War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0868 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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at Littlestown, and marched to Two Taverns, where we arrived at about 12 m., and the command rested until 3. 30 p. m., when we were hastened forward in support of the First and Eleventh Corps, which had engaged the enemy at Gettysburg. We were posted in double columns with the balance of the division near what was afterward the left of our general line of battle. A strong line of skirmishers at about 6 p. m. was thrown well to the front, and remained in position until about 4 a. m. of the 2nd instant, when, with the division, we were marched across the fields, and placed in line of battle along the crest of wooded hill of slight elevation, at the right of the First Division, First Corps, and near the right of our general line of battle. A strong line of skirmishers was thrown well to the front. My command was second from the right of our brigade. A substantial breastwork of stones, logs, rails, and earth was hastily constructed, and the regiment rested in its rear until about 6. 45 p. m., when the enemy drove in our skirmishers and attacked us in large force. The enemy made repeated and desperate charges upon our position, but was as often repulsed with great slaughter to him until our ammunition gave out, when we held the position with the bayonet and such limited firing as could be made with the ammunition of the killed and wounded. At about 8 p. m. the enemy gained a hill on the right flank of our position. Seeing the regiment on my right give way, I attempted to change the front of the three right companies to resist him. The order was understood by the line officers for the regiment to fall back, which it proceeded to do in good order, but was brought to the right-about before getting 3 rods away, and again put in the trenches. This movement was executed under a most galling fire and when wholly exposed, as the ground a short distance to the rear of the works was elevated so as to give full range to the enemy's musketry. At about 9. 30 p. m. the enemy, repulsed in his every effort, withdrew. The regiment was relieved at about 10 p. m., but remained immediately in rear of the trenches during the night. At about 4 a. m. of the 3d, the regiment was again put into the trenches, and had barely settled into position when the enemy again furiously attacked us. His charges were most impetuous and his fire terrific. Twice was our flag shot down, and a rebel first sergeant, in a brave attempt to capture it, fell within 2 feet of the prostrate banner, pierced with five balls. Its record of the bloody contest is eighty-one balls through its field and stripes and seven in its staff. Each time it fell, the color-sergeant, William C. Lilly, spliced the staff, and again placed it upon the works, and received a slight wound in doing so. The regiment was relieved at 6. 30 o'clock, but went into the works three other times before the fight closed, which was about 1 p. m. With a single exception among the officers, and but very few among the men, all performed their duty to my entire satisfaction and far exceeded what might have been reasonably expected of a regiment in its second engagement. The exceptions I have noted, and the delinquents will be properly disciplined. When so many did so well, it would be invidious to make special mention of some in the rank and line who were particularly brave and meritorious. I should disappoint my entire command, however, if I did not call especial attention to the consummate skill and unsurpassed coolness and bravery of Lieutenant Colonel Charles B. Randall, who was dangerously wounded in the left breast and arm while cheering the men to their work.