Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/265

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
255
The Gettysburg Campaign—Official Reports.


consisting of Raines', Dement's, Brown's and Carpenter's batteries.

On June 16th my division left camp at Stephenson's and marched to Shepherdstown, where Jones' brigade was temporarily detached, with orders to destroy a number of canal boats and a quantity of grain and flour stored at different points, and cut the canal (Chesapeake and Ohio canal).

A report of his operations and the disposition made of his captures has been forwarded.

June 18th we crossed the Potomac at Boteler's ford and encamped upon the battle-ground of Sharpsburg; thence marched via Hagerstown and Chambersburg to within three miles of Carlisle. From Greencastle, Steuart's brigade was ordered to McConnellsburg to collect horses, cattle and other supplies which the army needed.

The brigade having accomplished its mission to my satisfaction rejoined the division at our camp near Carlisle.

On the 29th June, in obedience to orders, I countermarched my division to Greenville, thence eastwardly by way of Scotland to Gettysburg—not arriving in time, however, to participate in the action of the 1st instant.

The last day's march was twenty-five miles, rendered the more fatiguing because of obstruction caused by wagons of Longstreet's corps.

Late on the night of July 1st I moved along the G. & Y. railroad to the northeast of the town and formed line of battle in a ravine in an open field—Nicholls' brigade on the right, next Jones', Steuart's and Walker's on the left; pickets were thrown well to the front, and the troops slept on their arms.

Early next morning skirmishers from Walker's and Jones' brigades were advanced for the purpose of feeling the enemy, and desultory firing was maintained with their skirmishers until 4 P. M., at which hour I ordered Major Latimer to open fire with all of his pieces from the only eligible hill within range, Jones' brigade being properly disposed as a support.

The hill was directly in front of the wooded mountain and a little to the left of the Cemetery hills, consequently exposed to the concentrated fire from both, and also to an enfilade fire from a battery near the Baltimore road. The unequal contest was maintained for two hours, with considerable damage to the enemy, as will appear from the accompanying report of Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews.

Major Latimer having reported to me that the exhausted condition of his horses and men, together with the terrible fire of the enemy's artillery, rendered his position untenable, he was ordered to cease firing and withdraw all of his pieces except four, which were left in position to cover the advance of my infantry.

In obedience to an order from the Lieutenant-General commanding, I then advanced my infantry to the assault of the enemy's strong position—a rugged and rocky mountain, heavily timbered