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through the town, hastened to Buford's support. He deployed his advance division immediately, and attacked the enemy, at the same time sending orders for the 11th corps (Howard's) to advance as rapidly as possible. Reynolds found himself engaged with a force greatly outnumbering his own, and had scarcely made his dispositions for the action, when a ball from one of the enemy's sharpshooters struck him, and he fell mortally wounded, at the head of his advance.* This devolved the command of the 1st corps upon Doubleday, and the charge of the field on Howard, who arrived about midday, with the 11th corps, then commanded by Gen. Schurz. Howard pushed forward two divisions under Schurz and Barlow to support the 1st corps, which had bravely and nobly withstood the rebel assault, on the ridge to the north of the town. The other division of the 11th corps under Steinwehr was posted, "by Howard, with three batteries of artillery, on Cemetery Hill, on the south of the town of Gettysburg, a most important step, and as it happened, the one which, in Meade's hands, secured the repulse of the rebels.
Up to this time the battle had been with the forces of the enemy debouching from the mountains on the Cash
* Prof. Jacobs, speaking of Gen. Reynolds, says: "He has been charged with rashness, with fool-hardiness, and with prematurely bringing on the battle. But it would, perhaps, be more just to say that ho had but little direct agency in bringing it on; that it was unavoidable; that it was forced on us by the rebels; that if they had not been held in check that day, they would hare pressed on and obtained the impregnable position which we were enabled to hold; and that, most of all the hand of Providence, who gave us a signal victory, was in the arrangements of that day."— "Note$ on the Rebel Invasion," 1863, p. 26.
town road, known to be Hill's corps. In the early part of the action success was on our side—Wadsworth's division of the 1st corps having driven the enemy back some distance, and capturing numerous prisoners, some 1,500 or more, among them Gen. Archer of the I rebel army. This took place in the rear of the seminary, near Willoughby't Run, at about the middle of the day, j The arrival of reinforcements to the j rebels on the Cashtown road, and the junction with Ewell's corps, coming on the York and Harrisburg ig63 roads, which occurred between one and two o'clock P.m., enabled the enemy to bring vastly superior forces against both the 1st and 11th corps, outflanking our line of battle and pressing it so severely that, at about four , P.m., Howard deemed it prudent to with- I draw these two corps to Cemetery | Ridge, on the south side of the town, which operation was successfully accomplished—not, however, without a loss in prisoners of 2,500 to 3,000, arising from the confusion incident to I the being pressed by the enemy while j portions of both corps were passing through the town.
About the time of the withdrawal just noted, Hancock arrived, having been sent by Meade, on hearing of the I death of Reynolds, to take command on the field, until he himself should reach i the front. Hancock, in conjunction with Howard, proceeded to post troops on Cemetery Ridge or Hill, and to repel an attack made on our right flank, which was promptly done. The rebels, seeing the strength of the position occupied, desisted from any further at
tack this day. About seven P.m., Slocuin and Sickles, with the 12 th corps, and part of the 3d, reached the ground, and took post on the right and left of the troops previously posted. The rebels, according to the accounts of eyewitnesses, were much elated with the results of the contest thus far, and they expressed themselves as abundantly able to cut up Meade's army in detail, fatigued as it was by long marches, and with only two corps which had as yet arrived. On the other hand, the prospect was much more gloomy and disheartening to our men; yet, though the hours of that first of July night were weary with painful expectation, they did not give way to despondency; they nerved themselves to fight for the cause of truth and right, in the confidence that truth and right would prevail.*
Meade, satisfied that Lee would renew the attack in full force the next day, and also that the position already secured offered most valuable means of defence, resolved to give battle at this point. Early in the evening of July 1st, he ordered all the corps to concentrate at Gettysburg, the trains being sent meanwhile to the rear at Westminster. Headquarters at Taney town were broken up at eleven o'clock that night, and Meade arrived on the field at one
* It is interesting here to compare Lee's statements, iu his report, in regard to the movements and operations of the 1st of July. Having spoken of his men driving our forces through Gettysburg with heavy loss, and claiming that he had taken 5,000 prisoners and several pieces of artillery, he gave as his reason for not pressing the attack, that he was waiting for his troops to come up. He was, moreover, in doubt as to the amount of Meade's force, and as to fighting a general battle so far from his base. VOL. IV.-42.
o'clock A.m., Thursday morning, July 2d. So soon as it was light Meade proceeded to inspect the position occupied, and to make arrangements for placing the several corps as they should reach the ground. By seven o'clock, the 2d and 5th corps, with the rest of the 3d, had reached the ground, and were posted as follows: The 11th retained its position on the cemetery side, just opposite to the town. The 1st was posted on the right of the 11th, on an elevated knoll, Culp's Hill, connecting with the ridge extending to the south and east, on which the 2d was placed. The right of the 12th rested on a small stream, Rock Creek, at a point where it crossed the Baltimore turnpike. Cemetery Ridge extended in a westerly and southerly direction, gradually diminishing in elevation till it came to a very prominent ridge, called Round Top, running east and west. The 2d and 3d corps were directed to occupy the continuation of Cemetery Ridge, on the left of the 11th. The 2nd,pending the arrival of the 6th, was held in reserve. While these dispositions were being made, the enemy was massing his troops on the exterior ridge, distant from the line occupied by us from a mile to a mile and a-half. At two P.m., the 6th corps (Sedgwick's) arrived, after a march of thirty-two miles since nine o'clock of the evening before. On Sedgwick's arrival, the Army of the Potomac was about equal in numbers to that of the rebels, whose line was about five miles in stretch, and was in part well concealed by a fringe of woods. Imme
diately on the arrival of the 6th corps, the 5th was directed to remove over to the extreme left, and the 6th to occupy its place as a reserve for the right.
Thursday morning, July 2d, did not present quite so bright a prospect to the rebels as the night before. Then, they were jubilant over expected success; now, on further examination of the position of our army, and being aware of large reinforcements having arrived, Lee saw plainly that it was no such easy task as had been anticipated to drive back Meade; hence, he made his arrangements leisurely and with care before beginning the attack. "Here I cannot but remark," says Mr. Everett in his Address,* "on the providential inaction of the rebel army. Had the contest been renewed by it at daylight, on the 2d of July, with the 1st and 11th corps exhausted by the battle and the retreat, the 3d and 12th weary from their forced march, and the 2d, 5th, and 6th not yet arrived, nothing but a miracle could have saved the army from a great disaster. Instead of this, the day dawned, the sun rose, the cool hours of the morning passed, the forenoon and a considerable part of the afternoon wore away, without the slightest aggressive movement of the enemy. Thus time was given for half of our forces to arrive and take their place in the lines, while the rest of the army enjoyed a much needed half-day's repose."
Having perfected his arrangements,
* On the 19th of November, 1863, a National Cemetery was consecrated at Gettysburg, with suitable and Imposing ceremonies. The Hon. Edward Everett delivered the address on this interesting occasion, and a dedicatory speech was made by President Lincoln.
Lee gave the signal for the attack a lit- ( tie before half-past four o'clock, when a terrific cannonading began, accompanied by an infantry charge on our left. His plan was to seize the positiorj held by Sickles with the 3d corps, that general having pushed his troops j beyond the point which Meade wished and intended, and then to use this posi tion from whence to assail the more elevated ground beyond, and gain possession of the crest of the ridge. This work was assigned to Longstreet and his men. Ewell was ordered to attack the high ground on our right, and Hill was directed to threaten the centre and prevent reinforcements beiig sent to \ either wing of our army.
It was a fearful struggle in which Sickles immediately became involved, at a peach orchard near the Emmitsburg road. Fierce as was the assault of the rebels, it was steadily met by our men; but at last they began to give way. Sickles rallied them again, and they arrested and hurled back the ad- , vancing column for a short time; but finding themselves opposed by an overwhelming mass of the enemy, and hard pressed, Sickles himself being severely wounded, they gave way a second time. It was a most critical moment. The rebels had thrust a portion of their force under Hood between the extreme! left of Sickles and Round Top, and as j Little Round Top was not yet occupied, Hood might have massed his division, pushed boldly for the rocky summit, and thus grasped the key of the battle ground. But help arrived at the opportune moment. Hancock sent a portion of the 2d corps to cover the
right flank of Sickles' corps, and at five P.m., Sykes's command came up and took position on the left of Sickles's men. Happily, Gen. Warren, chief engineer, reached Little Round Top, which was being used as a signal station, just at the time of Hood's attack. He instantly obtained a portion of Sykes's command to seize and occupy this all-important point; this was accomplished after a most furious handto-hand contest, in which Hood's men made a most desperate effort to gain the position, but were repulsed and hurled back. At six P.m., Crawford's division of the 5th corps, consisting of two brigades of Pennsylvania Reserves, having until this time been held in reserve, went into a charge with loud shouts and most determined spirit, and drove the rebels down the rocky front of Little Round Top, across the valley below, and over the next hill into the woods beyond, taking 300 prisoners. | This gallant charge saved oar left from further loss, although Birney, who had taken command of the 3d corps when Sickles was wounded, was pressed so hard, and with such large numbers of the enemy, that he was obliged to fall back nearly half a mile, and reform behind the line originally held on or near the Emmitsburg road.
Owing to some cause unexplained, Ewell's demonstrations on our right against the forces on Cemetery and i Culp's Hills, were very much delayed, I and it was nearly sunset when he ordered the attack. The artillery began to play, and Early's division advanced j against Cemetery Hill, and Johnson's j against Culp's Hill. The assault was
fiercely made; but it was resolutely met; the rebels were killed in great numbers, and driven back with frightful loss. Johnson's attack on Culp's Hill was more successful, for Geary's force, stationed there, had been so much weakened by detachments sent to aid the left in its great extremity, that only a single brigade, under Green, remained; and hence the rebels, after some two hours' fighting, penetrated our lines to the breastworks on the furthest right, and retained their foothold during the night. This closed the second day's struggle, in which our loss was fearfully large—some 20,000—but the real advantage was still in our hands, and Meade and his corps commanders were quite confident of being able to maintain their position, and effectually repulse the rebel host under Lee.
Gen. Buford's division of cavalry> after its arduous services at Gettysburg, on the 1st of July, was, on the 2d, sent to Westminister, to refit and guard our trains. Kilpatrick's division, which, on the 29th and 30th of June and 1st of July, had been successfully engaging the rebel cavalry, was, on the 3d, sent to our extreme left, on the Emmitsburg road, where good service was rendered in assaulting the enemy's line and occupying his attention. At the same time Gen. Gregg was engaged with the rebels on our extreme right, having passed across the Baltimore turnpike and Bonaughton road, and boldly attacked Lee's left and rear.
The lodgment effected by Ewell's troops, on the night of the 2d of July, was esteemed by Lee important for his purposes, his idea being that Ewell Bhould take possession of Culp's Hill and the Baltimore road, and then throw his whole force upon and break our right. This purpose, however, was defeated by Meade, who ordered a powerful artillery force against the point entered by the enemy, and opened a heavy fire, at four o'clock in the morning of July 3d. Geary, with his force, having returned during the night, immediately attacked the rebels with great spirit, and having been reinforced by a brigade of the 6th corps, he succeeded, after a four hours' sharp contest, in driving the rebels back and re-occupying his former position. Thus our right flank was secured, and Lee turned his attention to another point of attack.
For several hours there was entire silence in all directions; Lee was preparing his last great effort; Meade was waiting for the shock. The rebel artillery, nearly 150 guns, was placed on the ridge occupied by Longstreet and Hill, and a few minutes after one o'clock in the afternoon of this eventful day, the portentous silence was broken. Our artillery, which crowned the left and left centre, was not so great in number as that of the enemy, but it was very effective in its important position. For nearly two hours some 250 great guns " belched forth the missiles of death, producing such a continuous succession of crashing sounds as to make us (we quote Professor Jacobs) feel as if the very heavens had been rent asunder,—such as were never equal ed by the most terrific thunderstorm ever witnessed by mortal man. The air was filled with lines of whizzing, screaming, bursting shells and solid
shot." The cannonade gradually ceased, without having produced any noticeable effect, and then came "the tug of Avar." Successive lines of rebel infantry advanced over the intervening space, resolved, if possible, to carry the heights, where our men coolly but resolutely awaited them. It was a terrible, an awfully bloody struggle. Pickett's division of Longstreet's men dashed forward with such impetuosity as fairly to mount the crest of Ceme tery Ridge; but it was in vain; they were cut down, discomfited and broken. Pettigrew's division of North Carolina fresh troops on Pickett's right, had been foolishly told that they Mould meet only Pennsylvania militia; but, on receiving the first fire, their eyes were opened; the cry ran through the ranks, "the Army of the Potomac!" They quailed before the dreaded enemy, and they broke in disorder, leaving 2,000 prisoners and fifteen stands of colors in our hands. The rebels, meanwhile, showed considerable activity on their extreme right, opposite Little Round Top, from which Hood's division strove to drive our men and turn our flank; but they were not successful. A vigorous charge was made upon the enemy, and they were thoroughly repulsed, with severe loss.
Thus, as the sun was setting, the third day of the great battle was brought to its close. The rebels were beaten; Lee gave up all hope of breaking through Meade's position, and immediately devoted himself to preparation against assault and for a speedy retreat.* Gen. Meade, in his report,
* Mr. Swinton exercises the office of military critic