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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 358 N. C. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

On the 23d, I received orders to march, via Berryville, Martinsburg, and Williamsport, into Maryland. The command moved at early dawn on the following day: First, Pickett's division; second, the Reserve Artillery battalions; Third, Hoods division, and, fourth, McLaws' division. Pickett's division and the battalion of Reserve Artillery crossed the potomac on the 25th, Hood's and McLaws' divisions on the following day. The command reached Chambersburg, Pa., on the 27th, and a half of two days was made for rest. On the night of the 28th, one of my scouts came with information that the enemy had passed the Potomac, and was probably in pursuit of us. The scout sent to general headquarters, with the suggestion that our army concentrate east of the mountains, and bear down to meet the enemy. I received orders on the following day to move part of my command, and to encamp it at Greenwood. The command, excepting Pickett's divisions, which was left to guard our our rear at Chambersburg, moved on the morning of the 30th, and the two divisions and battalions of Reserve Artillery got into camp at Greenwood about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. general Hood was orderer to put a brigade and a battery on a picket at New Guildford, on the road leading toward Emmistburg. On the next day, the troops set out for Gettysburg, excepting Pickett's divisions, not yet relieved from duty at Chambersburg, and Law's brigade, left by Hood on picket at New Guilford. Our march was greatly delayed on this day by johnson's divisions, of the Second Corps, which came into the road from Shippensburg, and the long wagon trains that follow him. McLaws' divisions, however, reached Marsh Creek, 4 miles from Gettysburg, a little after dark, and Hood's divisions got within nearly the same distance of the town about 12 o'clock at night. Law's brigade was ordered forward to its division during the day, and joined about noon on the 2d. Previous to his joining, I received instructions from the commanding general to move, with the portion of my command that was up, around to gain the Emmistburg road, on the enemy's left. The enemy, having been driven back by the corps of Lieutenant-Generals Ewell and A. P. Hill the day previous, had taken a strong position, extending from the hill at the cemetery along the Emmitsburg road. Fearing that my force was too weak to make an attack, I delayed until General Law's brigade joined its division. As soon after his arrival as we could make our preparations, the movement was begun. Engineers, sent out by the commanding general and myself, guided us by a road which would have completely disclosed the move. Some delay ensued in seeking a more concealed route. McLaws' division got into position opposite the enemy's left about 4 p. m. Hood's division was moved on farther to our right, and got into position, partially enveloping the enemy's left. The enemy's first position along the Emmitsburg road was but little better, in point of strength, than the first position taken by these two divisions. Our batteries were opened upon this position, Hood's division pressing upon his left and McLaws' upon his front. He was soon dislodged and driven back upon a commanding hill, which is so precipitous and rough as to render it difficult of ascent. Numerous stone fences about its base added greatly to its strength. The enemy, taking shelter behind these, held them, one after another, with great pertinacity . He was driven from point to point, however, until nearly night, when a strong force met the brigades of Major-


Page 358 N. C. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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