War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0662 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Fourteenth Regiment was staggered for a moment by the severity and destructiveness of the enemy's musketry. It looked to us as though this regiment was entirely destroyed. I here found myself without support either on the right or left. General Scales' brigade had halted to return the enemy's fire, near the fence, about 200 yards distance from the enemy. General Lane's brigade did not move upon my right at all, and was not at this time in sight of me. This gave the enemy an enfilading fire upon the Fourteenth. This regiment, under the lead of Lieutenant-Colonel Brown and Major [E.] Croft, most gallantly stood its ground. I now directed the First Regiment, under Major McCreary, to oblique to the right, to avoid a breastwork of rails behind, where I discovered the enemy was posted, and then to change front to the left, and attack in his flank. This was done most effectually, under the lead of this gallant officer. The enemy were here completely routed. This caused the whole of their artillery on our left, at least thirty pieces, to be limbered up and moved to the rear. Much of their artillery would have been captured, but the First and Fourteenth in their pursuit again met a force of the enemy's infantry, strongly posted behind a stone wall, near and to the left of the college. It was the work of a few moments, however, to dislodge them. These two regiments, now reduced in numbers to less than one-half the men they carried into the battle, pursued the enemy to within the town of Gettysburg, capturing hundreds of prisoners, two field pieces, and number of caissons. While the First and Fourteenth Regiments were assailing the enemy and driving him from his breastwork near the college, I ordered the Twelfth Regiment, under Colonel Miller, and the Thirteenth, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brockman, to oblique to the right, and charge the enemy, strongly posted behind a stone fence, to the right of the college, from which position he had kept up a constant and withering fire of musketry upon the front and right flank of the brigade. These two regiments had necessarily to change direction to the right somewhat, so as to meet the enemy full in front. This movement was most brilliantly performed by these two regimentals, and was most skillfully managed by the officers I have mentioned. They rushed up to the crest of the hill and the stone fence, driving everything before them, the Twelfth gaining the stone fence, and pouring an enfilading fire upon the enemy's right flank. The Thirteenth now coming up, made it an easy task to drive the enemy down the opposite slope and across the open field west of Gettysburg. This was the last of the fight of this day. The enemy completely routed and driven from every point, Gettysburg was now completely in our possession. After penetrating the enemy's lines near the college, the change of direction of the First and Fourteenth to attack the enemy in flank to the left, and the oblique movement and change of direction of the Twelfth and Thirteenth to attack the enemy in flank to the right, necessarily separated the brigade into two parts. As soon as I knew the enemy had been routed on the right, I ordered the Twelfth and Thirteenth to unite again with the First and Fourteenth, who were now pursuing the fleeing force through the town. Finding the two last-named regiments now reduced to less than half the number with which they entered the battle, and the men much exhausted, I ordered them back from the town, to await the Twelfth and Thirteenth, and sent a small detachment through the