ance of the troops composing the Third Brigade, marched on the morning of the fist, from Littlestown, Pa., on the pike toward Gettysburg, by way of Two Taverns, and when within about 2 miles of Gettysburg the brigade filed to the right, leaving the pike, and proceeded about 11/2 miles, apparently with the intention of flanking the enemy`s left, the Twenty-seventh Indiana having the advance. After arriving in front of the enemy`s left, the brigade was halted in a piece of woods, and, in obedience to orders from General Ruger, commanding the brigade, I threw out Company G, deployed as skirmishers to the front and right, who soon reported the hill in our front to be held by the enemy`s mounted skirmishers. I immediately communicated this fact to the brigade commander, and received orders to advance my regiment and take possession of the hill occupied by the enemy, which order was immediately obeyed. I advanced my regiment in line, keeping my skirmishers well to the front. By the time the regiment had reached a reached a ravine or small creek, thickly skirted with undergrowth, at the foot of the hill, my skirmishers had nearly reached the crest of the hill occupied by the enemy, who had retired as my skirmishers advanced. At this point, I received orders to halt and fall back to my original position in the woods, which order was obeyed. The regiment, with the balance of the brigade, was subsequently moved back by the same route it had advanced about 1 mile, and, after throwing out a strong line of pickets, bivouacked for the night. Early on the morning of July 1, I was ordered to advance my regiment to the front, in the direction of the position occupied by the brigade on the evening of the 1st. I immediately deployed Company F as skirmishers, and advanced. I had not proceeded more than half a mile beyond our picket line when my skirmishers became engaged with those of the enemy. The enemy`s skirmishers occupied a piece of woods in my front, and a stone house and a large barn on my right. They also endeavored to gain a house and barn immediately on my left. This movement of theirs I anticipated, and threw a part of my skirmishers forward, and took possession of the house and barn on my left and front. The balance of my line skirmishers occupied open ground and without protection, while the enemys`s line was entirely covered by woods and buildings. In this position sharp firing was kept up for something like an hour, at which time I received notice General Ruger that the brigade had been ordered to fall back, with orders to hold my position until further orders. Subsequently I received orders to fall back, which was done by moving my regiment in line, keeping the skirmishers deployed in the rear. I rejoined the brigade on the ground upon which we had bivouacked the night previous. At this point I was ordered to take command of the Third Brigade in place of General Ruger, who had been placed in command of the division. The subsequent part taken by the Twenty-seventh Regiment will be reported by Lieutenant-Colonel Fesler, who commanded the regiment during the 2d, 3d, and 4th. In the skirmishing of the morning of the 2d, Company F had 1 man killed and 4 wounded.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant ROBERT P. DECHERT,
A. A. A. G., Third Brig., First Div., Twelfth Corps.