War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0129 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Sunday, the 28th of June, at Frederick, Md. On Monday, as he states, the army was put in motion, and by Tuesday night the right flank had reached Manchester and the left occupied Emmitsburg. General Buford's cavalry had advanced as far as Gettysburg, and reported that the Confederate army was debouching from the mountains, on the Cashtown road. Upon this intelligence, General Reynolds was ordered to advance on Gettysburg with the First and Eleventh Corps, which he reached early on the 1st of July, and found Buford's cavalry already engaged with the enemy-the corps of General Hill. Rapidly making his dispositions, General Reynolds joined in the conflict, and soon fell, mortally wounded. The command of the field then devolved on General Howard, of the Eleventh Corps, who maintained his position till about 2 p. m., when the enemy was heavily re-enforced by the arrival of Ewell's corps. The battle now raged fearfully, between Hill's and Ewell's corps on one side and the First and Eleventh Corps on the other, till about 4 p. m., when General Howard was compelled to yield to the superior numbers of the enemy, and fall back {losing many prisoners-nearly 4, 000

to the south side of Gettysburg. His position was eminently critical, when, to the great relief of both the general and our valiant troops, a division of the Third Corps, under the immediate command of General Sickles, arrived, and the fighting for that day was at an end. It should be mentioned that the Third Corps was stationed at Emmitsburg, by order of General Meade, with a view to protect that important point; but information continuing to reach General Sickles that the First and Eleventh Corps were in great danger, * he decided to assume the grave responsibility of moving to their relief without orders. Leaving two brigades at Emmitsburg, he made a forced march of 10 miles, in spite of the heat and dust, in three hours, and had the satisfaction to be hailed by General Howard, o his reaching the field, with the flattering phrase, "Here you are, general, always reliable, always first, " a generous tribute from one soldier to another. General Slocum, of the Twelfth Corps, had arrived a short time before, but his corps was then some 4 miles distant. In the early part of the evening {Wednesday

, a conference of the leading generals took place, when some insisted on falling back toward Taneytown, while others urged the expediency of maintaining their present position as offering rare advantages for the inevitable and decisive contest that must occur on the following day. It appears that General Meade had issued a circular {of which I saw several copies

on the morning of Wednesday, July 1, to all his corps commanders, stating that his advance had accomplished all the objects contemplated, namely, the relief of Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and that he would now desist altogether from the offensive. He proposed to post the whole army in line of battle on Pipe Creek, the right flank resting on Manchester and the left on Middleburg, in-


*Besides numerous reports, the following brief communication reached him which accidentally fell into my hands:


General SICKLES:

"General Doubleday {First Corps

says for God's sake come up with all speed They are pressing us hard.

"H. T. LEE, "

Lieutenant, A, D, C. ".