previous next

Our march on this day was greatly delayed by Johnson's Division, of the Second Corps, which came into the road from Shippensburg, and the long wagontrains that followed him. McLaws' Division, however, reached Marsh creek, four miles from Gettysburg, a little after dark, and Hood's Division got within nearly the same distance of the town about twelve o'clock at night. Law's Brigade was ordered forward to its division during the day, and joined about noon on the 2d. Previous to his joining I received instructions from the commanding general to move, with the portion of my command that was up, around to gain the Emmettsburg road on the enemy's left. The enemy, having been driven back by the corps of Lieutenant Generals Ewell and A. P. Hill, the day previous, had taken a strong position extending from the hill at the cemetery along the Emmettsburg road. Fearing that my force was too weak to venture to make an attack, I delayed until General Law's Brigade joined its division. As soon after his arrival as we could make our preparations, the movement was begun. Engineers, sent out by the commanding general and myself, guided us by a road which would have completely disclosed the move. Some delay ensued in seeking a more concealed route. McLaws' Division got into position, opposite the enemy's left, about 4 P. M. Hood's Division was moved on farther to our right, and got into position, partially enveloping the enemy's left.

General Longstreet here explains the cause of the delay in bringing up his troops on the first day; but, notwithstanding this, the divisions of Hood and McLaws (with the exception of Law's Brigade) encamped within four miles of Gettysburg at midnight of the 1st of July. He then received instructions to move with the portion of his command that was then up, to gain the Emmettsburg road on the enemy's left; but fearing that his force was too weak to venture to make an attack, he delayed until Law's Brigade joined its division, about noon on the 2d. In this, General Longstreet clearly admits that he assumed the responsibility of postponing the execution of the orders of the commanding general. Owing to the causes assigned, the troops were not in position to attack until 4 P. M. One can imagine what was going on in the Federal lines meanwhile. Round Top, the key to their position, which was not occupied in the morning, they now held in force, and another corps (Sedgwick's) had reached the field. Late as it was, the original plan was adhered to. The two divisions of Longstreet's Corps gallantly advanced, forced the enemy back a considerable distance, and captured some trophies and prisoners. Ewell's Divisions were ordered forward, and likewise gained additional ground and trophies. On Cemetery Hill the attack by Early's leading brigades was made with vigor. They drove the enemy back into the works on the crest, into which they forced their way, and seized several pieces of artillery; but they were compelled to relinquish what they had gained, from want of expected support on their right, and retired to their original position, bringing with them some prisoners and four stands of colors. In explanation of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Law (4)
McLaws (3)
James Longstreet (3)
Hood (3)
Ewell (2)
Round Top (1)
Sedgwick (1)
Edward Johnson (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
Jubal A. Early (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
2nd (2)
July 1st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: