Numbers 222. Report of Captain Frank C. Gibbs, Battery L, First Ohio Light Artillery.
July 4, 1863.
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report the following as the operations of Battery L, First Ohio Light Artillery, in the Gettysburg campaign: While in position guarding Banks' Ford, on the Rappahannock, 7 miles above Fredericksburg, Va., supported by the Forty-fourth New York Infantry, I received orders to be ready to move at a moment's notice, and on the night of June 13, I started on the line of march with the Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac, passing through Manassas Junction and crossing the Potomac River at Edwards Ferry on pontoons, and thence to Gettysburg. Marching nearly all night of July 1, we went into position about 8 a. m. on the morning of the 2d, to the right of the Baltimore pike, in a field of wheat, being thrown to the front of infantry in our rear meeting with some casualties. From thence wi took up our line of march, crossing the Baltimore pike, and going into park on the left of it. About the middle of the afternoon an orderly came rapidly up, asking our battery to come to the assistance of the Fifth Corps. I started on the trot, and reported to General Sykes, who ordered the battery to cover the valley. The rocky nature of the ground compelled us to unhitch our horses and place our guns in position by hand; the left section, in charge of Lieutenant H. F. Guthrie, on the left of a road leading from the valley, and on the right slope of Little Round Top [Weed's Hill]; the center and right sections, in charge of Lieutenants James Gildea and William Walworth, on the right of said road. We had hardly placed our guns in position when the Fifth Corps was forced back by a terrific charge of Longstreet's corps, and came rushing through us, but began rallying on us as soon as they understood matters. Our front was hardly clear when the irregular, yelling line of the enemy put in his appearance, and we received him with double charges of canister, which were used so effectively as to compel him to retire. So rapidly were the guns worked that they became too hot to lay the hand on. But for the position of the battery, and the gallantry with which it was handled by the men, I have no doubt the enemy would have accomplished his purpose of breaking our lines at this point, and possibly changed the fortunes of the day. On the 3d, we remained in the same position, occasionally working the battery. A number were slightly wounded, and Asa Kline was severely wounded. The infantry suffered considerably while supporting us.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
F. C. GIBBS,
Captain, Comdg. Battery L, First Ohio Light Artillery.
Captain A. P. MARTIN,
Commanding Artillery Brigade, Fifth Corps.