War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0778 N. C., VA., WVA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

About this time the advance of the Fifth Army Corps arrived, and took position on the right of the division. Up to this time the division was under the command of its commander proper-Brigadier General A. S. Williams. I now received orders from General Williams to take the command of the division, General Williams having been placed in command of the corps. I turned over the command of my brigade, the Third, to Colonel Silas Colgrove, Twenty-seventh Volunteers, senior colonel, and assumed command of the division. About 9 a. m. I received orders from General Williams, commanding corps, to move the division by the Baltimore turnpike toward Gettysburg, and place it in position next on the right of the Second Division of the corps, distant about 1 1/2 miles by the road indicated. I immediately moved the division as ordered, and placed it in position as indicated by General Williams, commanding corps, present on the ground, on the right of the Second Division of the corps and in line of battle, two lines formation, the First Brigade immediately on the right of the Second Division, the Third Brigade on the right of the First Brigade. The line of the First Brigade was in prolongation of the right portion of the line of the Second Division, and along the crest of a rocky, wooded ridge, called Culp's Hill, about 700 yards from, on the right of, and nearly parallel with, the turnpike, the right reaching nearly to Rocky Run [Rock Creek], a creek which approached the position from the left and front. The line of the Third Brigade made an angle with that of the First Brigade, inclining to the rear and following the general directions of the creek, and was cut by a marshy ravine or swale, some 50 yards in width, which put in to Rocky Run [Rock Creek] from the rear, leaving space enough on left of swale from the right of the First Brigade line for one regiment front. Breastworks were immediately constructed of logs, rocks, and earth along the whole line, and at the gap in the line caused by swale, so as to give cross-fire in front of gap. In rear of breastworks of First Brigade, and about 75 yards therefrom, and nearly parallel therewith, was a stone wall, behind which the second line of the First Brigade was placed. In front of the line of the Third Brigade Rocky Run [Rock Creek] was from 4 to 6 feet deep, with muddy bottom, caused by a dam near the turnpike. The whole position was covered with rocks. The ground in front of the First Brigade descended to Rocky Run [Rock Creek], and in front of the Third Brigade, on the opposite side of the creek, ascended therefrom, and was covered with rocks, and wooded. The following rough sketch shows generally position of troops and main topographical features of ground. (See map annexed.) The division remained in this position until about 6 p. m., the enemy not having appeared in force in its immediate front. At this time I received orders from Brigadier-General Williams, commanding corps, to move with the division to the assistance of the left of the general line, then hotly engaged with the enemy, reporting my arrival to the corps commander of the forces engaged. The division was moved in the direction ordered, being exposed on part of the line of march to a heavy artillery fire. Having approached the point of heavy fire of musketry, which had become feeble, I formed the division in line of masses preparatory to moving forward. At this time I received orders from Brigadier-General Williams to move the division back to the position recently left as quickly as pos-