Both officers and men behaved in a manner to sustain the previous reputation of the division. I have especially to thank Colonel Abbott, of the First Michigan, for the valuable assistance rendered me by his regiment in guarding the road.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. SWEITZER,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
Brigadier General JAMES BARNES,
Commanding First Division, Fifth Corps.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, Camp near Warrenton, Va.,
July 31, 1863.
GENERAL: In obedience to orders, I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of this brigade during the recent battle of Gettysburg: After a hard march on the day previous, July 1, from Unionville, Md., by way of Hanover, the brigade bivouacked after 12 p. m., with the division in the woods by the roadside, 4 or 5 miles distant from the battle-field. Next morning by daylight we were on the march again, the Second Brigade leading. Having arrived near what I supposed to be the right of our line, and near a farm-house and barn, the division was massed, the brigades occupying positions in the order of their numbers from right to left, General Sykes division being on our left. Here a call was made for a regiment from this brigade for picket duty by General Barnes, and Colonel Guiney, with the Ninth Massachusetts, was directed to report to him for instructions, and did so. Shortly after this, the division changed front to the left, at nearly a right angle with its former position, and formed in line of battalions in close column by division. We had been in this position but a few moments before we were again moved a considerable distance to the left; then moved by the front across the creek, and massed in an orchard on the hill above the bridge on the Gettysburg turnpike. There we remained until late in the afternoon (the precise time I do not remember), and the command had a few hours quiet and rest. Meanwhile there had been very little firing along the line, and I came to the conclusion the day would pass without the division being called into action. But soon after cannonading was heard on the left, and we were moved quite a distance farther to the left, and diagonally to the front, skirting in our march the woods in rear of or in which our lines were formed. When we moved off from the orchard, the Third Brigade, being on t he left of the division, moved first, the Second and First Brigades following in the inverted order. The Second Brigade was placed in position in wood fronting an open field, the woods bordering two sides of the field, the side in which we were and also that extending at right angles from our left toward the enemy, and in the last-mentioned wood the First Brigade was posted, connecting with our left. Having formed the three regiments of this brigade in line of battle (the Ninth Massachusetts being still absent on picket duty) in their regular order from right to left, and finding this formation threw the Thirty-second Massachusetts, which was on the left, into an exposed position beyond the woods in low, cleared ground, I directed Colonel Prescott to change