Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/136
126 Southern Historical Society Papers.
different parts of the enemy's line, which, for want of simultaneous movement, or concentration of effort, resulted in no advantage.
July 3. A fierce contest begun early this day, on our left, brought on by an attempt of the enemy to drive back Johnson from the foot of "Gulp's Hill," which he repelled, but again failed himself in a renewed attack to gain the Hill. This conflict continued all the morning.
July 3rd., Afternoon. General Lee having decided to carry Cem- etery Ridge by a determined effort from our right, preparations were ready by one o'clock. The order of battle, which I read, was in these words:
"General Longstreet will make a vigorous attack on his front; General Ewell will threaten the enemy on the left, or make a vigor- ous attack, should circumstances justify it: General Hill will hold the centre at all hazards."
After that tremendous cannonade of one and a half hours, Rickets Division of Longstreet' s Corps moved gallantly forward under Pet- tigrew, Heth's division moved at the same time; with two brigades of General Fender's Division temporarily under my command form- ing a second line in rear of Pettigrew. I think this charge was made about three o'clock, and by four it was over.
It is said, and with truth, that Longstreet did not support Rick- et's Division on the right, by keeping back Hood's and McLaw's Divisions, as he said, to protect his right against Pleasant' s cavalry.
Picket's Division having a shorter space to pass over, became en- gaged sooner than the troops on his left, but was subjected to no more heavy fire.
Heth's Division marched in fine order, in a line with Picket's, about 200 yards in advance of Pender's two brigades. When it reached the low grounds, near the Emmitsburg road, it seemed to me just in the rear, to sink into the ground, we passed over it with- out the least disorder, and drove the enemy from the fence at the road, where our men stopped and began firing, instead of mounting the fence; while making efforts to get them over the fence I was wounded. While at the fence the exposure was dreadful. The in- cessant discharge of canister, shell and musketry was more than any troops could endure. The brigades of Pender yielding ground, be- gan to move back slowly and in good order, not breaking ranks even.
I was asked by my aids if they should rally the men and renew the charge. When I looked to Pickett's position and could plainly