War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0793 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 276. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William B. Wooster, Twentieth Connecticut Infantry.


July 26, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit that, under your orders, the Twentieth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, on the morning of July 1, moved from Littlestown, Pa., to Two Taverns. At 1 p. m. we moved forward to a point near Gettysburg, Pa., and were placed in line of battle, being supported by other forces of the First Brigade, the First Division of the Twelfth Army Corps holding the right of the battle line. At evening we were withdrawn from our position, and with the division rested near the Gettysburg road for the night. At daybreak on the morning of the 2nd instant, we were moved to a position in line of battle on the right, holding the front line, supported by other forces of the brigade. Company B was deployed as skirmishers, and well advanced from the main line. Between 10 and 11 a. m. we were withdrawn, and with the division moved to the Gettysburg road, and thence advanced near to Cemetery Hill, and were placed in position as a support to the Second Division of the Twelfth Army Corps, thus remaining until about 4 p. m., when the attack of the enemy became so determined on our left center that we were moved to the support of our forces (the Second and Third Corps) there engaged. Here we were placed in position, but before becoming engaged the enemy were repulsed, and we endeavored to return to the position on the right that we had last occupied, but it was found that during our absence the enemy had advanced on the right, and gained the breastworks in front and the stone wall, where we had previously been placed as a reserve, and the hills and woods on each side of the wall. Owing to the darkness of the night and the strength of the enemy in position, the First Division was unable to regain its original position. This night my regiment lay on its arms in a corn-field, near the woods in line of battle, ready to move at an instant's notice. Company G was advanced as skirmishers to a line near the woods, and so remained during the night, at intervals engaging the enemy's skirmishers. At daylight our artillery commenced shelling the woods, breast-works, and locality of the wall formerly held by us, then occupied by the rebels. A little after 5 a. m. my regiment advanced under orders into the edge of the woods. From this position a heavy force of skirmishers proceeded but a few rods to the brow of the hill before they engaged the enemy. From this time for over five hours parts of my regiment were unceasingly engaged with the enemy, the advanced line being frequently relieved from my main line. The enemy were endeavoring to advance through the woods, so as to turn the right flank of the Second Division, and were met and successfully resisted by my regiment. In this position I was enabled to repeatedly communicate to the colonel commanding the brigade and the general commanding the division the movements of the enemy in our immediate front, thereby enabling our artillery to more accurately obtain the range of the enemy and to greatly increase the effectiveness of our shells. At times it became necessary to advance my left wing to successfully repulse the advancing column of the enemy, and again