eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XXVII | Pages range from 2 to 1050

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Page 351 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

halted, and sent back to haste his artillery. members of my staff were also dispatched to remedy, as far as practicable, the delay. Cabell's, Alexander's, and Henry's battalions at length arrived, and the whole column moved toward the enemy's left. Colonel Alexander, by General Longstreet's direction, proceeded to explore the ground still farther to the right, and Henry's battalion, accompanying Hood's division, was thrown in that direction. Upon these, as soon as observed, the enemy opened a furious cannonade, the course of which rendered necessary a change in the main artillery column. Cabell's battalion deflected to the right, while Alexander's was mainly parked for a season, somewhat under cover, till it could advance to better purpose. The fire on the cross-road through the woods having, after some time, slackened, i reconnoitered that front again. As before, the enemy was only a few hundred yards off, awaiting attack. Soon after, at about 4 p. m., the general assault was made. Alexander's battalion moved into position, fronting the peach orchard near the Emmitsburg road, and open with vigor, as did the battalions to its right. The enemy obstinately resisted, and our batteries suffered severely. Within an hour, hoverer, his guns were silenced and his position was carried. Alexander then ran forward his pieces, which did effectual service in hastening and confining the enemy to his rear position on the mountain. Between his guns in that position and our batteries a cannonade was kept up, more or less briskly, till dark. While the First Corps thus advanced into [position and operated on the right, the batteries of the Third corps from the advance position in the center, early taken, occupied the attention of the enemy by a deliberate fire during the whole afternoon. Opportunity was once or twice taken by myself to observe the progress and effect of this fire. It elicited a spirited reply, and was useful in preventing full concentration by the enemy on either frank. On the left, attack was also delayed till the afternoon. About 4 p. m. the guns of the Second Corps, in position on that front, generally opened with a well-directed and effective fire. This also (although the right seemed to claim my chief attention) was partially observe be my from the central ridge in rear of the Third corps. Massed as were the enemy's batteries on the cemetery hill, fronting our left, and commanding as was their position, our artillery, admirably served as it was, operated there under serious disadvantage and with considerable loss. It still, hoverer, for the most part, maintained its ground, and prepared the way for infantry operations. Here the gallant Major Latimer, so young and yet so exemplary, received the wound which eventuated in his death. Thus stood affairs at nightfall, the 2d: On the left and in the center, nothing gained; on the right, batteries and lines well advanced, the enemy meanwhile strengthening himself in position naturally formidable and everywhere difficult of approach. By direction of the commanding general, the artillery along our entire line was to be prepared for opening, as early as possible on the morning of the 3d, a concentrated and destructive fire, consequent upon which a general advance was to be made. The right especially, was if practicable, to sweep the enemy from his stronghold on that flank. visiting the lines at a very early hour toward securing readiness for this grant attempt, I found much (by Colonel Alexander's energy) already accomplished on the right. Henry's battalion held about its original position on the flank. Alexander's was next, in


Page 351 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon