, 000. It is impossible to avoid seeing, " adds the English officer, "that the cause of this check to the Confederates lies in their utter contempt for the enemy. " He continues: "Wagons, horses, mules, and cattle captured in Pennsylvania-the solid advantages of this campaign - have been passing slowly along this road {Fairfield} all day {July 4}. So interminable was this train that it soon became evident that we should not be able to start. As soon as it became dark, we all lay around a big fire, and I heard reports coming in from the different generals that the enemy was retiring, and had been doing so all day long. But this, of course, could make no difference to General Lee's plans. Ammunition he must have, as he had failed to capture it from the enemy according to precedent. Our progress, " he continues, "was naturally very slow, indeed, and we took eight hours to go as many miles. " I will close these extracts with the following graphic sketch of a "stampede" which occurred on Monday, July 6, about 7 p. m. , and which demonstrates most unequivocally the utter demoralization of the Confederate army. The writer states:

About 7 p. m. we rode through Hagerstown, in the streets of which were several dead horses and a few dead men. After proceeding about a mile beyond the town, we halted, and General Longstreet sent four cavalrymen up a lane, with directions to report everything they saw. We then dismounted and lay down. About ten minutes later {being nearly dark} we heard a sudden rush-a panic-and then a regular stampede commenced, in the midst of which I descried our four cavalry heroes crossing a field as fast as they could gallop. All was now complete confusion, officers mounting their horses and pursuing those which had got loose, and soldiers climbing over fences for protection against the supposed advancing Yankees. In the midst of the din, I heard an artillery officer shouting to his cannoneers to stand by him, and plant he guns in a proper position for enfilading the lane. I also distinguished Longstreet walking about, hustled by the excited crowd, and remarking in angry tones, which could scarcely be heard, and to which no attention was paid, "Now, you don't know what it is; you don't know what it is. " While the row confusion were at their height, the object of all this alarm at length emerged from the dark lane, in the shape of a domestic four-wheeled carriage, with a harmless load of females. The stampede had, however, spread, increased in the rear, and caused much harm and delay. It is to be hoped that the above narrative will be regarded as dispassionate, as it is meant to be impartial. Some slight errors may have crept in; but this may possibly stimulate others to come forward with a rectification. Had General Meade been more copious in his report and less reserved as to his own important acts, the necessity for this communication would not have existed.


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Washington, March 5, 1864

As soon as the assault was repulsed, I went immediately to the extreme left of my line, with the determination of advancing the left and making an assault upon the enemy's lines. So soon as I arrived at the left I gave the necessary orders for the pickets and skirmishers in front to be thrown forward to feel the enemy, and for all preparations to be made for the assault. The great length of the line, and the time required to carry these orders out to the front, and the movement subsequently made, before the report given to me of the condition of the forces in the front and left, caused it to be so late in the evening as to induce me to abandon the assault which I had contemplated.

The next day, which was the 4th of July, it was reported to me from the extreme right that the enemy had disappeared from our front, but that he still maintained his appearance on the left and the left centre. I immediately directed General Slocum, in command of the right, to advance his corps and his skirmishers, and ascertain the position of the enemy. i likewise directed General Howard, in the centre, to push into Gettysburg, to see whether the enemy still occupied that town. I found, from the reports of those officers, that the enemy had retired from the circular position which they had occupied around us, and had assumed a position about parallel to my left and left centre. It rained very violently during portions of this day, so violently as to interrupt any very active operations if I had designed making them.

During the night of the 4th, the enemy, as I ascertained on the 5th, retired through the Cashtown and Fairfield passes. So soon as I was positively satisfied, from the reports of my officers, that the enemy had actually retired, I directed General Sedgwick, in command of the 6th Corps, which corps had been comparatively unengaged during the battle, and was in full force and strength, to advance on the Fairfield road and pursue the enemy vigorously. At the same time I despatched a cavalry force to follow the retreating column on the Cashtown road, believing that the enemy was retiring into the Cumberland valley, and not satisfied that his further movements would be, not being satisfied that he was in full retreat for the Potomac, and not aware of what injury I had done him in the battle of Gettysburg, although satisfied that I had punished him very severely. From information which I had previously received of the character of the passes at Fairfield and Cashtown, having been informed that they had been fortified by the enemy, and that a small force could hold a large body in check for a considerable time, I made up my mind that a more rapid movement of my army could be made by the flank through the Boonsboro' Pass, than to attempt to follow the enemy on the road which he himself had taken. I therefore directed that orders should be prepared, but no issued, for the movement of the various corps by was of Middletown and South mountain towards Hagerstown. This was, I think, the 6th of July. The 5th of July, I think, was occupied, after the retreat of the enemy, in burying our dead and attending to the wounded, of which we had a large number.

During this day, the 6th, I received reports from General Sedgwick that he was following the enemy's rear guard as rapidly as he could, but that he had reason to believe, from reports of prisoners, or from other information (which I do not recollect) that the main body of the enemy was around and in the vicinity of Fairfield Pass, and that it was not impossible that another engagement might be had with the enemy, I directed that two corps, I think the 3rd and 5th- I am not positive about that - should be immediately moved in the direction of General Sedgwick, so as to be near him to assist him if he were attacked, or to re-enforce him if he himself requiredre-enforcement. When I had given this order I found that the other order, for the movement of the whole army, had not moved very far, and detained them to sustain General Sedgwick in case it was necessary. The other corps moved on.

During that day, towards evening or at night, I received a report from General Sedgwick that he had pushed the enemy's rear guard as far as Fairfield Pass; that the Fairfield Pass was a very strong position; that a very small force could hold him in check for a considerable time, though he could finally take it; and that, in his judgment, it would involve delay and waste of time to endeavor to push the enemy any further on that road. Upon receiving this information I directed the whole army to move down toward Middletown; and directed General Sedgwick to move from Fairfield pass in the direction of Emmettsburg, leaving a force of cavalry and infantry to harass the rear of the enemy.

I have been thus particular in speaking of these movements because a report has also reached me that I lost a day by having stopped these two corps to sustain and re-enforce General Sedgwick, in case he should require it.

After reaching Middletown, it having been reported to me by my corps commanders that there were many necessary articles of clothing and other supplies that the army were very much in want of, and having myself, as I rode along, seen, I may say hundreds of men walking over these broken turn pikes barefooted on these long marches, I deemed it my duty to remain at Middletown one day in order to obtain the necessary supplies, and put my army in condition, and give them some rest. I may say that it was not till the end of that day that the whole army had come up, of, in consequence of the heavy rains which as I have already stated, visited us on the 4th of July...

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Official Records of The Rebellion, [Chapter XXXIX, page 459

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 1, 1863-12 m.

(Copy received, War Department, 5 p. m. )



From information received, the commanding general is satisfied that the object of the movement of the army in this direction has been accomplished, viz, the relief of Harrisburg, and the prevention of the enemy's intended invasion of Philadelphia, &c. , beyond the Susquehanna. It is no longer his intention to assume the offensive until the enemy's movements or position should render such an operation certain of success.

If the enemy assume the offensive, and attack, it is his intention, after holding them in check sufficiently long, to withdraw the trains and other impedimenta; to withdraw the army from its present position, and form line of battle with the left resting in the neighborhood of Middleburg, and the right at Manchester, the general direction being that of Pipe Creek.

For this purpose, General Reynolds, in command of the left, will withdraw the force at present at Gettysburg, two corps by the road to Taneytown and Westminster, and, after crossing Pipe Creek, deploy toward Middleburg. The corps at Emmitsburg will be withdrawn, via Mechanicsville, to Middleburg, or, if a more direct route can be found leaving Taneytown to their left, to withdraw direct to Middleburg. General Slocum will assume command of the two corps at Hanover ant Two Taverns, and withdraw them, via Union Mills, deploying one to the right and one to the left, after crossing Pipe Creek, connecting on the left with General Reynolds, and communicating his right to General Sedgwick at Manchester, who will connect with him and form the right.

The time for falling back can only be developed by circumstances. Whenever such circumstances arise as would seem to indicate the necessity for falling back and assuming this general line indicated, notice of such movement will be at once communicated to these HEADQUARTERS and to all adjoining corps commanders. The Second Corps now at Taneytown will be held in reserve in the vicinity of Uniontown and Frizellburg, to be thrown to the point of strongest attack, should the enemy make it. In the event of these movements being necessary, the trains and impedimenta will all be sent to the rear of Westminster. Corps commanders, with their officers commanding artillery and the divisions, should make themselves thoroughly familiar with the country indicated, all the roads and positions, so that no possible confusion can ensue, and that the movement, if made, be done with good order, precision, and care, without loss or any detriment to the morale of the troops. The commanders of corps are requested to communicate at once the nature of their present positions, and their ability to hold them in case of any sudden attack at any point by the enemy.

This order is communicated, that a general plan, perfectly understood by all, may be had for receiving attack, if made in strong force, upon any portion of our present position. Developments may cause the commanding general to assume the offensive from his present positions.

The Artillery Reserve will, in the event of the general movement indicated, move to the rear of Frizellburg, and be placed in position, or sent to corps, as circumstances may require, under the general supervision of the chief of artillery. the chief quartermaster will, in case of the general movement indicated, give directions for the orderly and proper position of the trains in rear of Westminster.

All the trains will keep well to the right of the road in moving, and, in case of any accident requiring a halt, the team must be hauled out of the line, and not delay the movements. The trains ordered to Union Bridge in these events will be sent to Westminster. General HEADQUARTERS will be, in case of this movement, at Frizellburg; General Slocum as near Union Mills as the line will render best for him; General Reynolds at or near the road from Taneytown to Frizellburg.

The chief of artillery will examine the line, and select positions for artillery. The cavalry will be held on the right and left flanks after the movement is completed. Previous to its completion, it will, as now directed, cover the front and exterior lines, well out. The commands must be prepared for a movement, and, in the event of the enemy attacking us on the ground indicated herein, to follow up any repulse.

The chief signal officer will examine the line thoroughly, and at once, upon the commencement of this movement, extend telegraphic communication from each of the following points to general HEADQUARTERS near Frizelburg, viz, Manchester, Union Mills, Middleburg, ant the Taneytown road.

All true Union people should be advised to harass and annoy the enemy in every way, to send in information, and taught how to do it; giving regiments by number of colors, number of guns, generals' names, &c. All their supplies brought to us will be paid for, and not fall into the enemy's hands. Roads and ways to move to the right or left of the general line should be studied and thoroughly understood. All movements of troops should be concealed, and our dispositions kept from the enemy. Their knowledge of these dispositions would be fatal to our success, and the greatest care must be taken to prevent such an occurrence.

By command of Major- General Meade:

Assistant Adjutant-General.



So much of the instructions contained in the circular of this date, just sent to you, as relates to the withdrawal of the corps at Emmitsburg should read as follows: The corps at Emmitsburg should be withdrawn, via Mechanicstown, to Middleburg, or, if a more direct route can be found leaving Taneytown to the left, to withdraw direct to Middleburg. Please correct the circular accordingly. By command of Major-General Meade:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

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Washington, March 9, 1864

Question. That battle lasted for three days, I believe?

Answer. Yes Sir.

Question. Were any councils of war held during that engagement?

Answer. There was not held what I should call a council of war. The officers met together, but merely for the purpose of explaining to each other how things stood.

Question. Were you present at those consultations?

Answer. I was part of the time. A great many of the officers slept in the same house. I knew what the opinion of all the officers was. I talked with nearly all of them. and everybody was for fighting it out; there was no necessity for any council. General Meade had so arranged his troops on out left during the third day that nearly one-half of the army was in reserve in that position. It was a good sheltered position, and a convenient one from which to re-enforce other parts of the line; and when the repulse of the enemy took place on that day, General Meade intended to move forward all the forces he could get in line and assault the enemy in turn. He ordered an advance of the 5th corps, but it was carried on so slowly that it did not amount to much, if anything.

Question. who commanded that corps?

Answer. General Sykes. Instead of advancing the whole of the 5th corps, I believe only about one brigade was advanced.

Question. What was the condition of our army after the final repulse of the enemy; were our men much fatigued and discouraged, or were they in good spirits?

Answer. They were in splendid spirits; they were not fatigued then. Those three days had been days of rest for the most of them; but we ha lost a great many of our most spirited officers. General Reynolds was dead, and General Hancock was wounded and carried to the rear.

Question. General Sickles was also wounded and carried off?

Answer. Yes, sir; and many officers of lower rank, but relatively of as much importance as they were, were killed or wounded. We were very much shattered in that respect; and there was a tone amongst most of the prominent officers that we had quite saved the country for the time, and that we had done enough; that we might jeopard all that we had won by trying to do too much.

Question. Do you know of any council of war held after the final repulse of the enemy?

Yes, sir; I think there was a talk that night about what to do.

Question. What was the opinion and decision of that council?

Answer. I am not certain whether there was a council of war before the night of the 4th of July. It is my impression that there was no council until the night of the 4th. On the morning of the 4th General Meade ordered demonstrations on front of our line, but they were very feebly made; and when the officers met together that evening to report the state of things in their front, there was so little definitely known as to the position an designs of the enemy that after some consultation they determined, I believe, to try and find out something before they did move. I know that was the result. I made the offer that night that if they would give command of a division by 8 o'clock the next morning, I would tell them whether the enemy was retreating or not. It was not even known whether the enemy was retreating or not. On the morning of the 5th I went out with the 6th corps. General Meade gave orders for a division of the 6th corps to go with me, and for the whole corps to follow if I wanted.

Question. Are you certain there was no council of war held on the evening of the second day of the battle?

Answer. I do not know that there was; not what I would call a council of war. i think it probable that General Meade asked the opinion of all his officers about what they though of their position.

Question. But you do not remember anything like a definite council, and a vote in that council?

Answer. No, sir; but a part of that evening I was asleep, being very tired, as we all were, of course. We were all in the same house together.

Question. Go on with your narrative of the way you got down to Williamsport.

Answer. We were considerably delayed in starting; but we found out that the enemy had gone, and we followed them up with the 6th corps to Fairfield. General Meade, during the day issued orders for the whole army to move towards Frederick. On the evening of the 4th of July there was a discussion of the question whether we should move right after the enemy through the mountains, or move toward Frederick; that question was not decided, for the reason that we did not know enough about the enemy; and to have gone off the battle-field before the enemy did would have been giving up the victory to them. And then, if the enemy had gone, it was a question which way to go after him. To go right after him was a good way in one respect; but then we had to get all our provisions from Frederick.

Question. You remained at Gettysburg two days after the battle was fought before your [you] pursued much?

Answer. We commenced the pursuit with the 6th corps on the 5th of July, and on the 6th a large portion of the army moved towards Emmettsburg, and all that was left followed the next day. On July 7th the headquarters were at Frederick. On July 8th headquarters were at Middletown, and nearly all the army was concentrated in the neighborhood of that place and South mountain. On July 9th headquarters were at South Mountain House, and the advance of the army at Boonsboro' and Rohresville. On July 10th the headquarters were move to Antietam creek; the left of the line crossed the creek, and the right of the line moved up near Funkstown. On the 11th of July the engineers put a new bridge over the Antietam creek; the left of the line advanced to Fairplay and Jones' Crossroads, while the right remained nearly stationary. In my opinion we should have fought the enemy the next morning, July 12thh.

Question. Was there a council of war held about that time?

Answer. I think there was.

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Report of Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, Twentieth Maine Infantry. FIELD NEAR EMMITSBURG,

July 6, 1863.


In compliance with the request of the colonel commanding the brigade, I have the honor to submit a somewhat detailed report of the operations of the Twentieth Regiment Maine Volunteers in the battle of Gettysburg, on the 2nd and 3rd instant. Having acted as the advance guard, made necessary by the proximity of the enemy's cavalry, on the march of the day before, my command on reaching Hanover, Pal. , just before sunset on that day, were much worn, and lost no time in getting ready for an expected bivouac. Rations were scarcely issued, and the men about preparing supper, when rumors that the enemy had been encountered that day near Gettysburg absorbed every other interest, and very soon orders came to march forthwith to Gettysburg. My men moved out with a promptitude and spirit extraordinary, the cheers and welcome they received on the road adding to their enthusiasm. After an hour or two of sleep by the roadside just before day break, we reached the heights southeasterly of Gettysburg at about 7 a. m. , July 2.

Massed at first with the rest of the division on the right of the road, we were moved several times farther toward the left. Although expecting every moment to be put into action and held strictly in line of battle, yet the men were able to take some rest and make the most of their rations. Somewhere near 4 p. m. a sharp cannonade, at some distance to our left and front, was the signal for a sudden and rapid movement of our whole division in the direction of this firing, which grew warmer as we approached. Passing an open field in the hollow ground in which some of our batteries were going into position, our brigade reached the skirt of a piece of woods, in the farther edge of which there was a heavy musketry fire, and when about to go forward into line we received from Colonel Vincent, commanding the brigade, orders to move to the left at the double-quick, when we took a farm road crossing Plum Run in order to gain a rugged mountain spur called Granite Spur, or Little Round Top.

The enemy's artillery got range of our column as we were climbing the spur, and the crashing of the shells among the rocks and the tree tops made us move lively along the crest. One or two shells burst in our ranks. Passing to the southern slope of Little Round Top, Colonel Vincent indicated to me the ground my regiment was to occupy, informing me that this was the extreme left of our general line, and that a desperate attack was expected in order to turn that position, concluding by telling me I was to "hold that ground at all hazards. "This was the last word I heard from him.

In order to commence by making my right firm, I formed my regiment on the right into line, giving such direction to the line as should best secure the advantage of the rough, rocky, and straglingly wooded ground. The line faced generally toward a more conspicuous eminence southwest of ours, which is known as Sugar Loaf, or Round Top. Between this and my position intervened a smooth and thinly wooded hollow. My line formed, I immediately detached Company B, Captain Morrill commanding, to extend from my left flank across this hollow as a line of skirmishers, with directions to act as occasion might dictate, to prevent a surprise on my exposed flank and rear.

The artillery fire on our position had meanwhile been constant and heavy, but my formation was scarcely complete when the artillery was replaced by a vigorous infantry assault upon the center of our brigade to my right, but it very soon involved the right of my regiment and gradually extended along my entire front. The action was quite sharp and at close quarters. In the midst of this, an officer from my center informed me that some important movement of the enemy was going on in his front, beyond that of the line with which we were engaged. Mounting a large rock, I was able to see a considerable body of the enemy moving by the flank in rear of their line engaged, and passing from the direction of the foot of Great Round Top through the valley toward the front of my left. The close engagement not allowing any change of front, I immediately stretched my regiment to the left, by taking intervals by the left flank, and at the same time "refusing" my left wing, so that it was nearly at right angles with my right, thus occupying about twice the extent of our ordinary front, some of the companies being brought into single rank when the nature of the ground gave sufficient strength or shelter. My officers and men understood my wishes so well that this movement was executed under fire, the right wing keeping up fire, without giving the enemy any occasion to seize or even to suspect their advantage.

But we were not a moment too soon; the enemy's flanking column having gained their desired direction, burst upon my left, where they evidently had expected an unguarded flank, with great demonstration. We opened a brisk fire at closes range, which was so sudden and effective that they soon fell back among the rocks and low trees in the valley, only to burst forth again with a shout, and rapidly advanced, firing as they came.

They pushed up to within a dozen yards of us before the terrible effectiveness of our fire compelled them to break and take shelter. They renewed the assault on our whole front, and for an hour the fighting was severe. Squads of the enemy broke through our line in several places, and the fight was literally hand to hand. The edge of the fight rolled backward and forward like a wave. The dead and wounded were now in our front and then in our rear. Forced from our position, we desperately recovered it, and pushed the enemy down to the foot of the slope. The intervals of the struggle were seized to remove our wounded (and those of the enemy also), to gather ammunition from the cartridge-boxes of disabled friend or foe on the field, and even to secure better muskets than the Enfields, which we found did not stand service well. Rude shelters were thrown up of the loose rocks that covered the ground. Captain Woodward, commanding the Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, on my right, gallantly maintaining his fight, judiciously and with hearty co-operation made his movements conform to my necessities, so that my right was at no time exposed to a flank attack.

The enemy seemed to have gathered all their energies for their final assault. We had gotten our thin line into as good a shape as possible, when a strong force emerged from the scrub wood in the valley, as well as I could judge, in two lines in echelon by the right, and, opening a heavy fire, the first line came on as if they meant to sweep everything before them. We opened on them as well as we could with our scanty ammunition snatched from the field. It did not seem possible to withstand another shock like this now coming on. Our loss had been severe. One-half of my left wing had fallen, and a third of my regiment lay just behind us, dead or badly wounded. At this moment my anxiety was increased by a great roar of musketry in my rear, on the farther or northerly slope of Little Round Top, apparently on the flank of the regular brigade, which was in support of Hazletts battery on the crest behind us. The bullets from this attack struck into my left rear, and I feared that the enemy might have nearly surrounded the Little Round Top, and only a desperate chance was left for us.

My ammunition was soon exhausted. My men were firing their last shot and getting ready to "club" their muskets. It was imperative to strike before we were struck by this overwhelming force in a hand-to-hand fight, which we could not probably have withstood or survived. At that crisis, I ordered the bayonet. The word was enough. It ran like fire along the line, from man to man, and rose into a shout, with which they sprang forward upon the enemy, now not 30 yards away. The effect was surprising; many of the enemy's first line threw down their arms and surrendered. An officer fired his pistol at my head with one hand, while he handed me his sword with the other. Holding fast by our right, and swinging forward our left, we made an extended "right wheel, " before which the enemy's second line broke and fell back, fighting from tree to tree, many being captured, until we had swept the valley and cleared the front of nearly our entire brigade.

Meantime Captain Morrill with his skirmishers (sent out from my left flank), with some dozen or fifteen of the U. S. Sharpshooters who had put themselves under his direction, fell upon the enemy as they were breaking, and by his demonstrations, as well as his well-directed fire, added much to the effect of the charge. Having thus cleared the valley and driven the enemy up the western slope of the Great Round Top, not wishing to press so far out as to hazard the ground I was to hold by leaving it exposed to a sudden rush of the enemy, I succeeded (although with some effort to stop my men, who declared they were "on the road to Richmond") in getting the regiment into good order and resuming our original position. Four hundred prisoners, including two field and several line officers, were sent to the rear. These were mainly from the Fifteenth and Forty-seventh Alabama Regiments, with some of the Fourth and Fifth Texas. One hundred and fifty of the enemy were found killed and wounded in our front.

At dusk, Colonel Rice informed me of the fall of Colonel Vincent, which had devolved the command of the brigade on him, and that Colonel Fisher had come up with a brigade to our support. These troops were massed in our rear. It was the understanding, as Colonel Rice informed me, that Colonel Fishers brigade was to advance and seize the western slope of Great Round Top, where the enemy had shortly before been driven. But, after considerable delay, this intention for some reason was not carried into execution. We were apprehensive that if the enemy were allowed to strengthen himself in that position, he would have a great advantage in renewing the attack on us at daylight or before. Colonel Rice then directed me to make the movement to seize that crest.

It was now 9 p. m. Without waiting to get ammunition, but trusting in part to the very circumstance of not exposing our movement or our small front by firing, and with bayonets fixed, the little handful of 200 men pressed up the mountain side in very extended order, as the steep and jagged surface of the ground compelled. We heard squads of the enemy falling back before us, and, when near the crest, we met a scattering and uncertain fire, which caused us the great loss of the gallant Lieutenant Linscott, who fell, mortally wounded. In the silent advance in the darkness we laid hold of 25 prisoners, among them a staff officer of General [E. M. ] Law, commanding the brigade immediately opposed to us during the fight. Reaching the crest, and reconnoitering the ground, I placed the men in a strong position among the rocks, and informed Colonel Rice, requesting also ammunition and some support to our right, which was very near the enemy, their movements and words even being now distinctly heard by us.

Some confusion soon after resulted from the attempt of some regiment of Colonel Fishers brigade to come to our support. They had found a wood road up the mountain, which brought then on my right flank, and also in proximity to the enemy, massed a little below. Hearing their approach, and thinking a movement from that quarter could only be from the enemy, I made disposition to receive them as such. In the confusion which attended the attempt to form them in support of my right, the enemy opened a brisk fire, which disconcerted my efforts to form them and disheartened the supports themselves, so that I saw no more of them that night. Feeling somewhat insecure in this isolated position, I sent in for the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, which came speedily, followed by the Forty-fourth New York, and, having seen these well posted, I sent a strong picket to the front, with instructions to report to me every half hour during the night, and allowed the rest of my men to sleep on their arms.

At some time about midnight, two regiments of Colonel Fishers brigade came up the mountain beyond my left, and took position near the summit; but as the enemy did not threaten from that direction, I made no effort to connect with them. We went into the fight with 386, all told-358 guns. Every pioneer and musician who could carry a musket went into the ranks. Even the sick and foot-sore, who could not keep up in the march, came up as soon as they could find their regiments, and took their places in line of battle, while it was battle, indeed. Some prisoners I had under guard, under sentence of Court-Martial, I was obliged to put into the fight, and they bore their part well, for which I shall recommend a commutation of their sentence. The loss, so far as I can ascertain it, is 136-30 of whom were killed, and among the wounded are many mortally. Captain Billings, Lieutenant Kendall, and Lieutenant Linscott are officers whose loss we deeply mourn-efficient soldiers, and pure and high-minded men.

In such an engagement there were many incidents of heroism and noble character which should have place even in an official report; but, under present circumstances, I am unable to do justice to them. I will say of that regiment that the resolution, courage, and heroic fortitude which enabled us to withstand so formidable an attack have happily led to so conspicuous a result that they may safely trust to history to record their merits.

About noon on the 3rd of July, we were withdrawn, and formed on the right of the brigade, in the front edge of a piece of woods near the left center of our main line of battle, where we were held in readiness to support our troops, then receiving the severe attack of the afternoon of that day.

On the 4th, we made a reconnaissance to the front, to ascertain the movements of the enemy, but finding that they had retired, at least beyond Willoughby's Run, we returned to Little Round Top, where we buried our dead in the place where we had laid them during the fight, marking each grave by a head-board made of ammunition boxes, with each dead soldiers name cut upon it. We also buried 50 of the enemy's dead in front of our position of July 2. We then looked after our wounded, whom I had taken the responsibility of putting into the houses of citizens in the vicinity of Little Round Top, and, on the morning of the 5th, took up our march on the Emmitsburg road.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Twentieth Maine Volunteers.

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July 3rd Artillery Action - from the Report of Brigadier General Henry Hunt

September 27, 1863. ....On the evening of July 2, a portion of Slocum's corps (the Second) [Twelfth], which formed the right of our line, was sent to re-enforce the left. During its absence, the enemy took possession of a portion of the line in the woods, and it was resolved to drive him out at daylight. Knapp's battery (E, Pennsylvania, six 10-pounders) was placed on the hill known as Slocum's headquarters, and near the Baltimore pike, and Winegar's battery (M, First New York, four 10-pounders) at a short distance east of it. these batteries overlooked and commanded the ground vacated by the corps. At 1 a. m. of the 3d, Muhlenberg's ( F, Fourth United States, six 12-pounders) and Kinzie's ( K, Fifth United States, four 12-pounders) batteries were posted opposite the center of the line of the Twelfth Corps, so as to command the ravine formed by Rock Creek. At 4. 30. a. m. these batteries opened, and fired without intermission for fifteen minutes into the wood, at a range of from 600 to 800 yards.

Soon after daylight, Rigby's battery (A, Maryland, six 3-inch) was also placed on the hill, and at 5. 30. a. m. all the batteries opened, and continued firing at intervals until 10 a. m., when the infantry succeeded in driving out the enemy and reoccupied their position of the day before. In this work the artillery rendered good service.

At our center, on and near Cemetery Hill, the batteries were in position very nearly the same as on the previous day. Those outside of the cemetery gate and north of the Baltimore pike, under the command of Colonel Wainwright, First New York Artillery, were, from right to left: Stevens'(Fifth Maine, six 12-pounders), Reynolds' (L, First New York, four 3-inch), Ricketts' (F, First Pennsylvania, six 3-inch)-which had relieved Cooper's (B, First Pennsylvania, four 3-inch) the night before-- Wiedrich's (I, First New York, four 3-inch), and Stewart's (B, Fourth United States, four 12-pounders). The batteries south of the pike, and under command of Major Osborn, first New York, Artillery, were: Dilger's (I, First Ohio, six 12-pounders), Bancroft's (G, Fourth United States, six 12-pounders), Eakin's (H, First United States, six 12-pounders), Wheeler's (Thirteenth New York, three 3-inch), Hill's(C, First West Virginia, four 10-pounders), and Taft's (Fifth New York, six 20-pounders).

On the left of the cemetery the batteries of the Second Corps were in line on the crest occupied by their corps in the following order, from right to left: Woodruff's (I, First United States, six 12-pounders), Arnold's (A, First Rhode Island, six 3-inch), Cushing's (A, Fourth United States, six 3-inch), Brown's (B, first Rhode Island, four 12-pounders), and Rorty's (B, First New York, four 10- pounders), all under command of Captain Hazard, chief of artillery.

Next on the left of the artillery of the Second Corps were stationed Thomas' battery(C, Fourth United States, six 12-pounders), and on his left Major McGilvery's command, consisting of Thompson's (C and F, Pennsylvania, five 3-inch), Phillips' (Fifth Massachusetts, six 3-inch), Hart's (Fifteenth New York, four 12-pounders), Sterling's (Second Connecticut, four James and two howitzers), Rank's section (two 3-inch), Dow's (Sixth Maine, four 12-pounders), and Ames' (G, First New York, six 12-pounders), all of the Artillery reserve, to which was added, soon after the cannonade commenced, Cooper's battery (B, First Pennsylvania, four 3-inch), of the First Corps.

On our extreme left, occupying the position of the day before, were Gibbs' (L, First Ohio, six 12-pounders) and Rittenhouse's (late Hazlett's, D, Fifth United States, six 10-pounders) batteries. Gibbs' was, however, too distant from the enemy's position for 12-pounders, and was not used during the day, although under fire. Rittenhouse was in an excellent position for the service of his rifled guns, on the top of Round Top. We had thus on the western crest line seventy-five guns, which could be aided by a few of those on Cemetery Hill.

There was but little firing during the morning. At 10 a. m. I made an inspection of the whole line, ascertaining that all the batteries-only those of our right serving with the Twelfth Corps being engaged at the time-were in good condition and well supplied with ammunition. As the enemy was evidently increasing his artillery force in front of our left, I gave instructions to the batteries and to the chiefs of artillery not to fire at small bodies, nor to allow their fire to be drawn without promise of adequate results; to watch the enemy closely, and when he opened to concentrate the fire of their guns on one battery at a time until it was silenced; under all circumstances to fire deliberately, and to husband their ammunition as much as possible.

I had just finished my inspection, and was with Lieutenant Rittenhouse on the top of Round Top, when the enemy opened, at about 1 p. m. along his whole right, a furious cannonade on the left of our line. I estimated the number of his guns bearing on our west front at from one hundred to one hundred and twenty. I have since seen it stated by the enemy's correspondents that there were sixty guns from Longstreet's, and fifty-five from Hill's corps, making one hundred and fifteen in all. To oppose these we could not, from our restricted position, bring more than eighty to reply effectively. Our fire was well withheld until the first burst was over, excepting from the extreme right and left of our positions. It was then opened deliberately and with excellent effect.

As soon as the nature of the enemy's attack was made clear, and I could form an opinion as to the number of his guns, for which my positions afforded great facility, I went to the park of the Artillery Reserve, and ordered all the batteries to be ready to move at a moment's notice, and hastened to report to the commanding general, but found he had left his headquarters. I then proceeded along the line, to observe the effects of the cannonade and to replace such batteries as should become disabled. About 2. 30 p. m. , finding our ammunition running low and that it was very unsafe to bring up loads of it, a number of caissons and limbers having been exploded, I directed that the fire should be gradually stopped, which was done, and the enemy soon slackened his fire also. I then sent orders for such batteries as were necessary to replace exhausted ones, and all that were disposable were sent me.

About 3 p. m. , and soon after the enemy's fire had ceased, he formed a column of attack in the edge of the woods in front of the Second Corps. At this time Fitzhugh's (K, First New York, six 3-inch), Parsons' (A, First New Jersey, six 10-pounders), and Cowan's (First New York, six 3-inch), Parsons' (A, First New Jersey, six 10-pounders), Weir's (C, fifth United States, six 12-pounders), and Cowan's(First New York Independent, six 3-inch) batteries reached this point , and were put in position in front of the advancing enemy. I rode down to McGilvery's batteries, and directed them to take the enemy in flank as they approached.

The enemy advanced magnificently, unshaken by the shot and shell which tore through his ranks from his front and from our left. The batteries of the Second Corps on our right, having nearly exhausted their supply of ammunition , except canister, were compelled to withhold their fire until the enemy, who approached in three lines, came within its range. when our canister fire and musketry were opened upon them, it occasioned disorder, but still they advanced gallantly until they reached the stone wall behind which our troops lay. Here ensued a desperate conflict, the enemy succeeding in passing the wall and entering our lines, causing great destruction of line, specially among the batteries. Infantry troops were, however, advanced from our right; the rear line of the enemy broke, and the others, who had fought with a gallantry that excited the admiration of our troops, found themselves cut off and compelled to surrender.

As soon as their fate was evident, the enemy opened his batteries upon the masses of our troops at this point without regard to the presence of his own. Toward the close of this struggle, Rorty's (B, First New York, four 10-pounders), Arnold's (A, First Rhode Island, six #-inch), and Cushing's (A, Fourth United States, six 3-inch) batteries, which had lost heavily in men and horses, were withdrawn, and as soon as the affair was over their places were filled with fresh ones. Soon the necessary measures had been taken to restore this portion of the line to an efficient condition. It required but a few minutes, as the batteries, as fast as withdrawn from any point, were sent to the Artillery Reserve, replenished with ammunition, reorganized, returned to the rear of the lines, and there awaited assignment. I then went to the left, to see that proper measurers had been taken there for the same object.

On my way, I saw that the enemy was forming a second column of attack to his right of the point where the first was formed, and in front of the position of the First Corps (Newton's). I gave instructions to the artillery, under command of Major McGilvery, to be ready to meet the first movements of the enemy in front, and, returning to the position of the Second Corps, directed the batteries there, mostly belonging to the Artillery Reserve, to take the enemy in flank as he advanced. When the enemy moved, these orders were well executed, and before he reached our line he was brought to a stand. The appearance of a body of infantry moving down in front of our lines from the direction of the Second Corps caused the enemy to move off by his right flank, under cover of the woods and undergrowth, and, a few minutes after, the column had broken up, and in the utmost confusion the men of which it was composed fled across the ground over which they had just before advanced, and took refuge behind their batteries.

The attack on the part of the enemy were not well managed. Their artillery fire was too much dispersed, and failed to produce the intended effect. It was, however, so severe and so well sustained that it put to the test, and fully proved, the discipline and excellence of our troops. The two assaults, had they been simultaneous, would have divided our artillery fire. As it was, each attack was met by a heavy front and flank fire of our artillery, the batteries which met the enemy directly in front in one assault taking him in flank in the other.

The losses of the artillery on this day, and especially in the assault on the Second Corps, were very large. The loss in officers was 3 killed, 2 mortally and 9 severely wounded. Killed: Captain J. M. Rorty, B, First New York; Lieutenant A. H. Cushing, Fourth United States; Lieutenant G. A. Woodruff, First United States (mortally wounded); Lieutenant J. S. Milne, First Rhode Island; Lieutenant A. H. Whitaker, Ninth Massachusetts (wounded severely); Captain J. Bigelow, Ninth Massachusetts: Lieutenant A. S. Sheldon, B. First New York; Lieutenant H. H. Baldwin Fifth United States; Lieutenant J. McGilvery, Fourth United States; Lieutenant R. C. Hazlett, Fourth Pennsylvania Battery; Lieut J. Stephenson, Fourth Pennsylvania Battery; Lieutenant H. D. Scott, Battery E. Massachusetts; Lieutenant W. P. Wright, First New York Battery; Lieutenant W. H. Jonson, First New York Battery.

Captain Rorty, who had taken command of his battery but three days before, fell, fighting, at his guns. Lieutenants Cushing and Woodruff belonged to a class of young officers who, although of the lowest commissioned rank, have gained distinguished army reputation. The destruction of material was large. The enemy's cannonade, in which he must have almost exhausted his ammunition, was well sustained, and cost us a great many horses or carriages. The enemy's superiority in the number of guns was fully matched by the superior accuracy of ours, and a personal inspection of the line he occupied, made on the 5th, enables me to state with certainly that his losses in material in this artillery combat were equal to ours, while the marks of the shot in the trees on both crests bear conclusive evidence of the superiority of our practice.

This struggle closed the battle, and the night of the 3d, like the previous one, was devoted to repairs and reorganization. A large number of batteries had been so reduced in men and horses that many guns and carriages, after completing the outfit of those which remained with the army, were sent to the rear and turned in to the ordnance department. ...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Return To


Official Report of Robert E. Lee

Official Records of the Rebellion, page 299 , Chapter XXXIX.


Near Gettysburg , Pa. , July 4, 1863.


After the rear of the army had crossed the Potomac , leading corps, under General Ewell , pushed on to Carlisle and York , passing through Chambersburg . The other two corps closed up at the latter place , and soon afterward intelligence was received that the army of General Hooker was advancing . Our whole force was directed to concentrate at Gettysburg , and the corps of Generals Ewell and A. P. Hill reached that place on the 1st July the former advancing from Carlisle and the latter from Chambersburg . The two leading divisions of these corps , upon reaching the vicinity of Gettysburg , found the enemy , and attacked him , driving him from the town , which was occupied by our troops . The enemy's loss was heavy , including more , than 4, 00 prisoners. He took up a strong position in rear of the town , which he immediately began to fortify , and where his re-enforcements joined him .

On the 2nd July , Longstreet's corps , with the exception of one division , having arrived, we attempted to dislodge the enemy , and , though we gained some ground , we were unable to get possession of his position . The next day, the third division of General Longstreet having come up , a more extensive attack was made. The works on the enemy's extreme right and left were taken , but his numbers were so great and his position so commanding , that our troops were compelled to relinquish their advantage and retire.

It is believed that the enemy suffered severely in these operations , but our own loss has not bee light. General Barksdale is killed . Generals Garnett and Armistead are missing a prisoner . Generals Pender and Trimble are wounded in the leg, General Hood in the arm , and General Heth slightly in the head . General Kemper, it is feared , is mortally wounded . Our losses embrace many other valuable officers and men . General Wade Hampton was severely wounded in a different action a in which the cavalry was engaged yesterday .

Very respectfully , your obedient servant, R. E. LEE, General.

His Excellency President DAVIS , Richmond. HAGERSTOWN, July 7, 1863. Mr. PRESIDENT :

My letter of the 4th instant will have informed you of the unsuccessful issue of our final attack on the enemy in the rear of Gettysburg . Finding the position too strong to be carried, and , being much hindered in collecting necessary supplies for the army, by the numerous bodies of local and other troops which watched the passes , I determined to withdraw to the west side of the mountains . This has been safely accomplished with great labor , and the army is now in the vicinity of this place .

One of my reason for moving in this direction , after crossing the mountains , was to protect our trains with the sick and wounded , which had been sent back to Williamsport , and which were threatened by the enemy's cavalry . Our advance reached here yesterday afternoon in time to support our cavalry in repulsing an attempt of the enemy to reach our trains . Before leaving Gettysburg , such of the sick and wounded as could be removed were sent back to Williamsport , but the trains that have interfered so much with our general movements have so swollen the Potomac as to render it unfordable , and they are still on the north side. Arrangements are being made to ferry them across to- day. We captured at Gettysburg about 6, 000 prisoners, besides the wounded that remained in our hands after the engagements of the 1st and 2d. Fifteen hundred of these prisoners and the wounded were paroled, bud I suppose that under the late arrangements these paroles will not be regarded. The rest have been sent to Williamsport, where they will cross. We were obliged to leave a large number of our wounded who were unable to travel, and many arms that had been collected on the field at Gettysburg.

In addition to the general officers killed or wounded, of whom I sent you a list in my former letter, I have to mention General Semmes, General G. T. Anderson, Pettigrew, and General J. M. Jones, wounded; General Archer was made prisoner. General Heth is again in command. In sending back our trains in advance, that of General Ewell was cut the enemy's cavalry, and a number of wagon, said to be about 40 were captured. The enemy's cavalry force, which attempt to reach our cavalry trains yesterday afternoon, was a large one. They came as far as Hagerstown, where they were attacked by General Stuart, and driven back rapidly toward Sharpsburg. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General.


President Confederate States


Near Hagerstown, Md. , July 8, 1863. MR PRESIDENT:

My letter of yesterday will have informed you of the position of this army. Though reduced in numbers by the hardships and battles `trough which it has passed since leaving the Rappahannock, its condition is good, and its confidence unimpaired. Upon crossing the Potomac into Maryland, I had calculated upon the river remaining fordable during the summer, so as to enable me to recross at my pleasure, but a series of storms, commencing the day after our entrance into Maryland, has placed the river beyond fording stage , and the present storm will keep it so for at least week. I shall , therefore , have to accept battle if the enemy offers it, whether I wish to or not , and as the result is in the hands of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, and known to Him only, I deem it prudent to make every arrangement in our power to meet any emergency that may arise.

From information gathered from the papers, I believe that the troops from North Carolina and the coast of Virginia , under Generals Foster and Dix, have been ordered to the Potomac , and that recently additional re-enforcement have been sent from the coast of South Carolina Banks. If I am correct in my opinion , this will liberate most of the troops in those regions, and should Your Excellency have not already done so , I earnestly that all that can be spared be concentrated on the Upper Rappahannock , under General Beauregard , with directions to cross that river and make a demonstration upon Washington . This command will answer the double purpose of affording protection to the capital at Richmond and relieving the pressure upon this army.

I hope Your Excellency will understand that I am not in the least discouraged , or that my faith in the protection of an all-merciful Providence , or in the fortitude of this army is at all shaken . But, though conscious that the enemy has been much shattered in the recent battle , I am aware that he can be easily re-enforced , while no addition can be made to our numbers . The measure , therefore , that I have recommended is altogether one of a prudential nature. I am , most respectfully , your obedient servant, R. E. LEE, General .

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS , President , &c.

P. S. - I see it stated in a letter from the special correspondent of the New York Times that a bearer of dispatches from Your Excellency to myself was captured at Hagerstown on the 2nd July , and the dispatched are said to be of the greatest importance , and to have a great bearing on " coming events . " I have thought proper to mention this , that you may know whether it is so. -


July 10, 1863.


Since my letter of the 8th instant , nothing of importance , in a military point of view , has transpired . The Potomac continues to be past fording , and , owing to the rapidity of the stream , and the limited we have for crossing , the prisoners and wounded are not yet over. I hope they will be able to cross to-day . I have not received any definite intelligence of the movements or designs of the enemy . A scout that a column which followed us across the mountain has reached Waynesborough, Pa. , and other bodies are reported as moving by way of Fredericksburg from Emmitsburg , as if approaching in this direction . If these reports be correct , it would appear to be intention of the enemy to deliver battle , and we have no alternative but to accept it if offered . The army is in good condition , and we have a good supply of ammunition , The supply of flour is affected by the highs waters , which interfere with the working of the mills.

With the blessing of Heaven , I trust that the courage and fortitude of the army will be found sufficient to relieve us from the embarrassment caused by the unlooked-for natural difficulties of our situation , if not to secure valuable and substantial results. Very respectfully , your obedient servant, R. E. LEE, General.


President Confederate States. -



July 11, 1863.

After along and trying marches , endured with the fortitude that has ever characterized the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia , you have penetrated the country of our enemies , and recalled to the defense of their own soil those who were engaged in the invasion of ours. You have fought a fierce and sanguinary battle , which , if not attended with the success that has hitherto crowned your efforts , was marked by the same heroic spirit that has commanded the respect of your enemies , the gratitude of your country , and the admiration of mankind.

Once more you are called to meet the army from which you have own on so many fields a mane that will never die. Once more the eyes of your countrymen , are turned upon you , and again do wives and sisters , fathers , mothers , and helpless children lean for defense on your strong arms and brave hearts . Let every soldier remember that on his courage and fidelity depends all that makes life worth having-the freedom of his country , the honor of his people , and the security of his home .

Let each heart grown strong in the remembrance of your glorious past , and in the thought of the inestimable blessing for which we contend , and invoking the assistance of that Divine Power which has so signally blessed our former efforts let us go forth in confidence to secure the peace and safety of your country . Soldiers ! your old enemy is before you ! . Win from him honors worthy of your righteous cause -worthy of your comrades dead on so many illustrious fields. R. E. LEE, General -


, July 12, 1863.


I have nothing of moment to add to what I have said in my letter of the 10th. So far , everything goes well. The army is in good condition , and occupies a strong position , covering the Potomac from Williamsport to Falling Waters. The enemy seems to be collecting his forces in the Valley of the Antietam , his main body from Boonsborough to Sharpsburg . But for the power he possesses of accumulating troops , I should be willing to await his attack , excepting that in our restricted limits the means of obtaining subsistence are becoming precarious.

The river has now fallen to 4 feet , and a bridge , which is being constructed , I hope will be passable by to-morrow . Should the river continue to subside , our communication with the south bank will be open to-morrow . Had the late unexpected rise not occured , there would have been no cause for anxiety , as it would have been in my power to recross the Potomac on my first reaching it without molestation . Everything would have been accomplished that could have been reasonably expected - the Army of the Potomac would have been thrown north of that river , the forces invading the coast of North Carolina and Virginia diminished , their plan of the present campaign broken up, and , before new arrangements could have been made for its resumption , the summer would have been ended .

I still trust that a kind Providence will cause all things work together for our good. Very respectfully , your obedient servant, R. E. LEE, General

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS ,

President Confederate States .


Bunker Hill, Va. , July 16, 1863.


I have received your letter of the 12th instant , and thank you for the kind terms you speak of the army , and for your consideration of myself . I inclose a copy of my letter of the 7th instant , which failed to reach you . The army is encamped around this place , where we shall rest today. The men are in good health and spirits , but want shoes and clothing badly. I have sent back to endeavor to procure a supply of both , and also horseshoes , for want of which nearly our cavalry is unserviceable . As soon as these articles are obtained, we shall be prepared to resume operations .

I shall not need the pontoon train now , as the boats used at Falling Waters have been brought away , excepting the new ones constructed by us , which were too heavy and too large for transportation . I have accordingly ordered the train of which you speak to come no farther. The attack on the coast may have been caused by the information contained in the captured letter. I think that all these demonstrations of the enemy are designed to retain troops from the field , and while he must be resisted s force kept at threatened points sufficient to secure them , we should endeavor to avoid being misled as to his numbers and real intentions , and thus enable him to accomplish his purpose I do not know that I shall need any more troops here, and they had better be kept in front of Richmond , to secure it from attack and protect our railroads.

I learn that the enemy has thrown a pontoon bridge over the Potomac at Harper's Ferry . Should he follow us in this direction , I shall lead him up the Valley , and endeavor to attack him as far from his base as possible . I share in Your Excellency's regret for the fall of Vicksburg . It will be necessary for us to endeavor to select some point on the Mississippi , and fortify it strongly , so that it may be held by a small garrison , which could be supplied with ammunition and provisions, to enable it to stand a siege , thus leaving as many troops as possible free to operate against the enemy. I think that in this way a land attack against such position as we may select can be prevented .

I am , with great respect , Your Excellency's obedient servant ,

R. E. LEE,

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General S. COOPER, Adjt. and Insp. Gen. , C. S. Army , Richmond , Va. -


GENERAL : I forwarded to-day my report of the late campaign of this army in Maryland and Pennsylvania , together will those of the corps , and other commanders, as far as they have been received . General Longstreet's list of casualties , and the reports of his subordinate officers , shall be sent as soon as they can be obtained from him .

I also forward the report of the medical director , and some other documents mentioned in the accompanying schedule . With reference the former , I would remark that it is necessarily imperfect , for reasons stated in my report . The actual casualties and the number of missing can only be learned from there reports of the commanding officers , and it should be borne in mind that they usually embrace all the slightly wounded , even such as remain on duty , under the impression , commonly entertained , that the loss sustained is a measure of the service performed and the danger incurred. I also inclose a map of the routes of the army , and one of the lines at Hagerstown and Williamsport. That of the battle-field of Gettysburg shall be forwarded as soon as completed .

Very respectfully , your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,


[Inclosure . ]


GENERAL : I have the honor the submit a detailed report of the operations of this army from the time it left the vicinity of Fredericksburg , early in June , to its occupation of l the line of the Rapidan in August .

Upon the retreat of the Federal Army , commanded by Major-General Hooker , from Chancellorsville , it reoccupied the ground north of the Rappahannock , opposite Fredericksburg , where it could not be attacked excepting at a disadvantage .

It was determines to draw it from this position , and , if practicable , to transfer the scene of hostilities beyond the Potomac . The execution of this purpose also embraced the expulsion of the force under General Milroy , which had infested the lower Shenandoah Valley , during the proceeding winter and spring . If unable to attain the valuable results which might be expected to follow a decided advantage grain over the enemy in Maryland or Pennsylvania , it was hoped that we should at least so far disturb his plan for the summer campaigns as top prevent its execution during the season of active operations .

The command of Longstreet and Ewell were pout in motion , and encamped around Culpeper Court-House June 7. As soon as their march was discovered by the enemy , he threw a force across the Rappahannock , about 2 miles below Fredericksburg , apparently for the purpose of observation . Hill's corps was left to watch these troops , with instructions to follow the movements of the army as soon as they should retire.

The cavalry , under General Stuart , which had been concentrated near Culpeper Court-House , was attacked on June 9 by a large force of Federal cavalry , supported by infantry , which crossed the Rappahannock at Beverly and Kelley's Fords . After a severe engagement , which continued from early in the morning until late in the afternoon , the enemy was complied to recross the river with heavy loss , leaving about 500 prisoners, 3 pieces of artillery , and several colors in our hands .

General Imboden and General Jenkins had been ordered to cooperate in the projected expedition into they Valley, General Imboden by moving toward Romney with his command , to prevent the troops guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from the re-enforcing those at Winchester , m while General Jenkins advanced directly toward the latter place with his cavalry brigade , supported by a battalion of infantry and a battery of the Maryland Line.

General Ewell left Culpeper Court-House on June 10. He crossed the branches of the Shennandoah near Front Royal , and reached Cedarville on the 12th, where he was joined by General Jenkins . Detaching General Rodes with his division , and the greater part of Jenkin's brigade, to dislodge a force of the enemy stationed at Beryville , General Ewell , with the rest of his command , moved upon Winchester , Johnson's division by the Front Royal road , Early's by the Valley turnpike , which it entered at Newton , where it was joined by the Maryland troops .

The enemy was driven in on both roads, and our troops halted in line of battle near the town on the evening of the 13th. The same day the force which had occupied Berryville retreated to Winchester on the approach of General Rodes The following morning , General Ewell ordered General Early to carry an entrenched position northwest of Winchester , near the Youngstown road, which the latter officer, upon examining the ground would command the principal fortifications.

To cover the movement of General Early , General Johnson took position between the roads to Millwood and that Berryville , and advanced his skirmishers toward the town . General Early , leaving a portion of his command to engage the enemy's attention , with the about 5 p. m. , twenty pieces of artillery , under Lieut. Col. H. P. Jones opened suddenly upon the intrechments . The enemy's guns were soon silenced . Hays brigade then advanced to the assault , and carried the works by storm , capturing six rifled pieces , tow of which were turned upon and dispersed a column which was forming to retake the position .

The enemy immediately abandoned the works on the left of those taken by Hays , and retired into his main fortifications , which General Early prepared to assail in the morning . The loss of the advanced works , however , rendered the officers untenable , and the enemy retreated in the night , abandoning his sick and wounded , together with his artillery , wagons , and stores . Anticipating such a movements , as soon as he heard of Early's success, General Ewell directed General Johnson to occupy , with part of his command a point on the Martinsburg road , about 2 and 1/2 miles from Winchester , where he could either intercept the enemy's retreat , or aid in an attack should further resistance be offered in the morning. General Jonson marched with Nichols ' and part of Steuart's brigade s, accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel [R. S. ]Andrews with a detachment of his artillery , the Stonewall Brigade being ordered to follow . Finding the road to the palace indicated by General Ewell difficult of passage in the darkness , General Johnson pursued that leading by Jordan Springs to Shephenson's Depot , where he took a favorable position on the Martinsburg road , about 5 miles from Winchester . Just as his line was formed , the retreating column , consisting of the main body of General Milroy's army , arrived , and immediately attacked him .

The enemy, though in superior force , consisting of both infantry and cavalry , was gallantly repulsed , and , finding all efforts to cut his way unavailing, he sent strong flanking parties simultaneously to the right and left , still keeping up a heavy fire in front , The partly on the right was driven back and pursued by the Stonewall Brigade , which opportunely arrived . That on the left and dispersed by the Second and tenth Louisiana Regiments, aided by the artillery , and in short time nearly the whole infantry force, amounting to more than 2, 300 men , with eleven stands of colors , surrendered the cavalry along escaping . General Milroy, with a small of fugitives , fled to Harper's Ferry .

The number of prisoners taken in this action exceeded the force engaged under General Jonson , who speaks in terms of well-deserved praise of the conduct of the officers and men of his command .

In the meantime , General Rodes marched from Berryville to Martinsburg , reaching the latter place in the afternoon of the 14th . The enemy made a show of resistance, but soon gave way , the cavalry and artillery retreating toward Williamsport , the infantry toward Shepherdstown , under cover of night. The route taken by the latter was not known until it was too late to follow; but the former were pursued so rapidly, Jenkins' troops leading, that they were forced to abandon five of their six pieces of artillery. About 200 prisoners were taken, but the enemy destroyed most of his stores.

These operations resulted in the expulsion of the enemy from the Valley; the capture of 4, 000 prisoners, with a corresponding number of small-arms; 28 pieces of superior artillery, including those taken by General Rodes and Hays; about 300 wagons and as many horses, together with a considerable quantity of ordnance, commissary and quartermaster's stores. Our entire loss was 47 killed, 219 wounded, and 3 missing.

On the night of Ewell's appearance at Winchester, the enemy in front of A. P. Hill, at Fredericksburg, recrossed the Rappahannock, and the whole army of General Hooker withdrew from the north side of the river. In order to mislead him as to our intentions, and at the same time protect Hill's corps in its march up the Rappahannock, Longstreet left Culpeper Court-house on the 15th, and, advancing along the eastern side of the Blue Ridge , occupied Ashby's and Snicker's Gaps. He had been joined, while at Culpeper, by General Pickett, with three brigades of his division.

General Stuart, with three brigades of cavalry, moved on Longstreet's right, and took position in front of the Gaps. Hampton's and [William. E. ]Jone's brigades remained along the Rappahannock and Hazel Rivers, in front of Culpeper Court-House, with instructions to follow the main body as soon as Hill's corps had passed that point.

On the 17th, Fitz. Lee's brigade, under Colonel Munford, which was on the road to Sniker's Gap, was attacked near Aldie by the federal cavalry. The attack. was repulsed with loss and the brigade held its ground until ordered to fall back, its right being threatened by another body, coming from Hopewell toward Middleburg. The later force was driven from Middleburg, and pursued toward Hopewell by Robertson's brigade, which arrived about dark. Its retreat was intercepted by W. H. F. Lee's brigade, under Colonel Chambliss, jr. , and the greater part of a regiment captured.

During the three succeeding days there was much skirmishing, General Stuart taking a position west of Middleburg. where he awaited the rest of his command.

General Jone's arrived on the 19th, and General Hampton in the afternoon of the following day, having repulsed, on his march, cavalry force sent to reconnoiter in the direction of Warrenton. On the 21th, the enemy attacked infantry and cavalry, and obliged General Stuart, after a brave resistance, to fall back to the gaps of the mountains. The enemy retired the next day, having advanced only a short distance beyond Upperville.

In these engagements, the cavalry sustained a loss of 510 killed wounded, an missing. Among them were several valuable officers, whose names are mentioned in General Stuart's report. One piece of artillery was disabled and left on the field.

The enemy's loss was heavy. About 400 prisoners were taken and several stand of colors.

The Federal Army was apparently guarding the approaches to Washington, and manifested no disposition to assume the offensive. In the meantime, the progress of Ewell, who was already in Maryland, with Jenkin's cavalry advanced into Pennsylvania as far as Chambersburg, rendered it necessary that the rest of the army should be within supporting distance, and Hill having reached the Valley, Longstreet was withdrawn to the west side of the Shenandoah, and the two corps encamped near Berryville.

General Stuart was directed to hold the mountain passes with part of his command as long as the enemy remained south of the Potomac, and, with the remainder, to cross into Maryland , and place himself on the right of General Ewell. Upon the suggestion of the former officer that the could damage the enemy and delay his passage of the river by getting in his rear, he was authorized to do so, and it was left to his distraction whether to enter Maryland east or west of the Blue Ridge; but the was instructed to lose no time in placing his command on the right of our column as soon as he should perceive the enemy moving northward

On the 22d, General Ewell marched into Pennsylvania with Radiosonde Johnson's divisions' preceded by Jenkins' cavalry, taking the road from Hagerstown, through Chambersburg, to Carlisle, where he arrived on the 27th. Early's division, which had occupied Boonsbourgh, moved by a parallel road to Greenwood, and, in pursuance of instructions previously given to General Ewell, marched toward York. On the 24th, Longstreet and Hill were put in motion to follow Ewell, and on the 27th, encamped near Chambersburg.

General Imboden under the orders before to, had been operating on Ewell's left while latter was advancing into Maryland. He drove off the troops guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and destroyed all the important bridges on that route from Martinsburg to Cumberland, besides inflicting serious damage upon the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. He was at Hancock when Longstreet and Hill Chambersburg, and was directed to proceed to the latter place by way of McConnellsburg, collecting supplies for the army on his route.

The cavalry force at this time with the army, consisting of Jenkin's brigade and [E. V. ]White's battalion, was not greater than was required to accompany the advance of General Ewell and General Early, with whom it performed valuable service, as appears from their reports. It was expected that as soon as the Federal Army should cross the Potomac, General Stuart would give notice of its movements, and nothing having been heard from him since our entrance into Maryland, it was inferred that the enemy had not yet left Virginia. Orders were, therefore, issued to move upon Harrisburg. The expedition of General Early to York was designed in part to prepare for this undertaking by breaking the the railroad between Baltimore and Harrisburg, and seizing the bridge over the Susquehanna at Wrightsvilkle. General Early succeeded in the first object, destroying a number of bridges above and below York, but on the approach of the troops sent by him to Wrightsville, a body of militia stationed at that place fled across the river and burned the bridge in their retreat. General Early then marched to rejoin his corps. The advance against Harrisburg was by intelligence received from a scout on the night of the 28th, to the effect that the army of General Hooker had crossed the Potomac, and was impossible to ascertain his intentions; but to deter him from advancing father west, and intercepting our communications with Virginia, it was determined to concentrate the army east of the mountains.

Hill's corps was accordingly ordered to move toward Cashtown on the 29th, and Longstreet to follow the next day, leaving Pikket's division at Chambersburg to guard the rear until relieved by Imboden.

General Ewell was recalled from Carlise, and directed to join the army at Cashtown or Gettysburg as circumstances might require

The advance of the enemy to the latter place was unknown, and the weather being inclement, the march was conducted with view to the comfort of the troops.

Heth's division reached Cashtown on the 29th the following morning Pettigrew's brigade, sent by General Heth to procure supplies at Gettysburg, found it occupied by the enemy. Being ignorant of the extent of his force, General Pettigrew was unwilling to hazard an attack with his single brigade, and returned to Cashtown. General Hill arrived with Pender's division in the evening, and the following morning 9 July advanced with these two divisionis accompanied by Pegram's and McIntosh's battalions of artillery to ascertain the strength of the enemy, whose force was supposed to consist chiefly of cavalry.

The leading division under General Heth, found the enemy's vedettes about 3 miles west of Gettysburg, and continued to advance until within a mile of the town, when two brigades were sent forward to reconnoiter. They drove in the advance of the enemy very gallantly, but subsequently encountered largely superior numbers, and were compelled to retire with loss, Brigadier-General Archer, commanding of the brigades, being take prisoner.

General Heth then prepared for action, and as soon as Pender arrived to support him, was ordered by General Hill to advance. The artillery was placed in position, and the engagement opened with vigor. General Heth pressed the enemy steadily back, breaking his first and second lines, and attacking his third with great resolution. About 2:30p. m. the advance of Ewell's corps; consisting of Rodes division, With Carter's battalion of artillery, arrived by the Middletown road, and, forming on Heth's left, nearly at right angles with his line, became warmly engaged numbers of the enemy. Heth's troop shaving suffered heavily in their protracted contest with a superior force, were Heidlersburg road soon afterward, took position on the left of Rodes when a general advance was made.

The enemy gave way on all sides, and was driven trough Gettysburg with great loss. Major-General Reynolds, who was in command, was killed. More than 5, 000 prisoners, exclusive of a large number of wounded, three pieces artillery, and several colors were captured. Among the prisoners were two brigadier-generals, one of whom was badly wounded.

Our own loss was heavy including a number of officers. among whom were Major-General Heth, slightly, and Brigadier-General Scales, of Pender's division, severely, wounded.

The enemy retired to a range of Hills south of Gettysburg, where he displayed a strong force of infantry and artillery.

It was ascertained from the prisoners that we been engaged with two corps of the army formerly commanded by General hooker, and that the remainder of that army, under General Meade, was approaching Gettysburg. Without information as to its proximity, the strong position which the enemy had assumed could not be attacked without danger of exposing the four divisions present, already weakened and by a long and bloody struggle, to overwhelming numbers of fresh troops.

General Ewell was, therefore, instructed to carry the hill by the enemy, if he found it practicable, but to avoid a general engagement until the arrival of the other divisions of the army, which were ordered to hasten forward. He decided to await Johnson's division, which had marched from Carlisle by the road west of the mountains to guard the trains of his corps, and consequently did not reach Gettysburg until a late hour. In the meantime the enemy occupied the point which General Ewell designate to seize, but in what force could not be ascertained, owing to the darkness. An intercepted dispatch showed that another corps had halted that afternoon four miles from Gettysburg.

Under these circumstances, it was decided not to attack until the arrival of Longstreet, two of whose divisions(those of Hood and McLaws)encamped about 4 miles in the rear during the night. Anderson's division of Hill's corps came up after the engagement.

It had not been intended to deliver a general battle so far from our base unless attacked, but coming unexpectedly upon the whole Federal Army, to withdraw through the mountains with our extensive trains would have been difficult and dangerous. At the same time were unable supplies in the presence of the enemy, who could restrain our foraging parties by holding the mountain passes with local and other troops. A battle that, therefore , become in a measure unavoidable, and success already gained gave hope of favorable issue.

The enemy occupied adjacent to each other, one southeast and the other, known as Cemetery Hill, immediately south of the town, which lay at its base. His line exceeded thence upon the high ground along the Emmitsburg road, with a steep ridge in rear, which was also occupied. This ridge was difficult of ascent, particularly the two hills above mentioned as forming is northern extremity, an a third at the other end, on which the enemy's left rested. Numerous stone and rail fences along the slope served to afford protection to this troops and impede our advance. In his front, the ground was undulating and generally open for about three-quarters of a mile.

General Ewell's corps constituted our left, Johnson's division being opposite the height adjoining Cemetery Hill, Early's in the center, in front of the north face of the latter, and rodes upon his right. Hill's corps faced the west side of Cemetery Hill, and extended nearly parallel to the Emmitsburg road, making an angle with Ewell's. Pender's division formed his left, Anderson's his right, Heth's, under Brigadier-General pettigrew, being in reserve. His artillery, under Colonel [R. L. ]Walker, was posted in eligible positions along his line.

It was determined to make the principal attack upon the enemy's left, and endeavor to again a position from which it was thought that our artillery could be brought to bear with effect. Longstreet was directed to place the divisions of McLaws and Hood on the right of hill, partially enveloping the enemy's left, which he was to drive in. General Hillwas ordered to threaten the enemy's center, to prevent re-enforrcements being drawn to either wing, and co-operate with is right division in Longstreet's attack.

General Ewell was instructed to make a simultaneous demonstration upon the enemy's right, to be converted into a real attack should opportunity offer.

About 4. p. m. Longstreet's batteries opened, a soon afterward Hood's division, on the extreme right, moved to the attack. McLaws followed somewhat later, four of Anderson's brigades, those of Wilcox, Perry[A. R. ]Wroght, and Posey supporting him of the left, in the order name. The enemy was soon driven from his position of the Emmisburg road to the cover of a ravine and a line of stone fences at the foot of the ridge in his rear. He was dislodged from these after a severe struggle, and retired up the ridge, leaving a number of his batteries in our possession. Wilcox's and Wright's brigades advanced with great gallantry, breaking successive lines of the enemy's infantry, and compelling him to abandon much of his artillery. Wilcox reached the foot and Wright gained to crest of the ridge itself, driving the enemy down the opposite side; but having become separated from McLaws and gone beyond the other two brigades and compelled to retire, being unable to bring off any of the captured artillery. McLaws left also left back, and, it being now barley dark, General Longstreet determined to await the arrival of General Pickett.

He disposed his command to hold the ground gained on the right, withdrawing his left to the first position from which the enemy had been driven.

Four pieces of artillery, several hundred prisoners, and two regimental flags were taken. As soon as the engagement began on outright, General Johnson opened with is artillery, and about two hours later advanced up the hill next to Cemetery Hill with three brigades, the fourth being detained by a demonstration on his left. Soon afterward, General Early attacked Cemetery Hill with two brigades, supported by a third, the fort having been previously detached. The enemy had greatly increased by earthworks the strength of position assailed by Johnson and Early.

The troops of the former moved steadily up the steep and rugged ascent, under a heavy fire, driving the enemy into his intrechments, part of which was carried by Steuart's brigade; and a number of prisoner taken. The contest was continued to a late hour, but without further advantage. On Cemetery Hill, the attack by Early's leading brigade-those of Hays and Hoke, under Colonel[I. E. ]Avery-was made with vigor. Two lines of the enemy's infantry were dislodged from the cover of some stone and board fences on the side of the ascent, and driven back into the works on the crest, into which our troops'forced their way, and seized several pieces of artillery.

A heavy force advanced against their right, which was without support and they were compelled to retire, bringing with them about 100 prisoners and four stand of colors. General Ewell had directed General Rodes to attack in concert with Early, covering his right, and had requested Brigadier-General Lane, then commanding Pender's division, to co-operate on the right of Rodes. When the time to attack arrived, General Rodes, not having his troops in position was unprepared to co-operate with General Early, and before he could get in readiness the latter had been obliged to retire for wan of the expected support of his right. General Lane was prepared to give the assistance required of him, and so informed General Rodes, but the latter deemed in useless to advance after the failure of Early's attack.

In this engagement our loss in men and officers was large. Major-Generals Hood and Pender, Brigadier-General[J, M, ]Jones, Semmes, G. T. Anderson, and Barksdale, and Colonel Avery, commanding Hoke's brigade, were wounded the last two mortally. Generals Penders and Semmes died after their removal to Virginia.

The result of this day operations induced the belief that, with proper concert of action, and with the increased support that the positions gained on the right would enable the artillery to render the assaulting columns, we should ultimately succeed, and it was accordingly determined to continue the attack.

The general plan was unchanged. Longstreet, re-enforced by Pickett's brigades, which arrived near the battle field during the afternoon of the 2d, was ordered to attack the next morning, and General Ewell was directed to assail enemy's right at the same time. The latter, during the night, re-enforced General Johnson with two brigades from Rode's and one from Early's division.

General Longstreet dispositions were not completed as early as was expected, but before notice could be sent to General Ewell, General Johnson had already become engaged, and it was too late to recall him. The enemy attempted to recover the works taken the preceding evening, but was repulsed, and General Johnson attacked in turn. After a gallant and prolonged struggle, in which the enemy was forced to abandon part of his intrechments, General Johnson found himself unable to carry the strongly fortified crest of the hill. The projected attack on the enemy's left not having been made, he was enabled to hold is with right a force larger superior to the ofGeneral Johnson , and finally to threaten his flank a rear, rendering it necessary for him to retire to his original position about 1 p. m.

General Longstreet was delayed by a force occupying the high, rocky hills of the enemy's extreme left, from which his troops could be attacked in reverse as they advanced. His operations had been embarrassed the day previous by the same cause, and he now deemed it necessary to defend his flank and rear with the divisions of Hood and McLaws. He was, therefore, re-enforced by Heth's division and two brigade of Pender's to the command of which Major-General Trimble was assigned. General Hill was directed to hold is assistance, if required, and avail himself of any success that might be gained.

A careful examination was made of the ground secured by Longstreet, and his batteries placed in positions, which, it was believed, would enable them of silence those of the enemy. Hill's artillery and part of Ewell's was ordered to open simultaneously, and the assaulting column to advance under cover of the combined fire of the three. The batteries there directed to be pushed forward as the infantry progressed, protect their flanks, and support their attacks closely.

About one p. m. , at a given signal, a heavy cannonade was opened, and continued for about two hours with market effect upon the enemy. His batteries replied vigorously at first, but toward the close their fire slackened perceptibly, and General Longstreet ordered forward the column of attack, consisting of Pickett's and Heth's division. in two lines, Pickett on the right. Wilcox's brigade marched in rear of Pickett's right, to guard that flank, and Heat's was supported by Lane's and Scale's brigades, under General Trimble.

The troops moved steadily on, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, the main attack being directed against the enemy's left center. His batteries reopened as soon as they appeared. Our own having nearly exhausted their ammunition in the protracted cannonade that preceded the advance of the infantry, were unable to reply, or render the necessary support to the attacking party. Owing to this fact, which was unknown to me when the assault too place, the enemy was enabled, to throw a strong force of infantry against our left, already wavering under a concentrated fire of artillery from the ridge in front, and from Cemetery Hill, on the left. It finally gave way, and the right, after penetrating the enemy's lines, entering his advance works, and capturing some of his artillery, was attacked simultaneously in front and on both flanks, and driven back by heavy loss. The troops were rallied, but the enemy did not pursue.

A large number of brave officers and men fell or were capture on this occasion. Of Pickett's three brigade commanders, Generals Armisted and[R. B. ]Garnett were killed, and General Kemper dangerously wounded. Major-General Trimble, and Brigadier-General Pettigrew were also wounded, the former severely.

The movements of the army preceding the battle of Gettysburg had been much embarrassed by the absence of the cavalry. As soon at is was known hat the enemy had crossed into Maryland, orders were sent to the brigades of[B. H. ]Robertson and [William E. Jones, which had been left to guard the passes of the Blue Ridge, to rejoin the army without delay, and it was expected that General Stuart, with the remainder of his command, would soon arrive. In the exercise of the discretion given him when Longstreet and Hill marched into Maryland, General Stuart determined to pass around the rear of the Federal Army with three brigades and cross the Potomac between it the Washington, believing that he would the able, by that route, to place himself on our right flank in time to keep us properly advised of the enemy's movements.

He marched from Salem on the night of June 24, intending to pass west of Centervile, but found the enemy's forces so distributed as to render that route impracticable. Adhering to his original plan, he was forced to make a wide detour through Buckland and Brentsvillew, and crossed the Occoquan at Wolf Run Shoalson the morning of the 27th. Continuing his march trough Fairfax Court-House and Dranesville, he arrived at the Potomac, below the mouth of Seneca Creek, in the evening. He found the river much swollen by the recent rains, but, after great exertion, gained the Maryland shore before midnight with his whole command. Hew now ascertained that the Federal Army, which he had discovered to be drawing toward the Potomac, had crossed the day before, and was moving toward Frederick, thus interposing it self between him and our forces.

He accordingly marched northward, trough Rockville and Westminster, to Hanover, Pa. , where he arrived on the 30th. , but the enemy advanced with equal rapidity on his left, and continued to obstruct communication with our main body.

Supposing , from such information as he could obtain, that part of the army was at Carlisle, he left Hanover that night, and proceeded thither by hay of Dover. He reached Carlisle on July 1, where he received orders to proceed to Gettysburg. He arrived in the afternoon of the following day, and took position on General Ewell's left. His leading brigade under General Hampton, encountered and repulsed a body of the enemy's a cavalry at Hunterstown, endeavoring to reach our rear.

General Stuart had several skirmishes during his march, and at Hanover quite a severe engagement took place with a strong force of cavalry, which was finally compelled to withdraw from the town.

The prisoners taken by the cavalry and paroled at various places amounted to about 800, and at Rockville a large train of wagons coming to Washington was intercepted and captured. Many of the were destroyed, but 125, with all the animals of the train, were secured.

The ranks of the cavalry were much reduced by its long and forage, but the day after its arrival at Gettysburg it engaged the enemy's cavalry with unabated spirit, and effectually protected of left. In this action, Brigadier-General Hampton was seriously wounded, while acting with his accustomed gallantry.

Robertson's and Jone's brigades arrived on July 3, and were stationed upon our right flank. The severe loss sustained by the army and the reduction of its ammunition, rendered another attempt to dislodge the enemy inadvisable, and it was, therefore, determined to withdraw.

The trains, with such of the wounded as could bear removal, were ordered to Williamsport on July 4, part moving trough Cashtown and Greencastle, escorted by General Imboden, and the remainder by the Fairfield road. The army retained in position until dark, when it was put in motion for the Potomac by the last named route. A heavy rain continued throughout the night, and so much impeded its progress that Ewell's corps, which brought up the rear, didn't leave Gettysburg until late in the forenoon, and, after an arduous march we arrived at Hagerstown in the afternoon of the 6th and morning of July 7.

The great length of our trains made it difficult to guard them effectually in passing trough the mountains, and a number of wagons and ambulances were captured. They succeeded in reaching Williamsport on the 6th, but were unable to cross the Potomac on account of the high stage of water. Here they were attacked by a strong force of cavalry and artillery, which was gallantly repulsed by General Imboden, whose command had been strengthened by several batteries and by two regiments of infantry, which had been detached at Winchester to guard prisoners, and were returning to the army. While the enemy was being held in check, General Stuart arrived with the cavalry, which had performed valuable service in guarding the flanks of the army during the retrograde movement, and, after a short engagement, drove him from the field.

The rains that had prevailed almost without intermission since our entrance into Maryland and greatly interfered with our movements, had made the Potomac unfordable, and the pontoon bridge left a Falling Waters had been partially destroyed by the enemy. The wounded and prisoners were sent over the river as rapidly as possible in a few ferry-boats, while the trains awaited the subsiding of the waters and the construction of a new pontoon bridge.

On July 8, the enemy's cavalry advanced toward Hagerstown, but was repulsed by General Stuart, and pursued as far as Boonsborough. With this exception, nothing but occasional until the 12th, when the main body of the enemy arrived. The army then took a position previously selected, covering the Potomac from Williamsport to Falling Waters, where it remained for two days, with the enemy immediately in front, manifesting no disposition to attack, but throwing up entrenchments along is whole line.

By the 13th, the river at Williamsport, though still deep, was fordable, and a good bridge was completed at Falling Waters, new boats having being constructed an some of the old recovered. As further delay would enable the enemy to obtain re-enforcements, and as it was found difficult to procure a sufficient supply of flour for the troops, the working of the mills being interrupted by high water, it was determined to await an attack no longer. Orders were accordingly given to cross the Potomac that night, Ewell's corps by the ford an Williamsport, and those of Longstreet and Hill of the bridge. The cavalry was directed to relieve the infantry skirmishers, and bring up the rear.

The movement was much retarded by a severe rain storm and the darkness of the night. Ewell's corps by the ford at Williamsport, and those of Longstreet and Hill on the bridge. The cavalry was directed to relieve the infantry the skirmishers, and bring up the rear. The movement was much retarded by a severe rain storm and the darkness of the night. Ewell's corps, having the advantage of a turnpike road, marched with less difficulty, and crossed the river by 8 o'clock the following morning.

The condition of the road to the bridge an the time consumed in the passage of the artillery, ammunition wagons, and ambulances, which could not ford the river, so much delayed the progress of :Longstreet and Hill, that it was daylight before their troops began to cross. Heth's division was halted about a mile and a half from the bridge, to protect the passage of the column. No interruption was offered by the enemy until about 11. a. m. , when his cavalry, supported by artillery, appeared in front of General Heth. A small number in advance of the main body was mistaken for our own cavalry retiring, no notice having been given of the withdraw of the latter, and was suffered to approach our lines. They were immediately destroyed or captured, with the exception of two or three - but Brigadier-General Pettigrew, an officer of great merit and promise, was mortally wounded in the encounter. He survived his removal to Virginia only a few days. The bridge being clear, General Heth began to withdraw. The enemy advanced, but enforce to break our lines were repulsed, and the passage of the river was completed by 1. p. m. Owing to the extent of General Heth; s line, some of his men most remote from the bridge were cut off before they could reach it, but the greater part of those taken by the enemy during the movement(supposed to amount it all to about 500)consisted of men from various commands who lingered behind, overcome by previous labors and hardships, and the fatigue of a most trying night march. Three was no loss of material excepting a few broken wagons and two pieces of artillery, which the horses were unable to draw trough the deep mud. Other horses were sent back for them, but the rear of the column had passed before their arrival.

The army proceeded to the vicinity of Bunker Hill and Darkesville, where it halted to afford the troops repose.

The enemy made no effort to follow excepting with his cavalry, which crossed the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, and advanced toward Martinsburg on July 16. They were attacked by General Fitz. Lee, with is own and Chambliss' brigades, and driven back with loss.

When the army returned to Virginia, it was intended to move into Loudoun, but the Shenendoah was found to be impassable. While waiting for it to subside, the enemy crossed the Potomac east of the Blue Ridge, and seized the passes we designed to use. As he continued to advance along the eastern slope, apparently with the purpose of cutting us off from the railroad to Richmond, General Longstreet was ordered, on July 19 to precede to Culpeper Court-House, by way of Front Royal. He succeeded in passing part of his command over the Shenendoah in time to prevent the occupation of Manassas and Cherster Gaps by the enemy, whose cavalry had already made its appearance. As soon as a pontoon bridge could be laid down, the rest of his corps crossed the river, and marched trough Chester Gap to Culpeper Court-House, where it arrived on the 24th. He was followed without serious opposition by General A. P. Hill.

General Ewell having been detained in the Valley by an effort to capture a force of the enemy guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad west of Martinsburg, Wright's brigade was left to hold Manassas Gap until his arrival. He reached Front Royal on the 23d, with Johnson's and Rodes' divisions, Early's being near Winchester, and found General Wright skirmishing with the enemy's infantry, which had already appeared in Manassas Gap. General Ewell supported Wright with Rodes' division and some artillery, and the enemy was held in check.

Finding that the Federal force greatly exceeded his own, General Ewell marched trough Thorton's Gap, and ordered Early to move up the Valley by Strasburg and New Market. He encamped near Madison Coft-House on July 29.

The enemy mashed his army in the vicinity of Warrenton, and, on the night of July 31, his cavalry, with a large supporting force of infantry , crossed the Rappahannock at Rappahannock Station and Kelly's Ford. The next day they advanced toward Brandy Station, their progress being gallantly resisted by General Stuart with Hampton's brigade, commanded by Colonel[L. S. ]Baker, who fell back gradually to our lines, about 2 miles south of Brandy. Our infantry skirmishers advanced, and drove the enemy beyond Brandy Station.

It was now determined to place to army in a position to enable it more readily to oppose the enemy should the attempt to move southward, that near Culpeper Court-House being one that he could easily avoid.

Longstreet and Hill were put in motion August 3, leaving the cavalry at Culpeper. Ewell had been previously ordered from Madison, and by the 4th, the army occupied the line of the Rapidan.

The highest praise is due to both officers and men for their conduct during the campaign.

The privations and hardship of the march and camp were cheerfully encountered, and borne with a fortitude unsurpassed by our ancestors in their struggle for independence, while their courage in battle entitles them to rank with the soldiers of any army and of any time. Their forbearance and discipline, under strong provocation to retaliate for the cruelty of the enemy to our own citizens, is not their least claim to the respect and admiration of their countrymen and of the world.

I forward returns of our loss in killed, wounded, and missing. Many of the latter were killer or wounded in the several assaults at Gettysburg, and necessarily left in the hands of the enemy.

I cannot speak of these brave men as their merits and exploits deserve. Some of them are appropriately mentioned in the accompanying reports, and the memory of all will be gratefully and affectionately cherished by the people in whose defense they fell.

The loss of Major-General Pender is severely left by the army and the country. He served with this army from the beginning of the war, and took a distinguished part in all its engagements. Wounded on several on occasions, he never left his command in action until he received the injury that resulted in his death. His promise and usefulness as an officer were only by the purity and excellence of his private life.

Brigadier-Generals Armistead, Barksdale, Garnett, and Semmes died as they had lived, discharging the highest duty of patriots with devotion that never faltered and courage that shrank from no danger.

I earnestly commend to the attention of the Government those gallant officers and men whose conduct merited the special commendation of their superiors, but whose names I am unable to mention in this report.

The officers of the general staff of the army were unremittingly engaged in the duties of their respective departments. Much dependent on their management and exertion. The labors of the quartermaster's, commissary, and medical departments were more than usually severe. The inspectors-general were also laboriously occupied in their attention to the troops, both on the march and in camp, and the officers of engineers showed skill and judgment in expediting the passage of rivers and streams, the swollen condition of which, by almost continuous rains called for extraordinary exertion. The chief of ordnance and his assistant it led to praise for the care and watchfulness given to the ordnance trains and ammunition of the army, which, in a long march and in many conflicts, were always at hand and accessible to the troops. My thanks are due to my personal staff for their constant aid afforded me at all times, on the march and in the field, and their willing discharge of every duty.

There were captured at Gettysburg nearly 7, 000 prisoners, of whom about 1, 500 were paroled, and the remainder brought to Virginia. Seven pieces of artillery were also secured. I forward herewith the reports of the corps, division, and other commanders mentioned in the accompanying schedule, together with maps of the scene of operations, and one showing the routes pursued by the army.

Respectfully submitted.

R. E. LEE,


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from JEB STUART, by John W. Thomason, Charles Scribner Sons, 1930 , [p.422-423}

June 23, 1863, 5 p.m.
"Major-General J.E.B.Stuart, Commanding Cavalry.

"Your notes of 9 and 10:30 A.M. today have just been received. As regards the purchase of tobacco for your men, supposing that Confederate money will not be taken, I am willing for commissaries or quartermasters to purchase this tobacco, and let the men get it from them, but I can have nothing seized by the men. If General Hooker's Army remains inactive you can leave two brigades to watch him, and withdraw the three others, but should he not appear to be moving northward, I think you had better withdraw this side of the mountains tomorrow night, cross at Shepherdstown next day, and move over to Fredericktown.
YOU WILL, HOWEVER, BE ABLE TO JUDGE WHETHER YOU CAN PASS AROUND THEIR ARMY WITHOUT HINDRANCE, DOING THEM ALL THE DAMAGE YOU CAN, AND CROSS THE RIVER EAST OF THE MOUNTAINS. In either case, after crossing the river, you must move on and feel the right of Ewell's troops, collecting information, provisions, etc. Give instructions to the commander of the brigades left behind to watch the flank and rear of the army, and, in the event of the enemy leaving their front, to retire from the mountains west of the Shenandoah, leaving sufficient pickets to guard the passes, and to bring in everything clean along the Valley, closing upon the rear of the army. As regards the movements of the two brigades of the enemy moving toward Warrenton, the commander of the brigades to be left in the mountains must do what he can to counteract them, but I think the sooner you cross into Maryland after tomorrow the better. The movements of Ewell's Corps are, as stated in my former letter. Hill's First Division will reach the Potomac today and Longstreet will follow tomorrow. Be watchful and circumspect in your movements.

I am respectfully and truly yours,
R. E. LEE, General"

Reports of Major General Henry Heth, C. S. A. Army, commanding division.

HEADQUARTERS HETH'S DIVISION, Camp near Orange Court-House, September 13, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the operations of my division from June 29 until July 1, including the part it took in the battle of Gettysburg (first day), July 1. The division reached Cashtown, Pa. , on June 29. Cashtown is situated at the base of the South Mountain, on the direct road from Chambersburg, via Fayetteville, to Gettysburg, and 9 miles distant from the latter place. On the morning of June 30, I ordered Brigadier-General Pettigrew to take his brigade to Gettysburg, search the town for army supplies (shoes especially), and return the same day. On reaching the suburbs of Gettysburg, General Pettigrew found a large force of cavalry near the town, supported by an infantry force. Under these circumstances, he did not deem it advisable to enter the town, and returned, as directed, to Cashtown. The result of General Pettigrew's observations was reported to Lieutenant-General Hill, who reached Cashtown on the evening of the 30th.

On July 1, my division, accompanied by Pegram's battalion of artillery, was ordered to move at 5 a. m. in the direction of Gettysburg. On nearing Gettysburg, it was evident that the enemy was in the vicinity of the town in some force. It may not be improper to remark that at this time-9 o'clock on the morning of July 1- I was ignorant what force was at or near Gettysburg, and supposed it consisted of cavalry, most probably supported by a brigade or two of infantry. On reaching the summit of the second ridge of hills west of Gettysburg, it became evident that there were infantry, cavalry, and artillery in and around the town. A few shot from Pegram's battalion (Marye's battery) scattered the cavalry vedettes. One of the first shells fired by Pegram mortally wounded Major-General Reynolds, then in command of the force at Gettysburg.

My division, now within a mile of Gettysburg, was disposed as follows: Archer's brigade in line of battle on the right of the turnpike; Davis' brigade on the left of the same road, also in line of battle; Pettigrew's brigade and Heth's old brigade (Colonel Brockenbrough commanding), were held in reserve. Archer and Davis were now directed to advance, the object being to feel the enemy; to make a forced reconnaissance, and determine in what force the enemy were-whether or not he was massing his forces on Gettysburg. Heavy columns of the enemy were soon encountered. Davis, on the left, advanced, driving the enemy before him and capturing his batteries. General Davis was unable to hold the position he had gained. The enemy concentrated on his front and flanks an overwhelming force. The brigade maintained its position until every field officer save two were shot down, and its ranks terribly thinned.

Among the officers of his brigade especially mentioned by General Davis as displaying conspicuous gallantry on this occasion are noticed Colonel Stone, commanding Second Mississippi Regiment; Colonel Connally, commanding Fifty-fifth North Carolina Regiment; Major [A. H. ] Belo, Fifty-fifth North Carolina Regiment; Lieutenant-Colonel [H. ] Moseley, and Major [W. A. ] Feeney, Forty-second Mississippi Regiment, severely wounded while gallantly leading their regiments to the charge. Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, Fifty-fifth North Carolina Regiment, was at the same time killed, as also was the gallant Lieutenant [A. K. ] Roberts, of the Second Mississippi Regiment, who, with a detachment from the Second and Forty-second Mississippi Regiments, after a hand-to-hand conflict with the enemy, succeeded in capturing the colors of a Pennsylvania regiment. The good conduct of this brigade on this occasion merits my special commendation.

On the right of the road, Archer encountered heavy masses in his front, and his gallant little brigade, after being almost surrounded by overwhelming forces in front and on both flanks, was forced back. The service lost at this time that most gallant and meritorious officer, Brigadier-General Archer, who fell into the enemy's hands, together with some 60 or 70 of his men. The enemy had now been felt, and found to be in heavy force in and around Gettysburg. The division was now formed in lane of battle on the right of the road, the several brigades posted as follows: Archer's brigade (Colonel B. D. Fry, Thirteenth Alabama Regiments, commanding) on the right, Pettigrew in the center, and Brockenbrough on the left. Davis' brigade was kept on the left of the road, that it might collect its stragglers, and from its shattered condition it was not deemed advisable to bring it again into action on that day. It, however, did participate in the action later in the day.

After resting in line of battle for one hour or more, orders were received to attack the enemy in my front, with the notification that General Pender's division would support me. The division had not advanced more than 100 yards before it became hotly engaged. The enemy was steadily driven before it at all points, excepting on the left, where Brockenbrough was held in check for a short time, but finally succeeded in driving the enemy in confusion before him. Brockenbrough's brigade behaved with its usual gallantry, capturing two stand of colors and a number of prisoners. The officer who made the report of the part taken by Brockenbrough's brigade in this day's fight has omitted to mention the names of the officers and soldier who distinguished themselves on this occasion.

Pettigrew's brigade encountered the enemy in heavy force, and broke through his first, second, and third lines. The Eleventh North Carolina Regiment, Colonel Leventhorpe commanding, and the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment, Colonel Burgwyn, jr. , commanding, displayed conspicuous gallantry, of which I was an eyewitness. The Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment lost in this action more than half its numbers in killed and wounded, among whom were Colonel Burgwyn killed and Lieutenant-Colonel Lane severely wounded. Colonel Leventhorpe, of the Eleventh North Carolina Regiment, was wounded, and Major Ross killed. The Fifty-second and Forty-seventh North Carolina Regiments, on the right of the center, were subjected to a heavy artillery fire, but suffered much less than the Eleventh and Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiments. These regiments behaved to my entire satisfaction. Pettigrew's brigade, under the leadership of that gallant officer and accomplished scholar, Brigadier Gen.. J. Johnston Pettigrew (now lost at his country), fought as well, and displayed as heroic courage as it was ever my fortune to witness on a battle-field. The number of its own gallant dead and wounded, as well as the large number of the enemy's dead and wounded left on the field over which it fought, attests better than any commendation of mine the gallant part it played on July 1. In one instance, when the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment encountered the second line of the enemy, his dead marked his line of battle with the accuracy of a line at a dress parade. Archer's brigade, on the right (Colonel B. D. Fry commanding), after advancing a short distance, discovered a large body of cavalry on its right flank. Colonel Fry judiciously changed his front, thus protecting the right flank of the division during the engagement. This brigade (Archer's), the heroes of Chancellorsville, fully maintained its hard-won and well-deserved reputation. The officer making the report of the part it played in the first and second charges has failed to particularize any officer or soldier who displayed particular gallantly, which accounts for no one being named from this gallant little brigade.

After breaking through the first and second lines of the enemy, and several of the regiments being out of ammunition, General Pender's division relieved my own, and continued the pursuit beyond the town of Gettysburg. At the same time that it would afford me much gratification, I would be doing but justice to the several batteries of Pegram's battalion in mentioning the assistance they rendered during this battle, but I have been unable to find out he names of the commandeers of those batteries stationed at the points where important service was rendered, all reports of artillery officers being made through their chief.

My thanks are also due to my personal staff-Major [R. H. ] Finney, assistant adjutant-general; Major [H. H. ] Harrison assistant adjutant and inspector general; Lieutenants [M. C. ] Selden, jr. , and [Stockton] Heth, my aides-de-camp, and acting engineer officer, William O. Slade for their valuable services in carrying orders and superintending their execution. I take this occasion to mention the energy displayed by my chief quartermaster (Major A. W. Vick) and his assistants in collecting transportation for the division when in Pennsylvania, the division having a limited supply when it crossed the Potomac; also to Major [P. C. ] Hungerford, chief commissary of subsistence, and his assistants, for their activity in procuring supplies. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



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