The behavior of both men and officers during the two battles was excellent, ably sustaining the past reputation of the Third Brigade. *
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Comdg. Fifty-ninth Regiment New York Vols. Captain
HORACE P. RUGG,
Commanding Fifty-ninth New York Volunteers.
Numbers 115. Reports of Brig. General Alexander Hays, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, SECOND CORPS, July 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report through you the part taken by this division in the battle near Gettysburg, Pa. On July 2, the division, moving on the Taneytown road, arrived within about a mile of the town, where it was assigned a position on a ridge nearly parallel with the road, facing westward. A stone wall just below the crest of the hill gave much strength to the position, and an open space of half a mile in our front afforded the artillery posted on the right and left flanks a fair field for effective service. A strong line of skirmishers was thrown forward to our front, and during the day contended successfully with the enemy. Twice, at least, sorties were made from our position by the Twelfth New Jersey Volunteers, commanding the Third Brigade, was early in the day withdrawn from the division by the major-general commanding, and took a prominent part in the engagement on our left. The history of this brigade's operations is written in blood. Colonel Willard was killed, and next day, after the brigade had rejoined the division, his successor, Colonel Eliakim Sherrill, One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Volunteers, also fell. Colonel Clinton Dougall MacDougall, One hundred and eleventh New York Volunteers, and Major Hugo Hildebrandt, Thirty-ninth New York Volunteers, were each severely wounded, leaving the brigade in command of a lieutenant-colonel. The loss of this brigade amounts to one-half the casualties in the division. The acts of traitors at Harper's Ferry had not tainted their patriotism. The operations of the First Brigade, commanded by Colonel S. S. Caroll, are fully set forth in his own accompanying report. Too much credit cannot be given him and his command for the gallant manner in which they went to the relief of the troops on our right. The darkness of night was no obstacle, and I have no doubt their finely arrival and merits will be acknowledged by the general commanding in that part of the field. The Second Brigade, Colonel Thomas A. Smith, First Delaware Vol-
*A medal of honor awarded to Sergt. James Wiley for the capture of the flag of the Forty-eighth Georgia Infantry.