« 上一頁繼續 »
error which his subordinate had committed. The order to recall the Third Corps was on his lips when the roar of musketry told that the battle was joined, and that, for good or for ill, Sickles must be supported in his advanced position. The course of this narrative does not require us to give a detailed account of the terrible fighting on the left: in the Peach Orchard, on the rugged slopes of Little Round Top, amid the rocky gorges of the “Devil's Den,” or in the historical Wheat Field where Caldwell's division of the Second Corps lost half of all the officers and men it carried into action, including the heroic Zook, of New York, Cross, of New Hampshire, and Roberts, of Pennsylvania. With that division, his own—that of which he took command amid the wreck and disorder of Antietam and which he had led with so much glory at Fredericksburg and at Chancellorsville—duty did not allow Hancock to go when it was sent down to the left to assist its hard-pressed comrades of the Third Corps. It was his part to remain with his other divisions and hold the left center, on which at any time the storm might burst. But now, up from the left comes the news that Longstreet has driven everything before him and Sickles has been desperately wounded; and soon an order from General Meade places Hancock in command of the whole left wing. At once he rides away, taking with him Willard's brigade of Hays's division. He sees Humphreys re-forming his broken brigades, scarcely of a regiment's strength, many banners and few men, along the line he had left in that ill-fated advance. At every point the enemy are streaming forward to press their advantage, running over half a score of Union guns which the loss of horses and men has left in their hands. At once he directs Willard's brigade to charge the exulting Confederates. Willard is killed by Hancock's side, and half his men fall; but the shock of that gallant charge throws the enemy into confusion, stays their progress, and recovers a battery of guns. Directing Colonel Sherrill, who has succeeded to the command on Willard's death, to hold his ground at all cost, Hancock rides rapidly back to the right, looking for re-enforcements. There are large spaces on which not a company of Union troops is to be found. Out from the bushes, just in front, he sees a column emerge in haste and disorder. Taking it for a portion of the Third Corps driven in, he rides toward it to halt and post the troops; but is undeceived by a volley which twice wounds his brave and faithful aid, Captain Miller, the only officer whom the turmoil of the fight has left with him. Hastily directing Miller to ride away as fast as his horse will carry him, he spurs his own horse down a swale, which for the moment half shelters him, till he encounters a regiment advancing in column by fours from the Union side. Riding up to the colonel and pointing to the brigade of Alabama troops from which he has just escaped, he cries out: “Colonel, do you see those colors 2 Then take them.” At once the gallant First Minnesota, without waiting to come from column into line, hurls itself upon the foe. Eighty out of every hundred of the brave Minnesotians go down—colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, adjutant, every officer but three ; but the effort avails, and the enemy are driven back in disorder. But already two more of Anderson's brigades are getting to work. They charge across the space between the lines, overrun the regiments at the Codori House, killing both colonels and killing or wounding half the men, capture Brown's guns, and Swarm forward to attempt the main line of the Second Corps. Into the gap Hancock directs the Nineteenth Massachusetts and Forty-second New York, which advance bravely but are driven out by overwhelming numbers with terrible losses. For the moment the wave of the Confederate advance flings its foam over the position held by Gibbon's division. It looks as though the great contest of the war were here and now and finally to take place. But, through some strange misconception, Anderson's remaining brigades fail to come forward; and the other divisions of Hill, waiting by orders for them, also stand in their place. Those already engaged lash our lines from the base of Little Round Top to the “Clump of Trees.”
It is only for the moment. Up from the rear advance the re-enforcements which the news of adverse fortunes has drawn over from the right. Meade, Hancock, Morgan, and Mitchell direct them to the positions which they are to fill. Doubleday's division of the First Corps comes to the support of the Second; farther to the left McGilvray's artillery brigade forms behind Sickles's broken troops; and Lockwood's Maryland brigade, supported by Williams's division of the Twelfth Corps, charges forward almost to the Emmittsburg road and finally restores our line in this part of the field. From Little Round Top, too, Crawford's division of the Pennsylvania Reserves advances over ground which had been lost; while the Sixth Corps, just come in from its long march, joins in the movement or forms in support behind the left. Before the stern array of the arriving troops the men of Longstreet and Hill, worn out by the desperate struggles of the afternoon, give way surlily and in good order.
But though the great battle of the left, with all its thrilling episodes, with all its tremendous possibilities, with all its terrific losses, is over, the day's work is not yet at an end. Just as the fighting dies down on the Union left it springs up on the right and right center, where Ewell finally gets to work to do what he should have done hours before. The brigades of Hays and Hoke, supported by Gordon, advance upon Cemetery Hill from the north, drive Howard's troops from their works and their guns, and establish themselves upon the crest. But their triumph is soon past. Hancock, hearing the outburst and knowing the danger that lies in the enfeebled condition of the Eleventh Corps, has promptly and without waiting for orders sent Carroll's long-legged Western brigade rapidly by the right flank to come up behind Cemetery Hill. That gallant command, right gallantly led, arrives in the nick of time, pushes its way through the disordered troops and, throwing itself furiously upon the enemy, drives them down the slope, recovers Howard's batteries and restores his line. But still all is not over. Farther around to our right Johnson's Confederate division pushes its way into a portion of the works abandoned by the troops of the Twelfth Corps which had been sent late in the afternoon to the support of Sickles, though it is beaten back from the portion of the corps line which is held by that stout old soldier, General George S. Greene. And now from right to left the clamor of voices, the thunder of guns dies down; and the second day of Gettysburg passes into history. After night had fallen the corps commanders of the Army of the Potomac were called to the headquarters of General Meade to deliberate upon the morrow. The outlook was indeed gloomy. On the first day the Eleventh Corps had been put nearly Aors de combat, and the First Corps had been reduced