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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 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Page 350 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

commanding andrew's battalion, being on the extreme left, and Colonel Brown's battalion, under Captain [W. J.] Dance, on the right, bear the seminary. Farther of the right, on the Seminary Ridge, Colonel [R. L.] Walker posted the artillery of the Third Corps, excepting Poague's battalion and a portion of Garnett's held for a season a reserve. From the farthest occupied point on the right and front, in company with Colonels [A. L.] Long and Walker and Captain [S. R.] Johnston (engineer), soon after sunrise, I surveyed the enemy's position toward some estimate of the ground and the best mode of attack . So far as judgment could be formed from such a view, assault on the enemy's left by our extreme right might succeed, should the mountain there of the no insuperable obstacle. To attack on that side, if practicable, I understood to be the purpose of the commanding general. Returning from the position more to the right and rear, for the sake of tracing more exactly the mode of approach, I proceeded some distance along the ravine road noticed the previous evening, and was made aware of having entered the enemy's lines by meeting two armed dismounted cavalrymen. Apparently surprised, they immediately surrendered, and were disarmed and sent to the rear with two of the three members of my staff present. Having satisfied myself of the course and character of this road, I returned to an elevated point on the Fairfield road, which furnished a very extensive view, and dispatched messengers to General Longstreet and the commanding general. Between third point and the Emmitsburg road, the enemy's cavalry were seen in considerable force, and, moving up along that road toward the enemy's main position, bodies of infantry and artillery, accompanied by their trains. This front was, after some time, examined by Colonel [William P.] Smith and Captain Johnson (engineer), and about middle General Longstreet arrived and view the ground. He desired Colonel [E. P.] Alexander to obtain the best view he then could of the front. I therefore conducted the colonel to the advance point of observation previously visited. Its approach was now more hazardous, from the fire of the enemy's sharp shooters, so that special caution was necessary in making the desired observation. Just then a sharp contest occurred in the woods to the right and rear of this forward point. Anderson's division, Third Corps, had moved up, and was driving the enemy from these woods. Poague's artillery battalion was soon after sent co-operate with that division, and also a battery from Lane's battalion. These woods having been thus cleared of the enemy, some view of the ground beyond them, and much farther to the right that had yet been examined, seemed practicable. I therefore in that direction, and, when about to enter the woods, met the commanding general, en route himself for a survey of the ground. There being here still a good deal of sharpshooting, the front had to be examined with caution. General Wilcox, commanding on the right of Anderson's division, had already seen beyond the farther edge of these woods, and, under, his guidance, I accompanied Colonel Long to the farm-house at the summit, where the cross-road from Fairfield, &c., emerges. Having noticed the field and the enemy's batteries, &c., I returned to General Longstreet, for the purpose of conducting his column to this point, and supervising, as might be necessary, the disposition of his artillery. He was advancing by the ravine road (as most our of view), time having been already lost in attempting another, which proved objectionable, because exposed to observation. On learning the state of facts ahead, the general


Page 350 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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