War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0728 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX

Search Civil War Official Records

Mummasbrug road. Each division lhad one battery with it. It was about 2 p. m. when the deployment of the two divisions was accomplished. The Second Division arriving shortly after; the First remained with you in the position above indicated. The engagement between the First Corps and the enemy had during that time continued briskly, the enemy being apparently driven to the crest of the ridge upon which the college building stands. Hardly were the two divisions deployed a fe2q hundred yards north of the town, when I received an order from you to remain in the position I then occupield, and to push my skirmishers forward as far as possible. This was done, and our skirmishers, who became soon engaged, especially those of the Third Division, took a considerable lnumber of prisoners. While this was going on, two of the enemy's batteries, placed on a hillside opposite the Third Division, one above the other, opened upon us, flanking the First Corps. Captain Dilger, whose battery was attached to the Third LDivision, replied promptlyl, dismounting in a short time four of the enemy's pieces, and driving a way two regiments which were on a line with the enemy; 's artillery at the foot of the hill. In the meantime the firing near my extreme left seemed to increase in volume, and leaving the point I had selected for myself and staff, on the Mummasburg road, I rode over toward the left, in order to see what was going on. The right of the First Corps seemed to be engaged in a very severe struggle. The enemy was evidently pressing upon that point. At the same time signs were apparent of an advance of the enemy upon my line, especially the right. The enemy was evidently stronger than he had been at the commencement of the battle and the probability was that re-enforcements were still arriving. Feeling much anxiety about my right which was liable to be turned if any of the enemy's forces were advancing by the Heidlersburg road, I dispatched one of my brigades to you, with the request to have one brigade of the Second Division placed upon the north side of th town, near the railroad depot, as an echelon to the First Division. My intention was to have that brigade in readiness to charge upon any force the enemy might move around my right. After having taken the necessary observations on my extreme left, I returned to the Mummasburg road, where I discovered that General Barlow had moved forward his whole line, thus losing on his left the connection with the Third Division; moreover, the Second Brigade, of the First Division, had been taken out of its position en echelon behind the right of the First Brigade. I immediately gave orders to re-establish the connection by advancing the right wing of the Third Division, and hurried off aide after aide to look after the brigade of the Second Division which I had requested you to send me for the protection of my right and rear, but it had not yet arrived. Suddenly the enemy opened upon the First Division from two batteries placed near the Harrisburg road, completely enfilading General Barlow's line. This fire, replied to by our batteries, produced but little effect upon our men. Soon afterward, however, about 3 o'clock, before the forward movement of the First Division could be arrested by my orders, the enemy appeared in our front with heavy masses of infantry, his line extending far beyond our right. It was now clear lthat the two small divisions under my command, numbering hardly over 6, 000 effective men when going into battle, had a whole corps of the rebel army to contend against.