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, about this time, by the York and Harrisburgh roads, compelled General Howard, upon whom the command devolved, to withdraw his force, the First and Eleventh corps, to the Cemetery ridge, on the south side of Gettysburgh. About seven P. M., Generals Sickles and Slocum arrived on the field with the Third and Twelfth corps, which took position, one on the left and the other on the right of the new line. The battle for the day, however, was over. General Meade arrived on the field during the nrival of the latter, about two o'clock P. M., it took the place of the Fifth, which was ordered to take position on the extreme left. The enemy massed his troops on an exterior ridge, about a mile and a half in front of that occupied by us. General Sickles, misinterpreting his orders, instead of placing the Third corps on the prolongation of the Second, had moved it nearly three fourths of a mile in advance, an error which nearly proved fatal in the battle. The enemy attacked this corps on th
oint; but information continuing to reach General Sickles that the First and Eleventh corps were into say. It could not have failed to reach General Sickles; but he happily determined to push on to eneral Hunt, Chief of Artillery, to accompany Sickles and report the result of their reconnaissancet never returned. Under these circumstances, Sickles threw forward three regiments of light troopsf such moment and the attack so near that General Sickles delayed attending the council, while givision of General Birney and General Humphreys, Sickles rode off to the rear to headquarters. Beforewith such indifference when pressed on him by Sickles in the morning — that our left was the assaillmost incredible that the single corps of General Sickles was able to withstand the impetuous onsetps was far to his front. I assert that General Sickles moved from the ridge described by Historid with the force of the enemy that had turned Sickles' flank, and was overpowered. The blow then f[39 more...]