eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XXVII | Pages range from 2 to 1050

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Page 608 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

ing the whole front occupied by the enemy; Heth's division (now commanded by General Pettigrew) in reserve. Colonel Walker had distributed his artillery along this line in the most eligible positions. The corps of General Longstreet (McLaws' and Hood's divisions) was on my right, and in a line very nearly at right angles to mine. General Longstreet was to attack the left flank of the enemy, and sweep down his line, and I was ordered to co-operate with him with such of my brigades from the right as could join in with his troops in the attack. On the extreme right, Hood commenced the attack about 2 o'clock; McLaws about 5. 30 o'clock. Soon after McLaws moved forward, General Anderson moved forward the brigades of Wilcox, Perry, and Wright, en echelon. The charge of these three brigades was very gallantly made, and pressed on until wilcox's right had become separated from McLaws' left. Wilcox and Wright drove the enemy from their intrenchments, inflicting very heavy loss upon them. Wilcox's brigade succeeded in capturing eight pieces of artillery and Wirght's brigade about twenty. The enemy threw forward heavy re-enforcements, and no supports coming to these brigades, the ground so hardly won had to be given up, and the brigades occupied their former positions in line of battle. The three brigades lost heavily in this attack. On this day, also, the Confederacy lost the invaluable services of Major General W. D. Pender, wounded by a shell, and since dead. No man fell during this bloody battle of Gettysburg more regretted than he, nor around whose youthful brow were clustered brighter rays of glory. On the morning of the 3d, the divisions of my corps occupied the same positions as on the 2d. The reserve batteries were all brought up, and put in position along the crest of the ridge facing the enemy's line. In addition, the battalion of Colonel Alexander, of longstreet's corps, was put in position in front of the right wing of Anderson's division, and on the ground won by Wilcox and Wirght. I was directed to hold my line with Anderson's division and the half of Pender's (now commanded by General Lane), and to order Heth's division (commanded by Pettigrew), and Lane's and Scales' brigades, of Pender's division, to report to Lieutenant-General Longstreet as a support to his corps in the assault on the enemy's lines. As the troops were filing off to their positions, Major-General Trimble reported to me for the command of Pender's division, and took command of the two brigades destined to take part in the assault. At 1 o'clock our artillery opened, and for two hours rained an incessant storm of missiles upon the enemy's lines. The effect was marked along my front, driving the enemy entirely from his guns. The assault was then gallantly made, Heth's division and Trimble's two brigades on the left of Pickett. Anderson had been directed to hold his division ready to take advantage of any success which might be gained by the assaulting column, or to support it, if necessary. To that end, Wilcox and Perry were moved forward to eligible positions. The assault failed, and, after almost gaining the enemy's works, our troops fell back in disorder. The enemy made no attempt to pursue. Major-General Trimble, Brigadier-General Pettigrew, and Colonel Fry, commanding Archer's brigade, were wounded while most gallantly leading their troops. General Trimble and Colonel Fry were both taken prisoners. The troops resumed their former positions, and remained thus until the night of the 4th, when the march was taken up toward Hagerstown, by Fairfield and Waynesborough.


Page 608 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon