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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 1 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Page 320 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

o'clock that morning encountered the enemy's skirmishers 1 1\2 miles west of Gettysburg, Pa. Line of battle by brigade was immediately formed in the Hagerstown road, my regiment on the left, and the brigade advanced 200 or 300 yards, where it was faced by the right flank and moved through the fields toward Gettysburg, crossing Willoughby's Run between the road and a house and outbuildings, around which our dismounted cavalry were skirmishing. Reaching the low ground between the seminary and the first ridge west of it, the brigade filed to the left and took position in line of battle on the westerly slope of the ridge and nearly opposite the seminary, facing west. Remaining here a few minutes only, we moved Willoughbys Run flows, the right of the brigade passing near the grove where General Reynolds fell. Here we first received the back on to the ridge, all the regiments of the brigade passing over and taking cover under the ridge save mine, which was ordered to halt on the crest, and was faced toward the enemy; but an occasional shot reached us in the position. Having remained here some twenty minutes, I was ordered to throw out a company of skirmishers to occupy the house and buildings already spoken of, and now on our left and some 30 roads in advance of us. Captain Baldwin, Company K, was detailed for that duty, and soon gained possession of the buildings. Some two hours afterward he sent me word that he was severely pressed, and asked for re-enforcements. I detached to his aid Captain Cunningham, Company G. These two companies held these buildings until the enemy actually surrounded them on three sides, and had fired the outbuildings and attempted to fire the house, when, to avoid being captured, the men were withdrawn and, moving through the ravine southerly, and covered in measure by a small party of our cavalry, they escaped and rejoined the regiment that evening on Cemetary Hill. The regiment was soon afterward moved back into the brigade line. About 2 P. M the enemy opened an enfilading fire upon us with two or three rodman guns planted upon an elevation a mile or more to our right, and upon what seemed to be the shoulder of the ridge under which we were then lying. The bridage was then ordered up, and moved by the left flank partly across the hagerstown road, when it was halted, and after some ten minutes, during which the enemy obtained a very accurate range of us, the brigade was posted in the road, faced to the north, and partially covered by the fence and bank at the roadside. Some thirty minutes afterward the brigade was formed in two lines, Colonel Biddle, of the One Hundred and Forty-Second Pennsylvania volunteers, commanding the first line, and Colonel Gates, of the Twentieth New York State Militia, commanding the second. In this formation

the brigade moved across the field at the foot of and parallel with the ridge until we reached a point opposite the seminary, when they changed direction to the left, and while the first line moved toward and nearly opposite the woods where General Reynolds fell, the second moved up to the top of the ridge to support a battery. The enemy were now advancing toward our position in line of battle, and the infantry fire became very severe. The battery was compelled to retire after firing a few rounds, and, finding that our line was rapidly retiring on my right, and the enemy were mov-


Page 320 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 1 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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