previous next
“ [297] and marks of the struggle were still to be observed — the moss on the rocks was discolored in hundreds of places where the bullets had struck; the trees, as cut off, lopped down, or shivered, were still there stumps and trees were perforated with holes where leaden balls had since been dug out, and remnants of the rough breastworks remained. I did not wonder that General Geary, who was in the thickest of this fight, thought the main battle of Gettysburg must have been fought there.” 1--Atlantic Monthly, July, 1876, page 66.

But all the efforts of the enemy failed to dislodge us-Unassisted, the Third brigade held the position they had won the night before. Several writers speak of Johnson being heavily reinforced. It may be. But I feel sure that that far-advanced line of earthworks into which Steuart had driven his brigade like a wedge the night before was held by him alone through all those terrible hours on the morning of the 3d July. The reinforcements which came to Johnson must have been employed on the flanks or on some other portion of the line than that occupied by us.2

Then came General Ewell's order to assume the offensive and assail the crest of Culp's Hill, on our right. My diary says that both General Steuart and General Daniel, who now came up with his brigade to support the movement, strongly disapproved of making the assault. And well might they despair of success in the face of such difficulties. The works to be stormed ran almost at right angles to those we occupied,:3 Moreover, there was a double line of entrenchments, one above the other, and each filled with troops. In moving to the attack we were exposed to an enfilading fire from the woods on our left flank, besides the double line

1 Whitelaw Reid wrote as follows: “From 4 to 5 there was heavy cannonading also from our batteries nearest the contested points. . . . The rebels made no reply. . . . The musketry crash continued with unparalleled tenacity and vehemence.” --Bates, page 142. Later in the morning he says: “The batteries began to open again on points along our outer line. They were evidently playing on what had been Slocum's line of yesterday. The rebels then were still in our rifle-pits. Presently the battery on Slocum's Hill . . opened too, aiming apparently in the same direction. Other batteries along the inner line, just to the left of the Baltimore pike [McAllister's Hill], followed the signal, and one after another opened up, till every little crest between Slocum's headquarters and Cemetery Hill began belching its thunder. . . . Still no artillery response from the rebels.” --Page 143.

2 My memoranda says that Johnson was “subsequently” reinforced by the brigades of Smith and Daniel. Probably this was just before the last fatal charge. I remember the latter brigade coming up at that time. I did not see it before, and I did not see Smith's brigade at all. Or both brigades may have been employed on the right and left flanks at an earlier hour. I would only state it as my conviction that the captured works were held by the men who captured them from 9 P. M., July 2d, to 10 A. M., July 3d, and by none others. During the last hour of their occupation (10 to 11) the right of the works was held by the brigade of General Daniel.

3 They were confident of their ability to sweep him away and take the whole Union line in reverse. Fortunately, Greene had caused his flank to be fortified by a very heavy work, which the make of the ground favored, extending some distance at right angles to his main line.-Bates' Gettysburg, page 139.

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.
Andrew Johnson (3)
Daniel (3)
George H. Steuart (2)
Kirby Smith (2)
Slocum (2)
Bates (2)
Whitelaw Reid (1)
Greene (1)
Geary (1)
Ewell (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.
July 3rd (2)
July, 1876 AD (1)
July 2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: