War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0753 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

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advancing in force on the Emmitsburg and Waynesborough road, I saw that General Ewell's train (then on its way to Williamsport) was in danger, and asked to go with my command to its protection. I was allowed the Sixth and Seventh Regiments and Chew's battery; but the Seventh was afterward ordered back, and colonel Ferebee's regiment (Fifty-ninth [Fourth Cavalry] North Carolina) allowed to take its place, the latter being then on this road. This narrow and difficult way, rendered doubly so by heavy rain just fallen, was so blocked by wagons as to render it wholly impracticable to push ahead the artillery or even the cavalry. With my staff I hastened on, to rally all the stragglers of the train to the support of whatever force might be guarding the road. Arriving, I found Captain [G. M.] Emack's company of the Maryland cavalry, with one gun, opposed to a whole division of Federal cavalry, with a full battery. He had already been driven back within a few hundred yards of the junction of the road. Not a half of the long train had passed. Darkness had just set in. This brave little band of heroes was encouraged with the hope of speedy re-enforcements, reminded of the importance of their trust, and exhorted to fight to the bitter end rather than yield. All my couriers and all others with fire-arms were ordered to the front, directed to lie on the ground, and be sparing of their ammunition. The last charge of grape was expended and the piece sent to the rear. For more than two hours, less than 50 men kept many thousands in check, and the wagons continued to pass long after the balls were whistling in their midst. Some 60 or 70 of Colonel Ferebee's men had gotten up, and were doing their duty well. The enemy, driven to desperation, resorted to a charge of cavalry that swept everything before it. The led horses, wagons, straggling infantry, and camp followers were hurled down the mountain in one confused mass. Ineffectual efforts were made for a rally and resistance, but without avail, until at the foot of the mountain a few joined Captain [W. G.] Welsh's company of the Maryland cavalry, stationed at this point, and drove back the advance of the enemy. But this mere handful of men had to yield to the increasing numbers of the enemy. My staff and all my couriers having gotten separated from me, and the enemy having the road in my front, I made through the fields and by-ways for Williamsport, to escape or be useful as occasion might require. Arriving early in the morning, all was found in confusion. Every one was anxious to cross the river, too much swollen to ford, and the only boat available could not exceed seventy trips in twenty-four hours. To deprive all of the hope of what but a small fraction could attain, was deemed the most expedient means of establishing order. I assumed command, and put 15 or 20 infantry (the only organized men I could see) to guard the boat and stop the crossing. Officers and men, appealed to, cheerfully took up arms, posting themselves in buildings to resist cavalry attacks. Soon a respectable defense could have been made, and a rash attack would doubtless have been severely punished. Order being restored, the wounded and wagons with important papers were allowed to recommence crossing the river. By evening, two regiments of infantry having arrived from Martinsburg, and General Imboden having gotten in from the direction of Greencastle with his brigade and some twenty-four pieces of artillery, I determined to make my way with half a dozen men through 48 R R - VOL XXVII, PT II