War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0622 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 539. Report of Brigadier General A. R. Wright, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.


MAJOR: I submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the military operations at Gettysburg, Pa., on July 1, 2, 3, and 4 last: On the morning of July 1, I moved my brigade from its camp near Fayetteville, Pa., and, by order of the major-general commanding the division, marched in the direction of Gettysburg, passing through the South Mountain at Cashtown Gap. In this march, my brigade was immediately in rear of Mahone's brigade, and I was instructed to follow Mahone's command. About 10 a. m., and when within about 1 mile of Cashtown (which is at the foot of the eastern slope of South Mountain), my command was stopped by the halt of Mahone's brigade in the road in my immediate front. In a few minutes after I had halted, the report of artillery was heard in the direction of Gettysburg, and seemingly not more than 6 or 8 miles distant. After remaining about one hour or an hour and a half in the road, the column again moved forward, my brigade following, as before, Mahone's. On arriving near to Cashtown, I was directed to file off to the right of the turnpike, and bivouac my men in a piece of timbered land, in rear of Mahone, who had preceded me in the woods. At the same time, I was informed that my wagon train would be parked in the open field in my front. In this position I remained until about 1 p. m., when we again took up the line of march along the turnpike in the direction of Gettysburg. When within about 6 miles of the latter place, I was compelled by severe indisposition to leave my command, and, consequently, know nothing more of the day's operations excepting that derived from Colonel Gibson, of the Forty-eighth Georgia Regiment, who in my absence assumed command of the brigade. By him I was informed that between 4 and 5 p. m. the brigade reached a position three fourths of a mile to the right of the turnpike, and about 2 1\2 or 3 miles from Gettysburg, where they remained until next morning, and where I found them in line of battle on returning to the command at 7 a. m. on July 2. Just after assuming command, I received orders to move my brigade by the right flank, following immediately in rear of Perry's brigade. In this order I was conducted by Major-General Anderson to a position already occupied by a portion of the troops of the Third Corps, and was directed to relieve a brigade (Davis', I think, of Heth's division), then in line of battle about 2 miles south of Gettysburg. About noon, I was informed by Major-General Anderson that an attack upon the enemy's lines would soon be made by the whole division, commencing on our right by Wilcox's brigade, and that each brigade of the division would begin the attack as soon as the brigade on its immediate right commenced the movement. I was instructed to move simultaneously with Perry's brigade, which was on my right, and informed that Posey's brigade, on my left, would move forward upon my advance.