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[379] in the streets of the village, and thus losing heavily in prisoners. Their wounded, who had thus far been taken to Gettysburg, were of course abandoned to the enemy, as the debris of the two corps, scarcely half the number that had marched so proudly through those streets a few hours before, fell hastily back and were rallied on Cemetery hill, just south of the village: Buford, with his troopers, covering the retreat, and trying to show a bold front to the Rebels; who — though there were still several hours of good daylight — did not see fit to press their advantage: presuming that our whole army was moving hitherward, and fearing that they might miscalculate and suffer as Reynolds had just done.

And they were right. For Gen. Sickles, with his (3d) corps, which had advanced, the day before, from Taneytown to Emmitsburg, and had there received from Meade a circular to his corps commanders, directing a concentration on the line of Pipe creek — the left of the army at Middleburg, the right at Manchester — had been preparing to move, as directed, to Middleburg, when, at 2 P. M.,1 he received a dispatch from Howard at Gettysburg, stating that the 1st and 11th corps were there engaged with a superior force, and that Reynolds had been killed; thereupon, calling urgently for assistance.

Sickles was perplexed. Meade was at Taneytown, ten miles away; and to wait to hear from him was to leave Howard to his fate. Sickles had been moving on Gettysburg till halted by Meade's new circular; and he decided that he ought to persist now; so, leaving two brigades and two batteries to hold Emmitsburg, he put the rest of his corps in rapid notion for Gettysburg; arriving just after Howard had taken post on Cemetery hill, and coming into position on his left. As he came up the Emmitsburg road, he might have been assailed by Hill's forces, holding the ridges on his left; but the enemy were satisfied with their day's work, and did not molest him.

Gen. Meade was at Taneytown, when, at 1 P. M., news came that there was fighting at Gettysburg, and that Gen. Reynolds had been killed. He at once ordered Hancock to turn over his (2d) corps to Gibbon, hasten himself to Gettysburg, and take command there; which was done: Hancock reaching Cemetery hill at 3 1/2 P. M., when the rear of our broken 1st and 11th corps was retreating in disorder through the village, hotly pursued by the triumphant foe. Howard having already formed a division on Cemetery hill, Hancock ordered Wadsworth to post his, or what was left of it (1,600 out of the 4,000 he had led to battle in the morning) on Culp's hill, at our right; while Gen. Geary, with the advance division of Slocum's (12th) corps, then coming up, was directed to take position on high ground toward Round Top, on our left. Meade had hurriedly requested Hancock to judge whether Gettysburg afforded us better ground for a battle than that he had selected on Pipe creek; and Hancock now (4 P. M.) sent word that he would hold on here until Meade could arrive and judge for himself. But Meade had already impelled the 2d corps, under Gibbon, toward Gettysburg. Hancock wrote him that the

1 July 1.

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