No. 459. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William S. Shepherd, Second Georgia Infantry. JULY 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the conduct of the Second Georgia Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William. Harris, during the sanguinary battle near Gettysburg, Pa:After a most tiresome march through the mountains, this regiment, belonging to Benning's brigade, arrived at 12 p. m. in the neighborhood of the scene of an engagement which took place on the 1st instant, where it was permitted to bivouac for a few hours. At 3 a. m. it resumed the march, and again halted, after proceeding some 3 miles. At 1 p. m. it again took up the lane of march, moving by a circuitous route to the right. Notwithstanding the extreme heat and the fatiguing march, the officers and men of this regiment moved forward with great cheerfulness, seeming anxious to meet the enemy. Just before reaching its position in line, the regiment advanced by the right flank through an open field, under a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery, which was posted on a commanding position. It gives me great pleasure to state that the officers and men of this command acted very cool and moved forward in good order. Here Lieutenant J. C. Sapp was slightly wounded, but continued with his company. Before advancing in line of battle, the command was permitted to rest a few moments. The Second Georgia composed the right, and, with the Seventeenth Georgia, the right wing of Benning's brigade. Soon the order to advance was give, when the entire regiment moved forward in splendid order until it came to a deep gorge, where the nature of the ground was such that it was impossible to preserve an alignment; but, notwithstanding the rocks, undergrowth, and the deadly fire of the enemy, the officers and men of this regiment moved forward with dauntless courage, driving the enemy before them, and did not halt until they saw they were some distance in advance of their line, and beyond a rocky eminence on the left, which had been previously held by the enemy. Here the regiment made a stand, and fought as gallantly as men could fight, and did not yield an inch of ground, but repulsed several hill lined with sharpshooter. It was shortly after the regiment halted that Lieutenant Colonel William. T. Harris feel, pierced through the heart by a Minie ball. He behaved gallantly and coolly while advancing, and was in the act of cheering on his command when he received the fatal shot. The command then devolved upon the until night closed the bloody drama. We have to deplore the loss of many gallant officers and men, a list of whom has been previously forwarded. I take great pleasure in testifying to the gallantry displayed both by officers and men, and, in my humble judgment, men never fought with more determination and bravery. We captured quite a number of prisoners, of whom previous mention has been made. It is impassible to individualize where all acted so nobly and courageously. I would respectfully call your attention to Forage-Master