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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 667 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

fell back as well as could be expected, reformed immediately in rear of the artillery, as directed by General Trimble, and remained there until the following morning. I cannot speak in too high terms of the behavior of my brigade in this bloody engagement. Both officers and men moved forward with a heroism unsurpassed, giving the brigade inspector and his rear guard nothing to do. Our great loss tells but too sadly of the gallant bearing of my command-660 out of an effective total of 1, 355, including ambulance corps and rear guard, our loss on the 1st and 2nd being but slight. * General Trimnble being wounded, I was again thrown in command of the division, and, with Lowrance's brigade and my own (under Colonel Avery), moved back to the rear of Thomas and Perrin on the 4th. There was skirmishing at intervals that day, and at dark we commenced falling back in the direction of Fairfield, Captain W. T. Nicholson, of the Thirty-seventh, being left in command of the skirmishers from my brigade. We formed line of battle at Hagerstown, Md., on the 11th, and threw up breastworks along our entire front. Next day, the light division was consolidated with Heth's and the whole being put under the command of General Heth, I again returned to the command of my brigade. On the 13th, we lost 1 man killed in the works and had 27nd skirmishers captured. The skirmishers were taken by a body of the enemy that advanced from a point of woods under cover of stone fences and an orchard. The retreat from Hagerstown the night of the 13th was even worse than that from Gettysburg. My whole command was so exhausted that they all fell asleep as soon as they were halted-about a mile from the pontoon bridge at Falling Waters. Just as we were ordered to resume our march, the troops of Heth's division that occupied the breastworks in our rear as a rear guard were attacked by the enemy's cavalry. I at once ordered my command to fix bayonets, as our guns were generally unloaded, and moved down the road after General Thomna, but was soon halted by General Heth's order, and subsequently made to take a position in line of battle, to allow those brigades that were engaged to withdraw. I threw out a very strong line of skirmishes along our whole front, under Lieutenant [James M.] Crowell, of the Twenty-eighth, with instructions not to fire until the enemy got close upon him, and to fall back gradually when he saw the main line retiring toward the river. The Eighteenth Regiment, under Colonel Barry, was deployed to the right as skirmishers, and Colonel Avery had supervision of the right wing, so as to enable me to be apprised of the movements of the enemy more readily. As soon as the other brigades withdrew, a large force moved to our right, and as our left was also threatened, I lost no time in falling back, which was done in excellent order. Our thanks are due to Lieutenant Crowell and the officers and men under him for the stubbornness with which they contested every inch of ground against the enemy's mounted and dismounted cavalry, thereby enabling us to effect a crossing without the brigade being engaged. Lieutenant Crowell's command was the last organized body to cross the bridge. Our loss in bringing up the rear was 6 wounded and 38 missing. Our entire loss in the trans-potomac campaign was 731.

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*For casualties July 1-3, see p. 344.

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Page 667 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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