War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0705 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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ing with heavy outposts the Conococheague, on the National road. The infantry having already had time to intrench themselves, it was no longer desirable to defer the enemy's attack. The 13th was spent in reconnoitering on the left, Rodes' division occupying the extreme left of our infantry, very near Hagerstown, a little north of the National road. Cavalry pickets were extended beyond the railroad leading to Chambersburg, and everything put in readiness to resist the enemy's attack. The situation of our communications south of the Potomac caused the commanding general to desire more cavalry on that side, and, accordingly, Brigadier-General Jones' brigade [one of whose regiments, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, had been left in Jefferson] was detached, and sent to cover our communication with Winchester. The cavalry on the left consisted now of Fitz. Lee's, W. H. F. Lee's, Baker's, and Robertson's brigades, the latter being a mere handful. On the 13th, skirmishing continued at intervals, but it appeared that the enemy, instead of attacking, was intrenching himself in our front, and the commanding general determined to cross the Potomac. The night of the 13th was chosen for this move, and the arduous and difficult task of bringing up the rear was, as usual, assigned to the cavalry. Just before night [which was unusually rainy], the cavalry was disposed from right to left, to occupy, dismounted, the trenches of the infantry at dark, Fitz. Lee's brigade holding the line of Longstreet's corps, Baker's of Hill's corps, and the remainder of Ewell's corps. A pontoon bridge had been constructed at Falling Waters, some miles below Williamsport, where Longstreet's and Hill's corps were to cross, and Ewell's corps was to ford the river at Williamsport, in rear of which last, after daylight, the cavalry was also to cross, excepting that Fitz. Lee's brigade, should he find the pontoon bridge clear in time, was to cross at the bridge; otherwise to cross at the ford at Williamsport. The operation was successfully performed by the cavalry. General Fitz. Lee, finding the bridge would not be clear in time for his command, moved after daylight to the ford, sending two squadrons to cross in rear of the infantry at the bridge. These squadrons, mistaking Longstreet's rear for the rear of the army on that route, crossed over in rear of it. General Hill's troops being notified that these squadrons would follow in his rear, were deceived by some of the enemy's cavalry, who approached very near, in consequence of their belief that they were our cavalry. Although this unfortunate mistake deprived us of the lamented General Pettigrew, whom they mortally wounded, they paid the penalty of their temerity by losing most of their number in killed or wounded, if the accounts of those who witnessed it are to be credited. The cavalry crossed at the fords without serious molestation, bringing up the rear on that route by 8 a. m. on the 14th. To Baker's [late Hampton's] brigade was assigned the duty of picketing the Potomac from Falling Waters to Hedgesville. The other brigades were moved back toward Leetown, Robertson's being sent to the fords of the Shenandoah, where he already had a picket, which, under Captain {L. A.

Johnson, of the North Carolina cavalry, had handsomely repulsed the enemy in their advance on Ashby's Gap, inflicting severe loss, with great disparity in numbers. Harper's Ferry was again in possession of the enemy, and Colonel Harman, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, had in an engagement with the

45 R R - VOL XXVII, PT II