War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0318 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

ricade, and checked the enemy's advance, and finally compelled him to retire. He soon advanced again, however, and prolonged his line to our left, again turned our flank, and compelled us to retire. We fell back through Gettysburg to the high ground south of the town, and formed along the road west of the cemetery, where we were relieved at about 11 o'clock this a. m. In retiring from the barricade, and until we had reached the interior of the city, we were under the fire of the enemy's infantry upon our rear and both flanks. I cannot speak in too high terms of the conduct of the officers and men under my command. It would be unjust to attempt any dis- crimination when all did their duty so well. My loss in this action was very heavy, as you will perceive from the report made to you last evening. *

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully.


Colonel, Commanding.

Colonel BIDDLE.

Comdg. First Brigadier Third Div., First Army Corps.


Pa., July 4, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment and the One hundred and fifty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, under Captain Owens, in the battle of the 3rd instant at this place: These two regiments had been thrown forward on the afternoon of the 2nd as a part of the support of the troops at that time engaged on the left of our line, and when the fighting ceased they were assigned to the front line, a little to the left of the center of our line of battle. The two regiments were put in position behind a rail fence, which they converted into a barricade that afforded some security against the enemy's sharpshooters, and proved of especial service the next day during the artillery and musketry. fire. The two regiments were posted with the Twentieth New York State Militia on the right. We occupied this line during the night. Nothing of particular note occurred until 12. 30 p. m. of the 3d, when enemy opened from his right-center battery, which was soon followed by alls his guns on his right and center, and the position occupied by my command was swept by a tempest of shot and shell, which continued for nearly three hours, and surpassed, in rapidity of firing and in the number of guns employed, anything I had before witnessed during the war. As the cannonading subsided, the enemy's infantry began to debouch from the orchard and woods on his right center, and moved in line of battle across the open fields between my position and the highway from Gettysburg Emmitsburg. His troops were formed in two lines, the second line, however, not covering the left battalion of the first. They advanced rapidly, firing as they came, our skirmishers falling back before them. My men opened upon them when they reached the farther edge of the valley in front of us, and the first line immediately flanked to the left and moved rapidly in the new direction. As the second line received our fire, it began to oblique to the left, and finally closed its left upon the right of the first line, when all flanked to the *Embodied in revised statement, p. 174.