War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0292 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records


July 5, 1863.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

I have the honor to send by bearer two stand of colors captured by this division in the action of July 1. One taken besides was retained by Colonel Wheelock, who was afterward taken prisoner.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Numbers 44. Reports of Colonel Richard Coulter, Eleventh Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding regiment and First Brigade.


July 6, 1863.

SIR: I report the following as the part taken by my command in the action with the enemy on July 1, near Gettysburg, Pa.:

The First Division had been for some time engaged when this brigade, about 11 a. m., was massed on the west side and near the embankment of the railroad. At this point I was directed by the general commanding the brigade to proceed with the Ninety-seventh New York Volunteers, Colonel Wheelock, and my own, Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, which I did, deploying both regiments, and moved with skirmishers about a quarter of a mile beyond the railroad track. Discovering that the enemy's movement was being directed against the left flank, I changed front to the left, and took position on the ridge (where the fighting subsequently took place), connecting the left of my command upon the right of General Cutler's brigade, of the First Division. I was here joined on the right by General Baxter, who resumed command of the entire line. The skirmishers had been a short time engaged, and about 12. 30 p. m. the firing became general along the entire line. The enemy, after several attempts, finding it impossible to force our position, commenced moving his troops toward the left, under a galling and effective fire from our line. While this was being done, a sally was made by part of the brigade (the Ninety-seventh New York Volunteers and my own regiment engaging in it), which resulted in the capture of about 500 of the enemy. The line was steadily maintained under a brisk fire until after 3 p. m., at which time, the ammunition being exhausted, we were relieved by a portion of the First Brigade. Upon being so relieved, the regiment was moved to the railroad embankment on the left, and there remained in support of battery until ordered to fall back to the town of Gettysburg, the enemy having in the meantime turned both flanks; then retired with the brigade along the railroad, suffering most severely from a galling fire of musketry and artillery. The division immediately assumed another position in the rear of the town, on Cemetery Hill. Here my regiment was transferred to the First Brigade, and I assumed the command of the brigade. At this point, therefore, my report ceases as connected with the Second Brigade. The loss in my regiment during this period was:


enlisted men, 5;


commissioned officers, 6;

enlisted men, 44;