War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0484 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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On July 1, we advanced upon Gettysburg, along the Heidlersburg rad, and, when distant one mile and a half from the town, line of battle was formed on the left of the road, the right resting of Hays' brigade. The brigade at this time consisted of three regiments-the Sixth (commanded by Major [Samuel McD.] Tate), the Twenty-first (by Colonel [W. W.]Kirkland), and the Fifty seventh (by Colonel Godwin), the Fifty-fourth having been sent back to Staunto with Federal prisoners captured at Winchester. Skirmishers were deployed in front of our lines, and at 3 p. m. the order to advance was received. The enemy had formed line of battle on the hillside in front of the town, under cover of a strong fence, portions of which were made of stone. Our advance was made with great deliberation until we approached a sluggish stream. or slough, about 200 yards in front of the enemy's lines, when the batteries opened upon from the infantry. Colonel Avery now gave the order to double-quick, and the brigade gallantly dashed through the stream and up the hill to the fence, the enemy stubbornly holding their position until we had climbed over into their midst. Two Napoleon guns were taken at this point were sent to the rear. The enemy now fled into the town, many of them being killed in the retreat. The brigade continued to advance toward the town, but, while yet in the outskirts, was wheeled to the left and reformed on the railroad. The enemy had now succeeded in planting a battery upon a light, sloping spur on the mountain side immediately in our front. Under cover of the railroad cut, we were moved by the left flank about 400 yards to the left, and again moved forward. The shells from the enemy proving very effective, we were soon after halted in a depression in the hillside, and the men ordered to lie down. Skirmishers were thrown forward, and this position held through the night and until 8 p. m. on the next day, July 2, when the brigade moved forward to the attack. As soon as the summit of the hill was gained, it was discovered that the batteries which we had been ordered to take were in front of Hays' brigade, and considerably to the right of our right flank. We continued to advance, however, under a terrific fire, climbed a rail fence, and still farther beyond descended into a low bottom, and dislodged a heavy line of infantry from a stone wall running parallel with our front. The enemy's batteries now enfiladed us, and a destructive fire was poured into our ranks from a line of infantry formed in rear of a stone wall running at a right angle with our line of battle and immediately below the batteries. Colonel Avery now ordered a change of front, and succeeded in wheeling the brigade to the right, a movement which none but the steadiest veterans could have executed under such circumstances. In swinging around, three stone walls had to be surmounted. The ground was rocky and uneven, and these obstacles prevented that rapidly of movement and unity of action which might have insured success. The men now charged up the hill with heroic determination, and drove the enemy from his last stone wall. In this charge, the command had become much separated, and in the darkness in was now found impossible to concentrate more than 40 or 50 men at any point for a farther advance. Major Tate, with a portion of the Sixth North Carolina Regiment, aided by a small number of the