War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0773 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

part taken by it the recent operations in the vicinity of Gettysburg:

On the morning of July 1, the corps left Littlestown, moving on the Baltimore pike toward Gettysburg. While halting near Two Taverns, information was received that the First and Eleventh Corps were engaged with the enemy beyond Gettysburg, and that Major-General Reynolds was mortally wounded. The corps was immediately put in rapid march toward the scene of action, and Major-General Slocum proceeded at once to the front, to assume command. In this temporary transfer of commands, Brigadier General T. H. Ruger took command of the First Division, and Colonel Colgrove, Twenty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, of the Third (Ruger's) Brigade, First Division. Before reaching Rock Creek, the First Division was directed to the right, following a cross-road to the Hanover road, for the purpose of seizing upon a commanding position easterly of the town of Gettysburg. The position was found to be in possession of the enemy. Preparations were, however, at once made to carry it, and a brigade was advancing up the hill to the assault when information was received that our troops had fallen back and that the enemy occupied the town. To preserve our communications, the division took a position nearer the Baltimore pike, and bivouacked for the night. The Second Division (Geary's), under the direct orders of Major-General Slocum, crossed Rock Creek, and took up a position for the night on the left of the First Corps. My headquarters were with the First Division. Early on the morning of July 2, Brigadier General H. H. Lockwood reported to me with a brigade of two regiments, First Maryland Home Brigade, Colonel Maulsby, and One hundred and fiftieth New York, Colonel Ketcham. Our skirmishers were smartly engaged with the enemy toward the Bonaughtown road. The Fifth Corps arrived, and took position on our right. At 8 a. m. orders were received to unite the two divisions of the corps, and occupy a new line on the right of Wadsworth's division, of the First Corps, north of Rock Creek. This new line was along the crest of a rocky and wooded ridge of moderate elevation, running in irregular shape in a southeasterly direction from Gettysburg to Rock Creek. Wadsworth's division, First Corps, occupied the portion nearest the town, or Cemetery Hill. The Second (Geary's) Division, and First (Colonel McDougall's) Brigade, of First (Ruger's) Division, Twelfth Corps, held the rest of the ridge to Rock Creek, and the Third (Colonel Colgrove's) Brigade, First Division, and Lockwood's brigade continued the line along the creek almost at right angles to the ridge, 600 to 700 yards to the Baltimore pike. This strong natural position was at once strengthened by construction of log breastworks along the entire crest of the ridge. A thick stone fence parallel to the ridge, less than 50 yards behind it, furnished an excellent cover for this second line. During the afternoon, three pieces)10-pounder Parrott's) of Knap's Independent Pennsylvania Battery, under Lieutenant Geary, and one section (l2-pounder Napoleons), K, Fifth U. S. Artillery, under Second Lieutenant William E. Van Reed, were placed in position in an open space on the left of the corps, and succeeded in about thirty minutes in blowing up a caisson of the enemy and dislodging a battery of eight guns on an eminence in front of our position. The artillery lost in killed and wounded in this operation 8 men. Between 5 and 6 p. m. orders were received from Major-General