yards in our front, extending along an opposite ridge somewhat more elevated than that which we occupied, the intervening ground being slightly undulating, enclosed by rail and plank fences and under cultivation.
Our skirmishers soon became engaged with those of the enemy, and kept up an irregular fire upon one another. Shortly after the line had been formed, I received notice that Lieutenant-General Longstreet would occupy the ground on the right—that his line would be in a direction nearly at right angles with mine—that he would assault the extreme left of the enemy and drive him towards Gettysburg, and I was at the same time ordered to put the troops of my division into action by brigades, as soon as those of General Longstreet's corps had progressed so far in their assault as to be connected with my right flank. About two o'clock in the afternoon the engagement between the artillery of the enemy and that of the First Army corps commenced, and was soon followed by furious and sustained musketry, but it was not until half-past five o'clock in the evening that McLaw's division (by which the movement of my division was to be regulated) had advanced so far as to call for the movement of my troops.
The advance of McLaw's division was immediately followed in the manner directed by the brigades of mine.
Never did troops go into action with greater spirit or more determined courage. The ground afforded them but little shelter, and for nearly three-quarters of a mile they were compelled to face a storm of shot and shell and bullets, but there was no hesitation nor faltering. They drove the enemy from his first line and possessed themselves of the ridge and of much of the artillery with which it had been crowned, but the situation discovered the enemy in possession of a second line, with artillery bearing upon both our front and flanks. From this position he poured a destructive fire of grape upon our troops—strong reinforcements pressed upon our right flank, which had become detached from McLaw's left, and the ridge was untenable. The brigades were compelled to retire. They fell back in the same succession in which they had advanced—Wilcox's, Perry's, Wright's and Posey's. They regained their position in the line of battle. The enemy did not follow. Pickets were again thrown to the front, and the troops lay upon their arms.
In Wilcox's, Perry's and Wright's brigades the loss was very heavy.On the third of July nothing of consequence occurred along that