War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0593 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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his division on the battery, and hold the edge of the woods on its right. I promised to fill the gap he opened, which I did with Sweitzer's and Tilton's brigades, of my First Division, posting them myself. In the meantime Vincent's brigade, of this division, had seized the rocky height, closely followed by Weed's brigade, Second Division. These troops were posted under the direction of General Warren, chief engineer of this army. After closing the interval made by Birney with the brigades of General Barnes, I rode rapidly to the Taneytown pike to bring up the remaining troops of the corps, and on my return with them found the greater part of Weed's brigade moving away from the height where it had been stationed, and where its presence was vital. I dispatched a staff officer to know of the general why he had vacated the ground assigned him. His reply was, 'By order of General Sickles. ' I at once directed him to reoccupy it which was done at the double-quick step. Hardly had he reached it before the enemy came on in tremendous force. Vincent's brigade and O'Rorke's regiment (Wed's brigade) were and had been sorely pressed. Both those heroic commanders had fallen; but Weed again in position, Hazlett working, his guns superbly, and the timely arrival of Ayres' brigades of regulars, who were at once ordered to attack, stemmed the tide, and rolled away the foe in our front. At a later hour, by the withdrawal or retreat of the troops on his right-first, a division of the Third Corps, and next, Caldwell's command, of the Second Corps-a large body of the enemy gained his right and rear, and Ayres was compelled to fight his way, front and flank, to the heel of the gorge. This he did steadily, in excellent order, and connected with his left brigade (Weed's) on the general line of battle. But his loss was fearful; some of the regiments left 60 percent. of their number on the ground. As Ayres assumed this new position, General Crawford's command (my Third Division) was ordered to the front, and, entering the woods, became briskly engaged with the enemy. This combat lasted till dusk, and resulted in General crawford's gaining considerable ground, capturing many prisoners, and a flag of a Georgia regiment. Night closed the fight. The key of the battle-field was in our possession intact. Vincent, Weed, and Hazlett, chiefs lamented throughout the corps and army, sealed with their lives the spot intrusted to their keeping, and on which so much depended. The general line of battle on the left was shortened, strengthened, firm. Pickets were established, and the troops slept on their arms. Sedgwick (Sixth Corps) had moved up to my aid. On the 3d, Crawford held his ground in front, sustained by Bartlett's division, of Sedgwick's corps. The troops remained as the day before. Desultory firing from the pickets continued along our front. At 1 p. m. the enemy commenced a furious cannonade from more than one hundred guns, and occasionally a part of it was bestowed on the Fifth and Sixth Corps. It was the prelude to his attack, which soon followed and raged to our right; but, beaten, baffled, and discomfited, he returned to the shelter of the forests west of the Emmitsburg and Gettysburg pike. My artillery on the rocky ridge helped to shatter and disorganize his troops. On the 4th, reconnaissances were made, but developed nothing save a line of skirmishers covering his troops, and artillery on the slope falling away from the turnpike to the west. On the 5th, I began the march to Williamsport. 38 R R-VOL XXVII, PT I