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[380] position here was good, but liable to be turned by way of Emmitsburg. Slocum having arrived at 7, and ranking Hancock, the latter turned over the command, as he had been instructed to do, and rode back to Meade, whom he reached at 9 P. M.; when he was told by Meade that he had decided to fight at Gettysburg, and had given orders accordingly.1 Both started for Gettysburg immediately, arriving at 11 P. M.

During that night, our army was all concentrated before Gettysburg, save Gen. Sedgwick's (6th) corps, which was at Manchester, 30 miles distant, when, at 7 P. M., it received orders to move at once on Taney-town; which were so changed, after it had marched 7 or 8 miles, as to require its immediate presence at Gettysburg, where it arrived, weary enough, at 2 P. M. next day.2

Meantime, Lee also had been bringing up his several corps and divisions, posting them along the ridges north and west of Gettysburg and its rivulet, facing ours at distances of one to two miles. Longstreet's corps held his right, which was stretched considerably across the Emmitsburg road; the divisions of Hood, McLaws, and Pickett posted from right to left. Hill's corps, including the divisions of Anderson, Pender, and Heth, held the center; while Ewell's, composed of Rhodes's, Early's, and Johnson's divisions, formed the Rebel left, which bent well around the east side of our position, making the enemy's front considerably longer than ours. Of the entire Rebel army that had crossed the Potomac, scarcely a regiment was wanting when Pickett's division, forming the rear-guard, came up on the morning of the 2d.

On our side, Sickles's (3d) corps held the left, opposite Longstreet, supported by the 5th (Sykes's); with Hancock's (2d) in our center, touching its right; while what was left of Howard's (11th), reenforced by 2,000 Vermonters, under Stannard, and Reynolds's (1st, now Doubleday's) corps held the face of Cemetery hill, looking toward Gettysburg and Early's division, but menaced also by Johnson's division on its right, and by Hill's corps, facing its left. The 12th corps (Slocum's) held our extreme right, facing Johnson's division of Ewell's corps, and had recently been strengthened by Lockwood's Marylanders, 2,500 strong; raising it to a little over 10,000 men. Buford's cavalry, pretty roughly handled on the 1st, was first sent to the rear to recruit, but confronted Stuart on our extreme right before the close of the 2d; Kilpatrick's division being posted on our left.

Meade had resolved to fight a defensive battle; beside, as Sedgwick's strong corps (15,400) had not yet come up, while the whole Rebel army might fairly be presumed present, it was not his interest to force the fighting. Yet he had given orders to Slocum, commanding on our right, for an attack on that wing with the 12th, 5th, and 6th corps so soon as the 6th should arrive; but

1 Gen. Butterfield, chief of staff, testifies that Meade directed him to make out, next morning, a General Order of retreat from Gettysburg, prescribing the route of each corps. Meade vehemently denies that he ever intended to retreat. These statements seem nowise incompatible. A prudent general might very well forecast and mark out his line of retreat, even while resolved to hold on to the utmost. It does not appear that Meade told either of his corps commanders that he had any notion of retreating.

2 July 2.

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