, in which that officer said: “We can fight here, as the ground appears not unfavorable, with good troops.”
at once issued orders to all his corps commanders to move to Gettysburg
, broke up his headquarters at Taneytown
, and proceeded himself to the field, arriving there at one A. M. of the 2d.
He was occupied during the night in directing the movements of the troops, and as soon as it was daylight, he proceeded to inspect the position occupied, and to make arrangements for posting the several corps as they should arrive.
By seven A. M. the Second and Fifth Corps, with the rest of the Third, had reached the ground, and soon after the whole army was in position, with the exception of the Sixth Corps, which arrived at two P. M. after a long and fatiguing march.
says, in relation to this march: “I arrived at Gettysburg
at about two o'clock in the afternoon of July 2d, having marched thirty-five miles from seven o'clock the evening previous.
I received, on the way, frequent messages from General Meade
to push forward my corps as rapidly as possible.
I received no less than three Messages, by his aides, urging me on.”
As soon as the Sixth Corps had arrived, General Meade
left his headquarters, and proceeded to the extreme left, to attend to the posting of the Fifth Corps, which he had ordered over from the right, and also to inspect the position of the Third Corps, about which he was in doubt.
When he arrived on the ground, at about four P. M., he found that General Sickles
, instead of connecting his right with the left of General Hancock
, as he had been ordered to do, had thrown forward his line three-quarters of a mile in front of the Second Corps, leaving Little Round Top
unprotected, and was, technically speaking, “in air” --without support on either flank.
at once saw this mistake, and General Sickles
promptly offered to withdraw to the line he had been intended to occupy, but General Meade
replied: “You cannot do it. The enemy will not let you get away without a fight.”
Before he had finished the sentence, his prediction was fulfilled.
The enemy opened with artillery from the woods on our left, and the action was begun.
Soon large masses of infantry from Longstreet
's Corps were thrown upon Sickles
, the enemy at the same time sending a heavy force toward Little Round Top
, the key to the whole position.
's chief engineer, was holding this important point, with a few men whom he had collected together.
sent several staff officers to urge forward the column under General Sykes
, which was coming up with all possible speed, and which fortunately soon arrived.
at once threw a