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

gade of this division, had joined the line, and are entitled to a full share in the credit of the final repulse. The line remained in this way for about ten minutes, rather giving way than advancing, when, by a simultaneous effort upon the part of all the officers I could instruct, aided by the general advance of many of the colors, the line closed with the enemy, and, after a few minutes of desperate, often hand-to-hand fighting, the crowd-for such had become that part of the enemy's column that had passed the fence-threw down their arms and were taken prisoners of war, while the remainder broke and fled in great disorder. The Second Brigade had again joined the right of my line, which now occupied the position originally held by that command. General Garnett and Armistead were picked up near this point, together with many colonels and officers of other grades. Twenty battle-flags were captured in a space of 100 yards square. Several colors were stolen or taken with violence by officers of high rank from brave soldiers who had rushed forward and honestly captured them from the enemy, and were probably turned in as taken by commands which were not within 100 yards of the point of attack. Death is too light a punishment for such a dastardly offense. To the efforts of a few officers and the courage and good discipline of the men is due the great result of the final repulse of the enemy. Conspicuous acts of individual bravery were unusually frequent. Colors were captured, with clubbed muskets, and many men of both our own and the enemy had their clothes blown off for a large space around their wounds by the close discharge. Between 1, 500 and 2, 000 prisoners were captured at the pint of attack, where the First, Second, and Third Brigades were equally present. Piles of dead and thousands of wounded upon both sides attested the desperation of assailants and defenders. The services of many officers of my command would, under ordinary circumstances, claim particular notice and reward, but so great was the necessity for every possible exertion that all who saw their duty I believe did it, forgetting all question of danger. I cannot omit speaking in the highest terms of the magnificent conduct of Lieutenant Haskell, of General Gibbon's staff, in bringing forward regiments and in nerving the troops to their work by word and fearless example. Lieutenant-Colonel Steele, of the Seventh Michigan Volunteers, behaved most gallantly, and was killed in the line of his regiment, urging men forward. Every regimental commander did his whole duty nobly. Three of the 5 were killed or have since died of their wounds, viz: Colonel Revere, of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Thoman, Fifty-ninth New York Volunteers, and Lieutenant-Colonel Steele, Seventh Michigan Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Macy, Twentieth Massachusetts; Lieutenant-Colonel Wass and Major Rice, Nineteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, were severely wounded. Captains {S. Newell
Smith and {George W.
Leach and Lieutenant {William E.
Barrows, of my staff, were most conspicuous in closing the ranks, maintaining the lines, and pressing them against the enemy, while Lieutenant Driver, acting assistant adjutant-general, twice ran the gauntlet of the terrific artillery fire in bringing fresh artillery. I have been thus particular in describing the parts taken by the troops of this and other commands near by because I feel bound in justice to the men of my command, and those who assisted them on


Page 440 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 1 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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