War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0313 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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chosen by our late distinguished corps commander, Major-General Reynolds, to whose skillful selection of the position much of the ultimate success of our army may be attributed. The Second Brigade, facing in the same direction as the First, threw forward its skirmishers, as did also the First, to cover the general line. During the day the whole division was exposed to a severe direct and enfilading fire, the Second Brigade in the earlier part of the engagement being the principal object of attack. A determined effort of the enemy later to turn my right flank was met by an immediate change of front and so destructive a fire from the Second Brigade that the advancing lines of the rebels, thought well covered by artillery, were compelled to fall back with broken ranks to a shelter where they could be reformed. Colonel Stone having been severely wounded, the command of the Second Brigade was then assumed by Colonel Wister, who, in the repulse of a renewed effort of the enemy, was also disabled, when the command devolved upon Colonel Dana, of the One hundred and forty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers. The position selected by General Reynolds had been steadily and determinedly maintained until nearly 4 o clock in the afternoon against very greatly superior numbers of the enemy, in order that the other corps of our army, then on the march, might be enabled to reach and occupy the ground selected for future operations. A general advance of the enemy s infantry was now made in two very strong lines, the right of which greatly outflanked the First Brigade, at that time consisting only of three small regiments, numbering together not over 830 men and officers, the One hundred and fifty-first Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment having been previously detached from that brigade to support the part of our line on the right of the woods. When the enemy were first observed advancing on their extreme right, they issued from a piece of woods extending north and south, a mile distant from the First Brigade, the brigade being then faced to the north, and almost at right angles with its original position. A change of front of this part of the division was ordered and executed under a heavy fire. After the change, the One hundred and forty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers and Twentieth New York State Militia were on the right And center of the brigade, and the One hundred and twenty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers on the left, with the battery between the One hundred and forty-second and Twentieth New York State Militia. Notwithstanding the murderous fire with which the enemy were re-ceived by my left, the disparity between the contending forces was too great to render it possible for our line to hold its position. The First Brigade gradually fell back, firing, until it reached a cover of rails hastily thrown up by some of the other troops in front of the seminary. Here it remained, together with some men of the First Division, fighting desperately and until time was afforded to most of our other troops, to the artillery, and to the ambulances to withdraw in an orderly manner from the town in the direction of the cemetery, and until the advancing lines of the enemy were gaining our flanks. At the breastworks, Colonel Biddle, commanding the First Brigade. was wounded in the head by a shot, but he still remained on the field, and retired with his command and reformed it on arriving in the rear of Cemetery Hill, behind which Colonel Dana, whit the Second Brigade, with reformed lines, was also again in readiness for service. The Second Brigade on first falling back halted in a peach orchard,