War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0472 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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Numbers 128. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel James M. Bull, One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.


Camp near Frederick, Md., July 8, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following statement in relation to the operations of the Third Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, in the battle of July 2 and 3, near Gettysburg, Pa.: The brigade, under the command of Colonel G. L. Willard, of the One hundred and twenty-fifth New York Volunteer Regiment, first took its position, by direction of the division general, by battalion in mass near a barn a little south of the hill known as Cemetery Hill. The Thirty-ninth New York Volunteers, under the command of Major Hildebrandt, was, by order of the general commanding the division, sent to the front as skirmishers. The regiment deployed, and for some four hours did very effective service against the skirmishers of the enemy. During this skirmish, the regiment lost 26 enlisted men killed and wounded, and 2 commissioned officers wounded; one of whom. Lieutenant Wagner, has since died. About noon, the division general ordered the regiment withdrawn, and the brigade soon after changed its position, and was massed by battalion on a hill to the left of Cemetery Hill. At about $ p. m., by order of the division general, the brigade moved from its position by the left flank about a quarter of a mile toward the left of the line, where it was formed in line of battle, and ordered by Colonel Willard to charge two rebel batteries, supported by infantry, posted on the hill in front of the position occupied by the brigade. The regiments composing the brigade were then commanded as follows: Colonel Sherrill, One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Volunteers; Colonel MacDougall, One hundred and eleventh New York Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Crandell, One hundred and twenty-fifth New York Volunteers; Major Hildebrandt, Thirty-ninth New York Volunteers. The line advanced over declining ground, through a dense underbrush extending to the base of the hill previously mentioned, in as good order as the circumstances of the case would admit of, at which place {the base of the hill

the alignment, without stopping, was partially rectified. Contrary, as is evident, to the expectations of the brigade commander, the rebels in considerable force were found in this underbrush. They fired upon the brigade as it advanced, which fire was returned by a portion of the brigade without halting. Many fell in the charge through the woods. Reaching the base of the hill, the brigade advanced at a "charge bayonets" up the hill mentioned, and within a few minutes recaptured part of a battery previously taken from us. After taking the battery higher up the hill on the left and a concentric fire of musketry on the right. The commander, finding his brigade unable to stand so severe a fire, ordered the regiments to retire, which was done in good order down the hill and through the underbrush before mentioned. After emerging from the underbrush, the line was reformed by direction of Colonel Willard, and immediately afterward he was killed by a shot from a rebel battery on the hill. Colonel sherrill then assumed command, and conducted the brigade to its original posi-