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

GETTYSBURG.

On the night of June 30, Rodes' division, which I accompanied, was at Heidlersburg; Early 3 miles off, on the road to Berlin, and Johnson, with Colonel Brown's reserve artillery, between Green Village and Scotland. At Heidlesburg, I received orders from the general commanding to proceed to Cashtown of Gettysburg, as circumstances might dictate, and a note from General A. P. Hill, saying he was at Cashtown. Next morning, I moved with Rodes' division toward Cashtown, ordering Early to follow by Hunterstown. Before reaching Middletown, I received notice from General Hill that he was advancing upon Gettysburg, and turned the head of Rodes' column toward that place, by the Middletown road, sending word to Early to advance directly on the Heidlersburg road. I notified the general commanding of my movements, and was informed by him that, in case we found the enemy's force very large, he did not want a general engagement brought on till the rest of the army came up. By the time this message reached me General A. P. Hill had already been warmly engaged with a large body of the enemy in his front and Carter's artillery battalion, of Rodes' division, had opened with fine effect on the flank of the same body, which was rapidly preparing to attack me, while fresh masses were moving into position in my front. It was too late to avoid an engagement without abandoning the position already taken up, and I determined to push the attack vigorously. General Rodes had drawn up his division, Iverson's brigade on the right, Rode's (old) brigade (Colonel O'Neal) in the center (these two on the ridge leading to the west of Gettysburg), and Doles on the left, in the plain. The Fifth Alabama was retained by General Rodes, to guard a wide gap left between O'Neal and Doles. Daniel and Ramsuer were in reserve. He at once moved forward, and, after advancing for some distance in line, came in sight of the enemy, and O'Neal and Iverson were ordered to attack, Daniel advancing in line 200 yards in rear of Iverson's right, to protect that flank. At this time, only desultory artillery firing was going, on on the rest of the field. Carter was warmly engaged. O'Neal's brigade, advancing in some disorder in a direction different from that indicated by

Major-General Rodes in person to Colonel O'Neal, and with only three regiments (the Third Alabama being by some mistake left with Daniel's brigade), was soon forced to fall back, notwithstanding the Fifth Alabama was sent to its support. The left to of Iverson's brigade was thus expose, but these gallant troops obstinately stood their ground till the greater part of three regiments had fallen where they stood in line of battle. A few of them, being entirely surrounded, were taken prisoners; a few escaped. The unfortunate mistake of General Iverson at this critical juncture in sending word to Major-General Rodes that one of his regiments had raised the white flag and gone over to the enemy might have produced the most disastrous consequences. The Twelfth North Carolina, being on the right of his brigade, suffered least. A slight change din the advance of General Iverson had uncovered the whole of Daniel's front, and be found himself opposed to heavy bodies of infantry, whom he attacked and drove before him till he reached a railroad cut extending diagonally across his front and past his right flank, which checked his advance. A battery of the


Page 444 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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