War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0552 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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risburg, and had on the 29th made a thorough reconnaissance of the defenses of the place, with a view to our advance upon it, a step which every man in the division contemplated with eagerness, and which was to have been executed on the 30th; but on the 30th, having received orders to move toward the balance of the army, then supposed to be at or near Cashtown, we set out for that place, marching through Petersburg, and bivouacking at Heidlersburg after a march of at least 22 miles.


On July 1, in pursuance of the order to rejoin the army, the division resumed its march, but upon arriving at Middletown, and hearing that Lieutenant-General Hill's corps was moving upon Gettysburg, by order of General Ewell, the head of the column was turned in that direction. When within 4 miles of the town, to my surprise, the presence of the enemy there in force was announced by the sound of a sharp cannonade, and instant preparations for battle were made. On arriving on the field, I found that by keeping along the wooded ridge, on the left side of which the town of Gettysburg is situated, I could strike the force of the enemy with which General Hill's troops were engaged upon the flank, and that, besides moving under cover, whenever we struck the enemy we could engage him with the advantage in ground. The division was, therefore, moved along the summit of the ridge, with only one brigade deployed at first, and finally, as the enemy's cavalry had discovered us and the ground was of such character as to admit of cover for a large opposing force, with three brigades deployed; Doles on the left, Rodes' (old) brigade, Colonel O'Neal commanding, in the center, and Iverson on the right, the artillery and the other two brigades moved up closely to the line of battle. The division had to move nearly a mile before coming in view of the enemy's forces, excepting a few mounted men, and finally arrived at a point-a prominent hill on the ridge-whence the whole of that portion of the force opposing General Hill's troops could be seen. To get at these troops properly, which were still over half a mile from us, it was necessary to move the whole of my command by the right flank, and to change direction to the right. While this was being done, Carter's battalion was ordered forward, and soon opened fire upon the enemy, who at this moment, as far as I could see, had no troops facing me at all. He had apparently been surprised; only a desultory fire of artillery was going on between his troops and General Hill's; but before my dispositions were made, the enemy began to show large bodies of men in front of the town, most of which were directed upon the position which I held, and almost at the same time a portion of the force opposed to General Hill changed position so as to occupy the woods on the summit of the same ridge I occupied (I refer to the forest touching the railroad and extending along the summit of the ridge toward my position as far as the Mummasburg road, which crossed the ridge at the base of the hill I held). Either these hast troops, or others which had hitherto been unobserved behind the same body of woods, soon made their appearance directly opposite my center. Being thus threatened from two directions, I determined to attack with my center and right, holding at bay still another force, then emerging from the town (apparently with the intention of turning