Numbers 549. Reports of Major General Henry Heth, C. S. 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-Colo-