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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 318 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

overwhelming numbers of fresh troops. General Ewell was, therefore, instructed to carry the hill by the enemy, if he found it practicable, but to avoid a general engagement until the arrival of the other divisions of the army, which were ordered to hasten forward. He decided to await Johnson's division, which had marched from Carlisle by the road west of the mountains to guard the trains of his corps, and consequently did not reach Gettysburg until a late hour. In the meantime the enemy occupied the point which General Ewell designate to seize, but in what force could not be ascertained, owing to the darkness. An intercepted dispatch showed that another corps had halted that afternoon 4 miles from Gettysburg. Under these circumstances, it was decided not to attack until the arrival of Longstreet, two of whose divisions(those of Hood and McLaws)encamped about 4 miles in the rear during the night. Anderson's division of Hill's corps came up after the engagement. It hat not been intended to deliver a general battle so far from our base unless attacked, but coming unexpectedly upon the whole Federal Army, to withdraw through the mountains with our extensive trains would have been difficult and dangerous. At the same time were unable supplies in the presence of the enemy, who could restrain our foraging parties by holding the mountain passes with local and other troops. A battle that, therefore, become in a measure unavoidable, and success already gained gave hope of favorable issue. The enemy occupied adjacent to each other, one southeast and the other, known as Cemetery Hill, immediately south of the town, which lay at its base. His line exceeded thence upon the high ground along the Emmitsburg road, with a steep ridge in rear, which was also occupied. This ridge was difficult of ascent, particularly the two hills above mentioned as forming is northern extremity, an a third at the other end, on which the enemy's left rested. Numerous stone and rail fences along the slope served to afford protection to this troops and impede our advance. In his front, the ground was undulating and generally open for about three-quarters of a mile. General Ewell's corps constituted our left, Johnson's division being opposite the height adjoining Cemetery Hill, Early's in the center, in front of the north face of the latter, and rodes upon his right. Hill's corps faced the west side of Cemetery Hill, and extended nearly parallel to the Emmitsburg road, making an angle with Ewell's. Pender's division formed his left, Anderson's his right, Heth's, under Brigadier-General pettigrew, being in reserve. His artillery, under Colonel[R. L.]Walker, was posted in eligible positions along his line. It was determined to make the principal attack upon the enemy's left, and endeavor to again a position from which it was thought that our artillery could be brought to bear with effect. Longstreet was directed to place the divisions of McLaws and Hood on the right of hill, partially enveloping the enemy's left, which he was to drive in. General Hillwas ordered to threaten the enemy's center, to prevent re-enforrcements being drawn to either wing, and co-operate with is right division in Longstreet's attack. General Ewell was instructed to make a simultaneous demonstra-


Page 318 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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