War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0749

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Page 749
Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

rotts; Battery C, First West Virginia Artillery, Captain Hill, four 10-pounder Parrotts; Battery H, First Ohio Artillery, Captain huntington, six 3-inch rifles; Second Maine Battery, Captain Hall, four 3-inch rifles; First New Hampshire Battery, Captain [Edgell] six 3-inch rifles. Total, 32. Heckman's battery having been sent to the rear and one gun of Wheeler's battery dismounted, gave us on the morning of the 2nd a total of fifty-two guns. In the morning, before General Slocum had occupied his position, and while he was doing so, I placed theree batteries on the right of the Baltimore road, commanding the ravine between the two prominent hills on our right; yet, as General Slocum withstood every assault on his lines without assistance, later in the day I withdrew these batteries to the hill. As soon as the enemy developed the position he would probably occupy with his batteries, I placed mine in position commanding them. By the assignment on the hill, Dilger had the right, resting next the Baltimore road and parallel with the Emmitsburg road; on his left, and in order, were Bancroft, Eakin, Wheeler, Hill and Hall, commanding the enemy's batteries to the right of the town; and across the Baltimore road I placed Taft in rear of and perpendicular to Bancroft; also Huntington in real of and perpendicular to Wheeler, but farther in the rear of Wheeler than Taft was of Bancroft, so that Taft's battery would not obstruct his line of fire. By this assignment of artillery, I commanded with a reputable number of guns every point on which the enemy could place artillery commanding Cemetery Hill. I also occupied every point of the hill available for artillery, and during the engagement every gun, at different times, was used with good effect, and the fire of no one gun interfered with the fire of another. A sharp curve in the side of the hill also afforded good and conventient protection for the caissons. Most of the day the firing of the enemy's artillery was irregular, they scarcely opening more than one battery at a time, and when they did so we readily silenced them. On our entire front the enemy held a fine crest for the protection of aratillery, at a distance of 1, 000 to 1, 400 yards from us; but at the time the heavy attack was made on the extreme left of our line, the firing was very severe, and especially upon the hill. They engaged the greater portion of our whole line, and from both the right and left of the town much of the fire was concentrated on our position, but we soon gained a decided advantage over them, and long before the infantry struggle on the left was decidend, we had silenced most of their guns. In this artillery fire, Lieutenant Eakin was wounded in the hip, and carried from the field. Between 7 and 8 o'clock in the evening, a rebel brigade charged from the town upon the hill and upon Captain Wiedrich's battery. The charge was very impetuous, and the infantry at first gave way, and the battery was held for a moment by the enemy, when the cannoneers rallied with the infantry, and, seizing upon any weapons they could reach, threw themselves upon the enemy, and assisted to drive them back. All was done that could be, both before and after the repulse of the enemy, by the use of canister upon their ranks. Colonel Wainwright speaks in highly complimentary terms of toth officers and men for their galant conduct on this occasion. Although the command was much exhausted by the two days'work, most of



Page 749
Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.