War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0603 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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the extreme left of the line of battle. Its defense was of the utmost importance. When the brigade was placed in position, the Twentieth Maine occupied the left of the line, the Sixteenth Michigan the right, the Eighty-third Pennsylvania and the Forty-fourth New York the center. The Third Division of the Fifth Corps was posted on the right of the brigade. The enemy had concentrated a heavy force in front of the line, and began a fierce attack immediately after the troops were in position. Repeated charges were made upon the center of the brigade, but the line was unbroken. A vigorous attack upon the right caused a temporary wavering there, but the One hundred and fortieth New York coming promptly to its support, it was re-established at once. It was at this time that Colonel Vincent, commanding the brigade, while rallying this part of his command, fell, mortally wounded. He was a gallant officer, beloved and respected by his command and by all who knew him. His death is a serious loss to the army and the country. Upon the removal of Colonel Vincent from the field, the command of the brigade devolved upon Colonel Rice, of the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers. The enemy, as stated, having in vain attempted to break the right of the brigade, renewed his attack upon the center and left. The Twentieth Maine, Colonel Chamberlain commanding, was posted on the left. It consisted of 380 men and officers. While the enemy in its front was making a fierce attack, a brigade was observed in the rear of their lines moving by its right flank and passing through a slight ravine on our left, with the evident purpose of gaining a position on the left flank of this regiment. Colonel Chamberlain at once threw back his left wing, and extended his right wing by intervals toward the left, in order to avoid diminishing the extent of his front. The brigade of the enemy alluded to reaching a proper position, attacked him furiously on the left flank, advancing within 10 paces and rapidly firing. They were first checked and then repulsed by the left wing of the regiment, thrown back for that purpose. A second, third, and fourth time the enemy renewed their attempt to break this line, and each time were they successfully repelled by that handful of men. Four times that little interval of 10 paces was the scene of a desperate conflict. The ground was strewed with dead and wounded men of both sides, promiscuously mingled. Their ammunition was exhausted; they replenished it from the cartridge boxes of the men lying around them, whether friends or foes, but even this resource soon failed them; the enemy in greatly superior numbers pressed hard; men and officers began to look to the rear for safety, but the gallant commander of the regiment ordered the bayonets to be fixed, and, at the command "Forward, " that wearied and worn body of men rushed onward with a shout. The enemy fell back. Pressing on, and wheeling to the right in open intervals, the left wing came again in line with the right wing, and then the whole regiment, deployed at intervals of 5 paces, followed up the advantage they had gained. The enemy threw down their arms and surrendered in large numbers; the others fled rapidly from the contest; 368 prisoners, including 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, and a dozen other officers of lesser rank were sent to the rear; 50 of their dead lay upon the field, and large numbers of their wounded; 30 of this gallant regiment were killed, over 100 were wounded, but not one was taken a prisoner, and none were missing.