enemy and his own judgment should determine; but he was expected to maintain communication with the main column, and especially directed to keep the commanding general informed of the movements of the Federal
The army continued to advance.
On the 1st of July, General Lee
, and stopped to confer with General A. P. Hill
, whose corps was concentrating at that point, and who reported that the advance of Heth
's Division had encountered the cavalry of the enemy near Gettysburg
Instructions had been sent to General Heth
to ascertain what force was at Gettysburg
, and, if he found infantry opposed to him, to report the fact immediately, without forcing an engagement.
No tidings whatever had been received from, or of our cavalry under General Stuart
, since crossing the river; and General Lee
was consequently without accurate information of the movements, or position of the main Federal army.
An army without cavalry in a strange and hostile country is as a man deprived of his eyesight and beset by enemies; he may be ever so brave and strong, but he cannot intelligently administer a single effective blow.
The sound of artillery was soon heard in the direction of Gettysburg
hastened to the front.
followed. On arriving at the scene of battle, General Lee
ascertained that the enemy's infantry and artillery were present in considerable force.
's Division was already hotly engaged, and it was soon evident that a serious engagement could not be avoided.
Orders had previously been sent to General Ewell
to recall his advanced divisions, and to concentrate about Cashtown
While en route
for that point, on the morning of the 1st of July, General Ewell
learned that Hill
's Corps was moving toward Gettysburg
, and, on arriving at Middletown
, he turned the head of his column in that direction.
When within a few miles of the town, General Rodes
, whose division was in advance, was made aware, by the sharp cannonading, of the presence of the enemy in force at Gettysburg
, and caused immediate preparations for battle to be made.
On reaching the scene of conflict, General Rodes
made his disposition to assail the force with which Hill
's troops were engaged, but no sooner were his lines formed than he perceived fresh troops of the enemy extending their right flank, and deploying in his immediate front.
With this force he was soon actively engaged.
The contest now became sharp and earnest.
Neither side sought or expected a general engagement; and yet, brought thus unexpectedly in the presence of each other, found a conflict unavoidable.