HEADQUARTERS HAYS' BRIGADE, August 3, 1863.
Major:I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of the troops under command near the city of Gettysburg, Pa. ; On Wednesday, July 1, after a march of 12 or 14 miles. returning from the city of York, I arrived with my brigade on the Heidlersburg road, within a mile and a half of Gettysburg. At this point I discovered that a space in the division line of battle had been left for my command, which had been marching in the rear of the column. Brigadier-General Gordon having deployed to the right
Brigadier-General Hoke's brigade (commanded by Colonel Avery) and Smith's brigade to the left, I formed my line of battle, extending across the road, placing the Fifth Sixth, and right wing of the Ninth Regiments on the right of the road, the left wing of the Night, Seventh, and Eight Regiments on the left. This arrangement being completed, Brigadier-General Gordon, a little after 2 o'clock, was ordered. In a short time, Brigadier-General Gordon having encountered the enemy in force, I received an order to advance in support, Hike's brigade moving forward at the same time on my left. Pressing steadily on, I met with ward at the same time on my left. Pressing steadily on, I met with no other opposition than that presented by the enemy's skirmishers and the firing of his artillery until I came up to the line of Gordon's brigade. Here I found the enemy in considerable strength. I still continued to move on, however, succeeding in driving before me all the force opposed until I arrived at the railroad, which here runs from east to west, just striking the edge of the city of Gettysburg In my progress to this position, the fire to which my command was subjected from the enemy's batteries, posted upon well-selected rises of the ground, was unusually galling. But so rapid and imperious was keeping well to the front, captured two pieces of artillery. I had barely time to pause at the railroad referred to when I discovered a heavy column of the enemy's troops, which had been engaged with Gordon's brigade and the division of Major-General Rodes, advancing rapidly, threatening my right. Perceiving that a forward movement on my part would expose my flank to an attack immediately changed front forward on the first company, First Battalion, of the Ninth Regiments. With this line, after several well-directed volleys, I succeeding in breaking this column on my right, dispersing its men in full flight, I should have captured several pieces of artillery opposite the left of my line, upon which the Seventh the time I halted. After reforming my line of battle, I advanced through the city of Gettysburg, clearing it of the enemy and taking prisoners at every turn. During this time, as well as in my progress to the city, a great number of prisoners were captured by my command, but unwilling to decrease my force by detailing a guard, I simply ordered them to the rear as they were taken. Many of these following the road to the left, fell into the possession of
Major-General Rodes' troops. I am satisfied that the prisoners taken in the above-mentioned movements by my brigade exceeded in numbers the force under my command.