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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 1 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Page 428 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

OPERATIONS OF JULY 3.

About 1 p. m. the enemy opened with more than twenty batteries upon our line. By 2. 45 o'clock had silenced the Rhode Island battery and all the guns but one of Cushing's battery, and had plainly shown by his concentration of fire on this and the Third Brigade that an important assault was to be expected. I had sent, at 2 p. m., Captain Banes, assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, for two batteries to replace Cushing's and Brown's. Just before the assault, Captain Wheeler's {Cowan's
battery. First New York Artillery {First New York Independent Battery
, had gotten in position on the left, in the place occupied by the Rhode Island battery, which had retired with a loss of all its officers but one. At 3 o'clock the enemy's line of battle left the woods in our front; moved in perfect order across the Emmitsburg road; formed in the hollow in our immediate front several lines of battle, under a fire of spherical case from Wheeler's {Cowan's
battery and Cushing's guy, and advanced for the assault. The Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers were advanced to the wall on the right of the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers. Three of Cushing's guns were run down to the fence, carrying with them their canister. The Seventy-second Pennsylvania Volunteers were held in reserve under the crest of the hill. The enemy advanced steadily to the fence, driving out a portion of the Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers. General Armistead passed over the fence with probably over 100 of his command and with several battle-flags. The Seventy-second Pennsylvania Volunteers were ordered up to hold the crest, and advanced to within 40 paces of the enemy's line. Colonel Smith, commanding the Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, threw two companies of his command behind the stone wall on the right of Cushing's battery, 50 paces retired from the point of attack. This disposition of his troops was most important. Colonel Smith showed true military intelligence on the field. The Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers and most of the Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, even after the enemy were in their rear, held their position. The Seventy-second Pennsylvania Volunteers fought steadily and persistently, but the enemy would probably have succeeded in piercing our lines had not Colonel Hall advanced with several of his regiments to my support. Defeated, routed, the enemy fled in disorder. General Armistead was left, mortally wounded, within my lines, and 42 of the enemy who crossed the fence lay dead. This brigade captured nearly 1, 000 prisoners, 6 battle-flags {4 have been turned in
, and picked up 1, 400 stand of arms and 903 sets of accouterments. The loss of the brigade on the 2nd and 3rd was 43 commissioned officers and 482 enlisted men. * But 47 enlisted men are missing. The conduct of this brigade was most satisfactory. Officers and men did their whole duty. The Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers lost all its field officers, but held its ground. The cover in its front was not well built, and it lost many men lying on the ground; still, I saw none retire from the fence. A portion of the One hundred and sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, left behind the previous evening under Captain Ford, took part in

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*But see revised statement, p. 176.

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Page 428 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 1 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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