War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0663 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

town to take such prisoners as the enemy had left in the retreat. It was after the recall of these two regiments that the brigade of Brigadier-General Ramseur filed through Gettysburg from the direction of my left. The loss of the brigade in killed and wounded did not fall short of 500. Better conduct was never exhibited on any field than was shown by both officers and men in this engagement. Each one of the color-sergeants taken into the fight was killed in front of his regiment. Some regiments had a number of color-bearers shot down one after another. The officers generally were conspicuous in leading their men everywhere in the hottest of the fight. After the First and Fourteenth were with drawn from Gettysburg, General Pender ordered me to get the brigade together, and let the men rest. Now it was that the first piece of artillery fired by the enemy from Cemetery hill, southwest of Gettysburg, was opened upon my command, and it was the same artillery which we had driven from our left near Gettysburg. I saw it move off from my left, and file into position over the hill. The next day, having taken position in rear of some artillery as a support, we were exposed to and suffered a small loss from the enemy's shells. About 6 o'clock in the afternoon, I was ordered to push forward my skirmish line, and to drive in the enemy's pickets from a road in front of the Cemetery Hill. I communicated this order to Captain William T. Haskell, in command of a select battalion of sharpshooters, acting as skirmishers, and sent Major McCreary forward with his regiment, about 100 strong, to deploy in rear of Captain Haskell, and to act as a support. This battalion of sharpshooters, led by the gallant Haskell, made a most intrepid charge upon the Yankee skirmishers, driving them out of the road and close up under their batteries; but, soon after gaining the road, Captain Haskell received a wound from the enemy's sharpshooters, from which he died in a few moments on the field. This brave and worthy young officer fell while body walking along the front line of his command, encouraging his men and selecting favorable positions for them to defend. he was educated and accomplished, possessing in a high degree every virtuous quality of the true gentleman and Christian. He was an officer of most excellent judgment, and a soldier of the coolest and most chivalrous daring. This position was held by my skirmishers until, about 10 o'clock at night, I was ordered to place my brigade in line of battle, then on the right of General Ramseur's brigade and on the left of General Thomas. I remained quietly in this position during the remainder of the night, having thrown forward skirmishers again. Early next morning (the 3d), the heaviest skirmishing I have ever witnessed was here kept up during the greater part of the day. The enemy made desperate efforts to recapture the position, on account of our skirmishers being within easy range of their artillerists on the Cemetery Hill, but we repulsed every assault, and held the position until ordered back to the main line oat Gettysburg. At one time the enemy poured down a perfect torrent of eighth troops from the hill, which swept my skirmishers back upon the main line. I now ordered the Fourteenth to deploy and charge the enemy, which was done in the most gallant style, not without losing some valuable officers and men. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown and Major Croft, of the Fourteenth, were here severely wounded.