at hand, I immediately ordered them in and held my ground. Both my aides being wounded, and myself severely bruised, I with great difficulty was able to maintain a proper knowledge of the enemy. Being notified about this time that a heavy column of the enemy was coming upon my left, I immediately took measures to meet them, sending word to that effect to the general commanding. I held them at bay for some time, when word was brought me that my right was being turned, and finding no troops coming to my support, and finding that unless I retired all would be killed or captured, I reluctantly gave the order to retire, and in good order the whole command came off the field slowly, and, firing as they retired, succeeded in bringing off nearly all their wounded. In passing back over the wheat-field, I found the enemy had nearly closed in my rear, and had the movement no been executed at the time it was, I feel convinced that all would have been lost by death, wounds, or capture.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the bravery and cool, steady bearing of the troops. The greater part of the command reformed behind some stone walls, ready to fight to the last, but other troops coming up, relieved them, and the brigade reformed in the rear of the hill called Round Top.
The loss in officers and noncommissioned officers was very large, leaving companies with out officers and first sergeants.
After reforming, the general commanding again took position near the position occupied in the morning, where we bivouacked for the night.
July 3, early, the general commanding directed me to from on the left of the Third Brigade. The enemy, seeing the movement, immediately commenced a brisk shelling, which killed and wounded several men. Here we were directed by General Caldwell to throw up rifle pits. In the afternoon a terrific cannonade was opened upon our lines, followed by an infantry attack, which did not, however, direct itself against our line. After the failure of this attack, nothing of importance transpired, the enemy evidently being defeated. It is with regret that I record the death of the gallant Lieutenant Colonel H. C. Merwin, of the Twenty-seventh Connecticut, who fell in the thickest of the fight. His death is a national loss. All other officers and all the men behaved with extraordinary bravery. Of my staff, Captain H. J. Smith and Lieutenant C. F. Smith were seriously wounded. Lieutenant Charles P. Hatch, acting assistant adjutant-general, Captain A. M. Wright, acting assistant inspector-general, and Lieutenant J. J. Whitney rendered me efficient and valuable service. I would respectfully ask for them the notice of the general commanding. The list of casualties has already been furnished. * The proportion of killed and wounded to the number engaged will show how desperately the fight raged.
July 4 passed without much fighting, and on the 5th, at 4 p. m., by order of the general commanding the division, took up line of march, following the Third Brigade; forded Marsh Creek, and marched a short distance beyond Two Taverns, Pa. Remained at this point until 5 a. m. July 7, when marched for and arrived at Taneytown at 11 a. m.
On July 8, 9, 10, and 11, marched by way of Frederick, Crampton's Pass, Rohrersville, Keedysville, and the old Antietam battle field to Jones' Cross-Roads, and, forming line parallel to the Hagerstown turnpike, bivouacked.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 175. 26 R R-VOL XXVII, PT I