War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0338

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Page 338
N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

The brigade went into action July 1 with 1, 315 men.

Officers and men.



Prisoners and missing.


Commissioned officers.





Enlisted men










By far the larger portion of this loss was sustained July 1.

Very respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Comdg. Second Brig., Third Div., First Army Corps.

Major E. C. BAIRD,

Asst. Adjt. General, Third Div., First Army Corps.

Numbers 64. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel John D. Musser, One hundred and forty-third Pennsylvania Infantry.


July 4, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make a report of the participation of the One hundred and forty-third Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment in the battle of Gettysburg, July 1, after the command was turned over to me, which occurred while holding the road west of the town, where the One hundred and forty-ninth and One hundred and forty-third had been ordered by command of Colonel Stone. It was in the hottest of the fire that I assumed the command, and had simply to hold the position, which we did as long as it could be held without being all captured, as the enemy were rapidly falling back on our left and flanking us on the right. Up to this time but few had been killed or wounded. Captains G. N. Reichard, Plotz, and Conyngham, among the officers, were wounded early in the action; Captain Reichard alone left on the field. After the enemy had driven the One hundred and forty-ninth from our left, I gave the command to move back. After crossing the crest of a hill, which lay a quarter of a mile in our rear and toward the town, we halted, faced about, and fired several volleys, checking their advance in front but not on our flanks. We then fell back to a peach orchard, where our battery was stationed. We again halted, and, with others, saved the battery, leaving the men (not ours) to pull it out of range by hand. It was with great difficulty I could get all the men to fall back from this point, which was a good one, and in front of which the enemy fell thick and fast. Still they moved in columns on our right and left, and superior numbers compelled us to fall back to the town, which, I might say, was done in good order, and only when peremptorily ordered to do so. The road from this hill (Battery Hill) to town was 10 to 12 feet high, and crossed over a stream and low meadow. Before

leaving, the enemy had come out of the

Page 338
N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.