Numbers 545. Report of Colonel David Lang, Eighth Florida Infantry, commanding Perry's brigade.
HEADQUARTERS PERRY'S BRIGADE, July 29, 1863.
MAJOR: I herewith submit the following as the official report of the part taken by this brigade in the battle of Gettysburg: On July 1, while on the march from Fayetteville to Gettysburg, this brigade being the rear guard of Anderson's division, heavy firing was heard in front, and I received orders from Major-General Anderson to pass ahead of the wagon train, and close up on General Wilcox's brigade. This I did, and, moving to within 2 miles of Gettysburg, was directed, by order of General Anderson, to form line of battle about 1 mile to the right of the turnpike. I continued to occupy this position until the morning of the 2d, when the division was moved to the front and right about 1 1/2 miles, and formed line behind an open field 1 mile in width, the enemy being strongly intrenched in the woods and upon the heights on the opposite side of the field. While this movement was being executed, an advanced body of the enemy, occupying a thickly wooded hill on the right of the intended line, opened a heavy fire of musketry upon General Wilcox's brigade, occupying the right of the division, and I received orders to move to his assistance. I accordingly moved by the right flank, but, before becoming engaged, was notified by General Wilcox that he needed no assistance, and in a few moments the enemy were driven back, and we occupied the intended line without further opposition. Here I received orders to hold my position without bringing on an engagement unnecessarily until General Longstreet could come up on our right. About 5 p. m. I received an order from General Anderson to the effect that General Longstreet was driving back the enemy's left, and that Wilcox would advance whenever General Longstreet's left advanced beyond him. I was ordered to throw forward a strong line of skirmishers, and advance with General Wilcox, holding all the ground the enemy yielded. At 6 p. m., General Wilcox having begun to advance, I moved forward, being met at the crest of the first hill with a murderous fire of grape, canister, and musketry. Moving forward at the doublequick, the enemy fell back beyond their artillery, where they were attempting to rally when we reached the crest of the second hill. Seeing this, the men opened a galling fire upon them, thickly strewing the ground with their killed and wounded. This threw them into confusion, when we charged them, with a yell, and they broke and fled in confusion into the woods and breastworks beyond, leaving four or five pieces of cannon in my front, carrying off, however, most of the horses and limbers. Following them rapidly, I arrived behind a small eminence at the foot of the heights, where, the brigade having become much scattered, I halted for the purpose of reforming, and allowing the men to catch breath before the final assault upon the heights. While engaged in reforming here, an aide from the right informed me that a heavy force ha advanced upon General Wilcox's brigade, and was forcing it back. At the same time a heavy fire of musketry