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

The last day's march was 25 miles, rendered the more fatiguing because of obstructions caused by wagons of Longstreet's corps. Late on the night of July 1, I moved along the Gettysburg and York Railroad to the northeast of the town, and formed line of battle in a ravine in an open field, Nicholls' brigade on the right, next Jones'; Steuart's and Walker's on the left. Pickets were thrown well to the front, and the troops slept on their arms. Early next morning, skirmishers from Walker's and Jones' brigades were advanced for the purpose of feeling the enemy, and desultory firing was maintained with their skirmishers until 4 p. m., at which hour I ordered Major Latimer to open fire with all of his pieces from the only eligible hill within range, Jones' brigade being properly disposed as a support. The hill was directly in front of the wooded mountain and a little to the left of the Cemetery Hill; consequently exposed to the concentrated fire from both, and also to an enfilade fire from a battery near the Baltimore road. The unequal contest was maintained for two hours with considerable damage to the enemy, as will appear from the accompanying report of Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews. Major Latimer having reported to me that the exhausted condition of his horses and men, together with the terrible fire of the enemy's artillery, rendered his position untenable, he was ordered to cease firing and withdraw all of his pieces excepting four, which were left in position to cover the advance of my infantry. In obedience to an order from the lieutenant-general commanding. I then advanced my infantry to the assault of the enemy's strong position - a rugged and rocky mountain, heavily timbered and difficult of ascent; a natural fortification, rendered more formidable by deep intrenchments and thick abatis-Jones' brigade in advance, followed by Nicholls' and Steuart's. General Walker was directed to follow, but reporting to me that the enemy were advancing upon him from their right, he was ordered to repulse them and follow on as soon as possible. The opposing force was larger and the time consumed longer than was anticipated, in consequence of which General Walker did not arrive in time to participate in the assault that night. By the time my other brigades had crossed Rock Creek and reached the base of the mountain, it was dark. His skirmishers were driven in, and the attack made with great vigor and spirit. It was as successful as could have been expected, considering the superiority of the enemy's force and position. Steuart's brigade, on the left, carried a line of breastworks which ran perpendicular to the enemy's main line, captured a number of prisoners and a stand of colors, and the whole line advanced to within short range, and kept up a heavy fire until late in the night. Brigadier-General Jones and Colonel Higginbotham, Twenty-fifth Virginia, were wounded in this assault, and the command of Jones' brigade devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Dungan. Early next morning, the Stonewall Brigade was ordered to the support of the others, and the assault was renewed with great determination. Shortly after, the enemy moved forward to recapture the line of breastworks which had been taken the night previous, but was repulsed with great slaughter. Daniel's and Rodes' brigades [Colonel {E. A.
O'Neal commanding], of Rodes' division, having reported to me, two other assaults were made; both failed. The enemy were too securely intrenched and in too great numbers to be dislodged by the force at my command.


Page 504 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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