War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0761 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

ordered to return to its position on the right, and General Geary, with the two other brigades of the Second Division, was ordered back to his original position. It was nearly midnight before this movement was fully completed. Orders were at once issued for an attack at daybreak, for the purpose of regaining that portion of the line which had been lost. The artillery of the Twelfth Corps, consisting of Battery F. Fourth U. S. Artillery; Battery K, Fifth U. S. Artillery; Battery M, First New York, and Knap's Pennsylvania battery, was placed in position during the night by Lieutenant-Colonel Best, and opened the battle at 4 a. m. on the following morning, and during the entire engagement all these batteries rendered most valuable aid to our cause. The enemy had been re-enforced during the night, and were fully prepared to resist our attack. The force opposed to us, it is said, belonged to the corps under General Ewell, formerly under General Jackson, and they certainly fought with a determination and valor which has ever characterized the troops of this well-known corps. We were re-enforced during the engagement by Shaler's brigade, of the Sixth Corps, and by two regiments from General Wadsworth's division, of the First Corps, and also by Neill's brigade, of the Sixth Corps, which was moved across Rock Creek, and placed in position to protect our extreme right. All these troops did excellent service. The engagement continued until 10. 30 a. m., and resulted in our regaining possession of our entire line of intrenchments and driving the enemy back of the position originally held by him; in the capture of over 500 prisoners in addition to the large number of wounded left on the field, besides several thousand stand of arms and three stand of colors. Our own loss in killed and wounded was comparatively light, as most of our troops were protected by breastworks. The portion of the field occupied by the enemy presented abundant evidence of the bravery and determination with which the conflict was engaged. The field of battle at this point was not as extended as that on the left of our line, nor was the force engaged as heavy as that brought into action on that part of the line. Yet General Geary states that over 900 of the enemy's dead were buried by our own troops and a large number left unburied, marching orders having been received before the work was completed. Soon after the repulse of the enemy at this point, he opened from his entire line the severest artillery fire that I have ever witnessed. The losses of the Twelfth Corps from this fire were, however, light., and when the fire ceased, and was followed by an assault from his infantry on the left of the line, the entire command was in readiness to move to the support of our troops at that point. The First Division was moved, and reached the scene of conflict in time to have rendered assistance if required. They were not, however, called into action, the enemy being driven from the field by the troops already in position. On the following morning, July 4, I moved forward with one brigade (General Ruger's), and found the enemy had retired from our immediate front. The next day the Twelfth Corps marched to Littlestown. On July 7, the march was resumed at 4 a. m., and although many of the men were destitute of shoes, and all greatly fatigued by the labor and anxiety of a severely contested battle, as well as by the heavy marches which had preceded it, still, a march of 29 miles was made this day.