with bursting shells and solid shot, and the very earth shook with the resounding cannon.
well understood that the object of the enemy in this fire was to demoralize our men, preparatory to making a grand assault.
He, therefore, directed our artillery to slacken their fire, and, finally, to cease altogether, with the view of making the enemy believe that they had silenced our guns, and thus bring on their assault the sooner.
It resulted as he desired.
's attacking column, composed of Pickett
's Division, supported by Wilcox
, made a most gallant and well-sustained assault on our lines, advancing steadily, under a heavy artillery fire from the guns Lee
thought he had silenced, to within musket range of our infantry.
Here they were met by a terrible volley from Hays
' and Gibbon
's divisions, of the Second Corps.
's command, composed of raw troops, gave way, and many of them were made prisoners; but Pickett
's men, still undaunted, pressed on, and captured some of the intrenchments on our centre, crowding back the advanced portion of Webb
's Brigade, which was soon rallied by the personal efforts of its commander.
had ordered up Doubleday
's Division and Stannard
's Brigade of the First Corps, and, at this critical moment, General Hancock
advanced, and Pickett
's brave men were driven back with terrible loss.
All their brigade commanders had fallen-one of them, General Armistead
, being wounded and captured inside of our batteries.
No one could have witnessed the conduct of the Southern
troops, on this occasion, without a feeling of admiration, mingled with regret that such heroic courage and brave determination had not been displayed in a better cause.
On our side the loss was very heavy, General Hancock
and General Gibbon
being among the wounded.
When General Meade
heard that Hancock
, who had rendered conspicuous service throughout the battle, was wounded, he said to General Mitchell
, of Hancock
's staff, who had brought him the news: “Say to General Hancock
that I thank him in my own name, and I thank him in the name of the country, for all he has done.”
As soon as the assault was repulsed, General Meade
went to the left of our lines and ordered Crawford
's Division, the Pennsylvania Reserves, to advance.
This division met a portion of Hood
's command and attacked them, capturing many prisoners and seven thousand stand of arms.
By this action Crawford
regained possession of nearly all the ground lost by Sickles
the day before, and rescued our wounded, who had lain for twenty-four hours entirely uncared for. While our artillery and infantry were thus engaged,