No. 452. Report of Bring. General J. B. Robertson, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.
HEADQUARTERS TEXAS BRIGADE, Near Bunker Hill, Va., July 17, 1863.
Major: I have the honor to submit through you my report of the action of my brigade in the battle of Gettysburg, on July 2 and 3. I have been too much occupied with the duties imposed by the marches and maneuvers we have gone through to allow me to make this report at an earlier time. The division arrived on the front in front of the position of the enemy that we were to attack but a few minutes before we were order to advance. I therefore got but a glance at the field on which we had to operate before we entered upon it. I was ordered to keep my right well closed on Brigadier -General Law's left, and to let my rest on the Emmitsburg pike. I had advanced but a short distance when I discovered that my brigade would not fill the space between General Law's left and the pike named, and that I must leave the pike, or disconnect myself from General Law, on my right. Understanding before the action commenced that the attack on our part was to be general, and that the force of General McLaws was to advance simultaneously with us on my immediate left, and seeing at once that a mountain held by the enemy in heavy force with artillery to the right of General Law's center was the key to the enemy's left. I abandoned the pike, and closed on General Law's left. This caused some separation of my regiments, which was remedied as promptly as the numerous stone and rail fences that intersected the field trough which we were advancing would allow. As we advanced trough this field, for half a mile we were exposed to a heavy and destructive fire of canister, grape, and shell from six pieces of their artillery on the mountain alluded to, and the same number on a commanding hill but a short distance to the left of the mountain, and from the enemy's sharpshooters from behind the numerous rocks, fences, and houses in the field. As we approached the base of the mountain, General Law moved to the right, and I was moving obliquely to the right to close on him, when my whole line encountered the fire of the enemy's main line, posted behind rocks and a stone fence. The Fourth and Fifth Texas Regiments, under the direction of their gallant commanders (Colonels Powell and Key), while returning the fire and driving the enemy before them, continued to close on General Law, to their right. At the same time, the First Texas and Third Arkansas, under their gallant commanders)Lieutenant-Colonel [P. A.] Work and Colonel Manning), were hotly engaged with a greatly superior force, while at the same time a heavy force appeared and opened fire on Colonel Manning's left, seriously threatening his left flank, to meet which he threw two or three companies with their front to his left flank, and protected his left. On discovering this heavy force on my left flank, and seeing that no attack was being made by any of our forces on my left, I at once sent a courier to Major -General Hood, stating that I was hard pressed on my left (which enabled him to move fresh troops form