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[213] This brigade, commanded by General Greene, resisted the assault with great firmness, and, aided by Wadsworth's Division of the First Corps, finally succeeded in repulsing the enemy, who, however, advanced and occupied the breastworks on our furthest right, vacated by Geary's Division of the Twelfth Corps, which position they held during the night.

Thus ended, at ten P. M., the second day of the battle. Both armies had fought with a desperation which proved that they realized the tremendous issues which hung upon the conflict, but the result was indecisive. Lee had gained what he calls “partial successes,” Longstreet having taken possession of our advanced position on the left, and Ewell had a foothold within our lines on the right. But our main line remained intact, and the army, although wearied by long marches and hard fighting, was ready and anxious to renew the contest. Both officers and men had acquired from this day's experience a firm confidence in their new commander. General Meade's prompt and rapid movement of troops from one part of the line to another, wherever the enemy pressed most heavily, had made them feel that they were under the lead of a general who had the ability to handle the army effectively. Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville had shown how little the valor of the troops could accomplish when incompetently led; at Gettysburg, under a skilful and able leader, their bravery and heroic endurance were rewarded with victory. A Latin proverb says: “Formidabilior cervorum exercitus duce leone, quam leonum, cervo.

The battle was renewed at daylight on the 3d, on our right. During the night, General Meade had returned the portion of the Twelfth Corps, that had been sent over to the left, to its former position, and a terrible struggle took place for the possession of the ground which had been occupied by General Ewell the night before. General Lee had hoped, by holding this ground, to turn our position, but General Geary, with his division, assisted by troops from the Sixth Corps, attacked the enemy, and, after a severe engagement, which lasted five hours, he drove them from our lines with heavy loss. This action terminated at ten A. M., and was followed by several hours of perfect quiet, when, suddenly, the enemy opened upon us a terrific artillery fire, with not less than one hundred and twenty-five guns. Our batteries, which had been posted by General Hunt, the efficient Chief of Artillery, replied with about seventy guns — the nature of the ground not admitting of the use of more. This artillery duel, which lasted an hour and a half, was the most severe experienced anywhere during the war. The air was filled

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George G. Meade (2)
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