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[528] undisputed possession of Stuart, save that from the opposite hills a fierce artillery duel was maintained until night.1

Let us examine by the light of the official reports of the commanding officers of the contending forces these conflicting statements, and discover where the victory really remained, or who was defeated-Gregg or Stuart.

General Gregg, in his official report, dated July 25th, 1863, to Lieutenant Colonel A. J. Alexander, Assistant Adjutant General Cavalry Corps, says:

At twelve M. I received a copy of a dispatch from the commander of the Eleventh Corps to the Major General commanding the Army of the Potomac, that large columns of the enemy's cavalry were moving towards the right of our line. At the same time I received an order from Major General Pleasonton, through an aide-de-camp, to send the First Brigade of the Third Division to join General Kilpatrick on the left. The First Brigade of my division was sent to relieve the brigade of the Third Division. This change having been made, a strong line of skirmishers displayed by the enemy was evidence that the enemy's cavalry had gained our right, and were about to attack with the view of gaining the rear of our line of battle. The importance of stubbornly resisting an attack at this point, which, if successful, would have been productive of the most serious consequences, determined me to retain the brigade of the Third Division until the enemy were driven back. General Custer, commanding the brigade, satisfied of the intended attack, was well pleased to remain with his brigade.

Then follows a description of the disposition of his troops and the arrangement of his line of battle. The report then proceeds:

At this time the skirmishing became very brisk on both sides, and an artillery fire was begun by the enemy and ourselves. During the skirmish of the dismounted men the enemy brought upon the field a column for a charge. The charge of this column was met by the (Seventh) Michigan cavalry of the First Brigade, Third Division, but not successfully. The advantage gained in this charge was soon wrested from the enemy by the gallant charge of the First Michigan, of the same brigade. This regiment drove the enemy back to his starting point.

1 It is remarkable that, among the numerous accounts from Confederate sources, of the operations of General Stuart's cavalry in the Gettysburg campaign, published among these “Annals of the War,” until the appearance of this statement by Major McClellan, mention has not been made of the part taken by Stuart in the actual battle. Knowledge of this is certainly essential to a correct understanding of the great struggle. One might imagine that Major McClellan's assertion had been thrust forward as a feeler, to ascertain whether there was any one to take up the gauntlet for General Gregg and his command, who, for many years, have rested content with their achievements without boasting, and, if there were none ready to do so, to claim unequivocally a victory.

The very able paper of Colonel Brooke-Rawle, on “The right flank at Gettysburg,” which appears in this series, furnishes the reader a careful, reliable, and truthful account of the engagement between Gregg and Stuart.

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