War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0251 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

which it was no longer possible to answer. When all the troops at this point were overpowered, Captain Glenn, of the One hundred and forty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, in command of my headquarters guard, defended the building for fully twenty minutes against a whole brigade of the enemy, enabling the few remaining troops, the ambulances, artillery, &c., to retreat in comparative safety.

The batteries had all been brought bach from their advanced positions and posted on Seminary Hill. They greatly assisted the orderly retreat, retarding the enemy by their fire. They lost heavily in men and horses at this point, and, as they retired to the town, were subjected to so heavy a fire that the last gun was left, m the horses being all shot down by the enemy's skirmishers, who had formed line within 50 yards of the road by which the artillery was obliged to pass. The First Corps only consisted of about 8, 200 men when it entered the battle. It was reduced at the close of the engagement to about 2, 450. It must be remembered that A. P. Hill's corps alone, which fought us on the west, was estimated at 35, 000 men, of which 25, 000, under Heth and Pender, were in line opposed to us, and that Ewell's corps, which attacked us on the north, was said to amount to 30, 000 more. Its two divisions with which we contended, under Rodes and Early, contained about 20, 000 men. Reserves amounting to 20, 000 additional men, belonging to the two corps, and backed by the whole rebel army, were within a few hours' march. When that part of the Eleventh Corps adjacent to us fell back, a force of 30, 000 men was thrown upon the First Corps, which in the beginning only contained about 8, 200.

I remained at the seminary superintending the final movement until thousands of hostile bayonets made their appearance around the sides of the building. Then rode back and rejoined my command, nearly all of whom were filing through the town. As we passed through the streets, the pale and frightened inhabitants came out of their houses, offering us food and drink and the expression of their deep sorrow and sympathy. The written statements of the division commanders in regard to the details of this period are slightly conflicting. I therefore present extracts from the reports themselves. General Robinson has already been quoted.

General Wadsworth says: I received orders direct from Major-General Howard to hold Seminary Ridge as long as possible. Tidball's battery had been driven back, but about 3 p. m. Battery B, Fourth Regular Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Stewart, came to our assistance, and rendered effective service, demolishing a brigade of the enemy by a destructive fire of canister and shell. Battery L, First New York Artillery, and the Fifth Maine Battery, were likewise engaged in position near the seminary. At about 2. 30 p. m. Major-General Schurz, who had been advanced on our right, fell back after partially engaging the enemy, and left our right exposed. The enemy advanced in large force from that direction, and on our left the Third Division of this corps was driven back. Finding myself outflanked on both right and left, heavily pressed in front, and my ammunition nearly exhausted, I ordered the command to retire at 3. 45 o'clock. The movement was effected in good order, and all the artillery brought off safely, excepting one caisson, the Seventh Wisconsin bringing up the rear and suffering heavily with the whole of the command from the fire from our front and both flanks. The severity of the contest during the day will be indicated by the painful fact that at least half of the officers and men who went into the engagement were killed or wounded.

General Rowley says: A general advance of the enemy's infantry was now made in two very strong lines, the right of which outflanked the First Brigade, at that time consisting only of three small regiments, numbering together not over 830 men and officers, the