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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 640 N. CA., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC., Chapter XXXIX.

mand a t dark from the intrenchments near Hagerstown, and move in the direction of Falling Waters, at which point we were to cross the river on a pontoon bridge, already constructed. The artillery attached to my command received its orders through its immediate commander, and moved off a little before dark. I was directed to leave the skirmishes in my front, and was informed that they would be relieved during the night by the cavalry. The officers in charge of the skirmishers were directed, as soon as relieved, to take the road followed by the divisions. The night was entirely dark and the roads in a dreadful condition, the entire distance between our breastworks and Falling Waters being ankle-deep in mud. The progress of the command was necessarily very slow and tedious, halting every few minutes to allow the wagons and artillery in our front to pass on. The division was twelve hours accomplishing 7 miles, once halting for two hours. On reaching an elevated and commanding ridge of hills one mile and a half (possibly little less) from Falling Waters, I was ordered by Lieutenant General A. P. Hill to put my division in line of battle on either side of the road, and, extending along the crest of this hill facing toward Hagerstown. On the left of the road and on the crest of this hill our engineers had thrown up some half dozen epaulements for artillery, the spaces between the epaulements being open. In our front was an open space, with the view unobstructed for hal to three-quarters of mile; then came a heavy piece of timber some three-fourths of a mile in width. I was directed, at the same time that I received the order to place my division in line of battle as descirbet, to put Pender's division in rear of my own, in column of brigades. At this point we halted, to allow the wagons and artillery to get over the river. We remained in this position awaiting their crossing for several hours. About 11 o'clock, I received orders from General Hill to move Pender's division across the river, following General Anderson's division, and, after leaving one brigade of my division in line, to follow up the movement of the corps as speedily as possible. About fifteen or twenty minutes after receiving these orders, and while they were in progress of execution, a small body of cavalry, numbering not more than 40 or 45 men, made their appearance in our front, where the road debouched from the woods previously described. I will here remark, that when on the road, and some 2 or 3 miles from the position I now occupied, a large body of our cavalry passed by my command, going to our rear. When the cavalry alluded to made its appearance, it was at once observed by myself, General Pettigrew, and several members of my staff, as well as many others. On emerging from the woods, the party faced about, apparently acting on the defensive. Suddenly facing my position, they galloped up the road, and halted some 175 yards from my line of battle. From their maneuvering and the smallness of numbers, I concluded int was a party of our own cavalry pursued by the enemy. In this opinion I was sustained by all present. It was not until I examined them critically with my glasses at a distance of not more than 175 yards that I discover they were Federal troops. The men had been restrained from firing up to this time by General Pettigrew and myself. The command was now given to fire. At the same time, the Federal Officer in command gave the command to charge. The squad passed through the intervals operating the epaulements, and fired several shots. In less than three minutes all were killed or captured


Page 640 N. CA., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC., Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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