I have no report of the casualties in the One hundred and fifty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers. They behaved with the utmost gallantry, and their loss was very severe.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THEODORE B. GATES,
Major-General of Volunteers.
Numbers 58. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Biddle, One hundred and twenty-first Pennsylvania Infantry.
BIVOUAC IN THE FIELD,
Thursday, July 2, 1863.
COLONEL: The One hundred and twenty-first Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, under my command, marched from W. R. White's house, in Freedom Township, yesterday morning, Wednesday, July 1. On arriving at the top of the hill bordering the valley in which Gettysburg lies, we were marched into a field on the left of a wood, through which we saw the First Division driving the enemy. We remained in this field, exposed at all times to an enfilading or direct fire, sometimes facing northwardly and sometimes westwardly, as the attack of the enemy varied. A large body of the enemy's troops had been seen to the west of our position throughout the day. While we were taking up a position facing to the north, to support a battery at the corner of a wood, the troops were seen advancing. We were ordered to form to meet them, and changed front to effect it. As the proper position assigned to the One hundred and twenty-first Regiment was immediately in front of the battery, we were moved to the extreme left, with the Twentieth New York on our right. I saw the line of the enemy slowly approaching up the hill, extending far beyond our left flank, for which we had no defense. As the enemy's faces appeared over the crest of the hill, we fired effectually into them, and, soon after, received a crushing fire from their right, under which our ranks were broken and became massed together as we endeavored to change front to the left to meet the. The immediate attack on our front was destroyed by our first fire. The officers made every possible effort to form their men, and Captains Ashworth and Sterling and Lieutenants Ruth and Funk were all wounded. The regiment, broken and scattered, retreated to the wood around the hospital and maintained scattering fire. Here, with the broken remnants of other regiments, they defended the fence of the hospital grounds with great determination. Finding the enemy were moving out on our left flank, with the intention of closing in on the only opening into the barricade, I reported the fact to the division commander, and by his directions returned to the fence barricade. The rebels, advancing on our left flank, soon turned the position, and our regimental colors, with the few men left flank, soon turned the position, and our hospital grounds through the town to our present position, where we now have almost exactly one-fourth of our force and one commissioned officer besides myself.