Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/241
PlckeWs Charge. 233
When I reached General Pickett I found him too far down towards the Emmettsburg road to see these flanking troops, and he asked ol me the number. I remember answering 7,000, but this proved an over estimate. Some of our men had been faced to meet this new danger, and so doing somewhat broke the force of our charge on the left. Probably men of the ist Virginia will remember this.
ARTILLERY AMMUNITION OUT.
I advised the General to withdraw his command before these troops got down far enough to left face, come into line of battle, sweep around our flank and shut us up. He said, "I have been watching my left all the time, expecting this, but it is provided for. Ride to Hearing's Battalion; they have orders to follow up the charge and keep their caissons filled; order them to open with every gun and break that column and keep it broken." The first officer I saw on reaching the battalion was Captain William C. Marshall (Postofifice, Morgantown, West Virginia). I gave him the order with direction to pass it down at once to the other three batteries. Marshall said: "The battalion has no ammunition. I have only three solid shot." I then asked why orders to keep caissons filled had not been obeyed, and he answered, "The caissons had been away nearly three-quarters of an hour, and there was a rumor that General Pendleton had sent the reserve artillery ammunition more than a mile in rear of the field." I directed him to open with his solid shot, but I knew all hope of halting the column was over, be- cause solid shot do not halt columns. The second shot struck the head of column, the other two missed, and the guns were silent.
I found General Pickett in front about 300 yards ahead of the artillery position, and to the left of it, and some 200 yards behind the command which was then at the stone wall over which some of our men were going, that is, the 53rd Regiment, part of Armistead's Brigade, led by Colonel Rawley Martin, who fell next to the gallant General Armistead, had reached the enemy's guns and captured them. All along the stone wall, as far as they extended, Kemper and Garnett's men were fighting with but few officers left.
THE RETREAT LEE'S REMARK.
I informed the General that no help was to be expected from the artillery, but the enemy were closing around us, and nothing could could now save his command. He had remained behind to watch