War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0447 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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remained in it until his death from the purest patriotism; not a single ambitious or selfish motive mingled with it. He would have made the noblest sacrifice where he knew that no man would even hear it as readily as if the eyes of the whole world were fixed upon him. Such perfect purity of sentiment deserves this distinguished mention, which Lieutenant Ropes himself would have been the last to expect. I find it impossible to discriminate among the enlisted men, as all behaved so well {there being but 4 missing

, and particularly as 7 company commanders, the only proper persons to report the behavior of their men, are absent, killed or wounded.

I have the honor to be,


Captain Comdg. Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers.

Lieutenant DRIVER,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 112. Reports of Major Sylvanus W. Curtis, Seventh Michigan Infantry.


July 16, 1863.

SIR: This regiment left its temporary encampment, about 2 miles south of Gettysburg, on the morning of July 2, pursuant to orders, the regiments of the brigade in the following order: The Forty-second New York, Twentieth and Nineteenth Massachusetts, Seventh Michigan, and Fifty-ninth New York, respectively. Moving across an open field, I was ordered to form line on the left of the Fifty-ninth New York to support a battery, which took a position on our right and left flank, and a few paces in front of our line, our line of battle being partially covered in front by a rail fence. This was converted into a sort of barricade by bringing rail from the adjoining fences. Our front was an open field of considerable extent; the enemy held the woods beyond, about 160 rods distant. Soon after we took our position, some skirmishing took place along our front and on the right. About 4 p. m. the enemy opened fire from their artillery on the extreme left. This continued about one hour, doing no damage. Soon after, the enemy were seen forming their infantry, preparatory to an advance on our lines. The batteries on our right and left opened their fire, and did considerable execution in their ranks as they advanced. Our skirmishers were soon driven in. As soon as they {the enemy

came within range, a rapid and destructive fire opened on them along our line. The enemy continued to advance boldly until within 30 or 40 yards of our line, where, partially protected by rocks and shrubs, they continued to pour in a galling fire. The artillerymen belonging to the batteries being nearly all killed or wounded, the guns were silenced. Advancing boldly to the battery on our left, the enemy took possession, planting a battle-flag upon one of them. Their triumph, however, was short. A deadly volley was poured upon them at not more than 30 yards distance. Their color-bearer fell, pierced by a doyen bullets. Many others were killed or wounded, and they were forced to fall back to their cover, and the battery was saved. During the hottest of the firing many of the enemy were seen to throw down their guns, and, creeping along the ground to our lines, surren-