troops that have been tried as by fire can be reformed under such a storm of death; but the captain, left alone and almost in the rebels' hands, held on to the flaunting colors of another regiment, that made him so conspicuous a target, and brought them safely off. The right of the corps gave way. The fierce surge of Ewell's attack had beaten up to their front, and, added to Hill's heavy fire, forced them slowly back. Wadsworth still holds on — for a few minutes more his braves protract the carnival of death. Doubleday managed to get three regiments over to their support; Colonel Biddle's Pennsylvania regiment came in and behaved most gallantly. Colonel Stephenson, who all the day had been serving in the hottest of the fight as aid to Meredith, relieved a wounded colonel, and strove to rally his regiment. Meredith himself, with his Antietam wound hardly yet ceasing to pain him, is struck again, a mere bruise, however — on the head, with a piece of shell. At the same instant his large, heavy horse falls, mortally wounded, bears the General under him to the ground, and beats him there with his head and shoulders in his death convulsions. It is idle fighting Fate. Ewell turned the scale with the old, historic troops; brave men may now well retire before double their number equally brave. When the Eleventh corps fell back, the flank of the First was exposed; when the right of the First fell back, Wadsworth's flank was exposed; already flushed with their victory, rebels were pouring up against front and both flanks of the devoted brigades. They had twice cleared their front of rebel lines; mortal men could now do no more. And so, “slowly and sullenly firing,” the last of them came back. Meantime, the fate of the army had been settled. It was one of those great crises that come rarely more than once in a lifetime. For Major--General Howard, brave, one-armed, Christian fighting hero, the crisis had come. His command--two corps of the grand army of the Potomac--were repulsed, and coming back in full retreat, a few sturdy brigades in order, the most in sad confusion. One cavalry charge, twenty minutes well-directed cannonading, might wipe out nearly a third of the army, and leave Meade powerless for the defence of the North. These corps must be saved, and saved at once. General Howard met and overmastered the crisis. The Cemetery Hill was instantly selected. The troops were taken to the rear and re-formed under cover. Batteries hurried up, and when the rebel pursuit had advanced half-way through the town a thunderbolt leaped out from the whole length of that line of crest and smote them where they stood. The battle was ended, the corps were saved. The last desperate attack lasted nowhere along the line over forty minutes; with most of it hardly over half so long. One single brigade, that “iron” column that held the left, went in one thousand eight hundred and twenty strong. It came out with seven hundred men. A few were prisoners; a few concealed themselves in houses and escaped — near a thousand of them were killed and wounded. Its fellow brigade went in one thousand five hundred strong; it came out with forty-nine officers and five hundred and forty-nine men killed and wounded, and six officers and five hundred and eighty-four men missing and their fate unknown. Who shall say that they did not go down into the very valley of the Shadow of Death on that terrible afternoon?
Iii. Thursday's doubtful issue--Friday's victory.
field of battle near Gettysburgh, Pa., July 4.Two more days of such fighting as no Northern State ever witnessed before, and victory at last! Victory for a fated army, and salvation for the imperilled country! It were folly for one unaided man, leaving the ground within a few hours after the battle has died fitfully out, to undertake a minute detail of the operations on all parts of the field. I dare only attempt the merest outline of its leading features — then off for Cincinnati by the speediest routes. I have been unable even to learn all I sought concerning the part some of our own Ohio regiments bore — of individual brigades and regiments and batteries I can in the main say nothing. But what one man, not entirely unfamiliar with such scenes before, could see, passing over the ground before, during, and after the fight, I saw; for the rest I must trust to such credible statements by the actors as I have been able to collect.