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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 553 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

my left), with Doles' brigade, which was moved somewhat to the left for this purposed, and trusting to this gallant brigade thus holding them until General Early's division arrived, which I knew would be soon, and which would strike this portion of the enemy's force on the flank before it could overpower Doles. At this moment Doles' brigade occupied the open plain between the Middletown road and the foot of the ridge before spoken of. The Alabama brigade, with a wide interval between it and Doles', extended from this plain up the slope of the ridge; Daniel's brigade supported Iverson's, and extended some distance to the right of it; Ramseur was in reserve. All the troops were in the woods excepting Doles' and a portion of Rodes' (O'Neal's) brigades, but all were subjected to some loss or annoyance from the enemy's artillery. While making some examination into the position and apparent intentions of the enemy, with the view of attacking him, this artillery fire became so annoying that I ordered the Alabama brigade from the line it had occupied to fall back abreast with Iverson, so as to obtain some little shelter for the troops. The right regiment (Third Alabama) was, under my order, placed on a line with Daniel's brigade, Colonel O'Neal being instructed to form the balance of the brigade upon it. These dispositions were but temporary and unimportant, and are mentioned only because they are necessary to a full understanding of Colonel O'Neal's report. Finding that the enemy was rash enough to come out from the woods to attack me, I determined to meet him when he got to the foot of the hill I occupied, and, as he did so, I caused Iverson's brigade to advance, and at the same moment gave in person to O'Neal the order to attack, indicating to him precisely the point to which he was to direct the left of the four regiment then under his orders, the Fifth Alabama, which formed the extreme left of this brigade, being held in reserve, under my own immediate command, to defend the gap between O'Neal and Doles. Daniel was at the same moment instructed to advance to support Iverson, if necessary; if not, to attack on his right as soon as possible. Carter's whole battalion was by this time engaged hotly-a portion from the right, the remainder from the left of the hill-and was subjected to a heavy artillery fire in return. Iverson's brigade attacked handsomely, but suffered very heavily from the enemy's musketry fire from behind a stone wall along the crest of the ridge. The Alabama brigade went into action in some confusion, and with only three of its regiments (the Sixth, Twelfth, and Twenty-sixth), the Fifth having been retained by mu order, and, for reasons explained to Colonel O'Neal, the Third having been permitted by Colonel O'Neal to move with Daniel's brigade. The three first-mentioned regiment moved with alacrity (but not in accordance with my orders as to direction) and in confusion into the action. It was soon apparent that we were making no impression upon the enemy, and hence I ordered forward the Fifth Alabama to their support; but, to my surprise, in giving this command to its colonel (Hall), I found that Colonel O'Neal, instead of personally superintending the movements of his brigade, had chosen to remain with his reserve regiment. The result was that the whole brigade, with the exception of the Third Alabama (the movements of which will be seen by reference to the reports of Generals Ramseur and Iverson and Colonel Battle), was repulsed quickly, and with loss. Upon investigation recently, I find that just as O'Neal's men


Page 553 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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