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.
The battle continued, with varying success, until perhaps 3 P. M., when General Early
, of Ewell
's corps, reached the field with his division, moved in on Rodes
' left, and attacked the enemy with his accustomed vigor and impetuosity.
This decided the contest.
The enemy's right gave way under Early
's division, of Hill
's corps, had meanwhile been advanced to relieve that of Heth
; and Rodes
, observing the effect of Early
's attack, ordered his line forward.
There resulted a general and irresistible advance of our entire line; the enemy gave way at all points, and were driven in disorder through and beyond the town of Gettysburg
, leaving over five thousand prisoners in our hands.
In this action the force engaged on the Confederate
side, as already stated, consisted of the divisions of Heth
, of Hill
's corps, and those of Early
, of Ewell
On the side of the Federals
there was the First corps, embracing the divisions of Wadsworth
; the Eleventh corps, embracing the divisions of Schurz
; and the cavalry force under General Buford
The infantry force on each side was about the same, and the preponderance in numbers was with the Federals
, to the extent of General Buford
's cavalry command.
witnessed the flight of the Federals
and up the hills beyond.
He then directed me to go to General Ewell
and to say to him that, from the position which he occupied, he could see the enemy retreating over those hills, without organization and in great confusion; that it was only necessary to press “those people” in order to secure possession of the heights, and that, if possible, he wished him to do this.
In obedience to these instructions, I proceeded immediately to General Ewell
and delivered the order of General Lee
; and, after receiving from him some message for the Commanding-General
in regard to the prisoners captured, returned to the latter and reported that his order had been delivered.
did not express any objection, or indicate the existence of any impediment, to the execution of the order conveyed to him, but left the impression upon my mind that it would be executed.
In the exercise of that discretion,