Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/259

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Memoranda of Thirty-eighth Virginia Infantry. 253

and ten days' on wagons. On 17th the sun was so excessively hot that many of the men who had never failed to keep up fell on the road exhausted. Passed Ashby's Gap on i8th, and on 19th crossed Blue Ridge at Snicker's Gap. A heavy rain fell at night, raised the river, and the command had to rest until evening, when forded the Shenandoah at Shepherd's Mills, and to prevent being washed down by the rapid deep water the men had to march four deep and hold to each other. On 25th June passed through Martinsburg, and forded the Potomac at Williamsport into Maryland. Passed Hagerstown on 26th ; entered Pennsylvania at Middleburg ; halted at night at Green Castle; through Chambersburg on 27th. At night the regi- ment was ordered to Scotland to guard commissary stores, and re- joined the brigade on 29th, when it, with the division, was marched back through and south of Chambersburg and halted until 2d July, when again marched through Chambersburg on Baltimore turnpike to within two miles of Gettysburg; the regiment was often fired on during the day by bushwhackers. At 3 A. M. on morning of 3d the division was ordered forward to the right of Gettysburg and formed line of battle in front of • — ; the troops remained under par- tial shelter by a small strip of woods until the order of advance, when they moved forward as steadily as when on drill. The Fifty- seventh Virginia regiment of the brigade was immediately to left of the regi- ment ; Thirty-eighth charged the enemy across a wide plain — they being sheltered behind a rock fence, earthworks, &c. — and though unprotected and having to climb two high fences in the face of a concentrated fire from the masked number of the enemy's artillery, the troops moved steadily forward, driving the enemy from his strong position, capturing all his guns, but only for a moment; having no reinforcement, and the enemy in strong force on our left and rear, the few surviving men cut their way back. The loss was irreparable to the regiment as well as division ; the noble and beloved Colonel E. C. Edmonds killed ; Lieutenant- Colonel Whittle, who had lost an arm at Malvern Hill, was seriously wounded in thigh ; Captain Towns killed, and all the other company officers more or less seri- ously wounded. Never did men more than these on that day. In retiring, the regiment with the division had the difficult duty of es- corting the prisoners captured into Virginia, arriving at Williamsport on 7th July. The regiment did the various camp duties up to Oc- tober 7th, when, with the brigade, now commanded by Brigadier- General S. M. Barton, General Armistead having been killed at Gettysburg, left Petersburg, where it was in camp, for Kingston, North Carolina, and went into camp near that place on 8th. Major