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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 697 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

procure rations. I therefore directed General Lee to send in a flag of truce, demanding unconditional surrender or bombardment. This was refused. I placed artillery in position commanding the town, took possession of the main avenues to the place, and repeated the demand. It was again refused, and I was forced to the alternative of shelling the place. Although the houses were used by their sharpshooters while firing on our men, not a building was fired excepting the United States cavalry barracks, which were burned by my order, the place having resisted my advance instead of peaceable surrender, as in the case of General Ewell. General Fitz. Lee's brigade was charged with the duty of investing the place, the remaining brigades following at considerable intervals from Dover.

Major General W. F. Smith was in command of the forces in Carlisle. The only obstacle to the enforcement of my threat was the scarcity of artillery ammunition. The whereabouts of our army was still a mystery but, during the night, I received a dispatch from General Lee (in answer to one sent by Major Venable from Dover, on Early's trail), that the army was at Gettysburg, and had been engaged on this day (July 1) with the enemy's advance. I instantly dispatched to Hampton to move 10 miles that night on the road to Gettysburg, and gave orders to the other brigades, with a view to reaching Gettysburg early the next day, and started myself that night. My advance reached Gettysburg July 2, just in time to thwart a move of the enemy's cavalry upon our rear by way of Hunterstown, after a fierce engagement, in which Hampton's brigade performed gallant service, a series of charges compelling the enemy to leave the field and abandon his purpose. I took my position that day on the York and Heidlersburg roads, on the left wing of the Army of Northern Virginia. On the morning of July 3, pursuant to instructions from the commanding general (the ground along our line of battle being totally impracticable for cavalry operations), I moved forward to a position to the left of General Ewell's left, and in advance of it, where a commanding ridge completely controlled a wide plain of cultivated fields stretching toward Hanover, on the left, and reaching to the base of the mountain spurs, among which the enemy held position. My command was increased by the addition of Jenkins' brigade, who here in the presence of the enemy allowed themselves to be supplied with but 10 rounds of ammunition. although armed with the most approved Enfield musket. I moved this command and W. H. F. Lee's secretly through the woods to a position, and hoped to effect a surprise upon the enemy's rear, but Hampton's and Fitz. Lee's brigades, which had been ordered to follow me, unfortunately debouched into the open ground, disclosing the movement, and causing a corresponding movement of a large force of the enemy's cavalry. Having been informed that Generals Hampton and Lee were up, I sent for them to come forward, so that I could show them the situation at a glance from the elevated ground I held, and arrange for further operations. My message was so long in finding General Hampton that he never reached me, and General Lee remained, as it was deemed inadvisable at the time the message was delivered for both to leave their commands. Before General Hampton had reached where I was, the enemy had deployed a heavy line of sharpshooters, and were advancing toward our position, which was very strong. Our artillery had, however,


Page 697 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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