This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Let me give one please of the fight — fit type of many more. Some Massachusetts batteries--Capt. Bigelow's, Capt. Phillips's, two or three more under Capt. McGilvry, of Maine--were planted on the extreme left, advanced now well down to the Emmitsburg road, with infantry in their front — the first division, I think, of Sickles's corps. A little after 5, a fierce Rebel charge drove back the infantry and menaced the batteries. Orders are sent to Bigelow on the extreme left, to hold his position at every hazard short of slicer annihilation, till a couple more batteries can be brought to his support. Reserving his fire a little, then with depressed guns opening with double charges of grape and canister, he smites and shatters, but cannot break the advancing line. His grape and canister are exhausted, and still, closing grandly up over their slain, on they come. He fails back on spherical case, and pours this in at the shortest range. On, still onward, comes the artillery-defying line, and still he holds his position. They are within six paces of the guns — he fires again. Once more, and lie blows devoted soldiers from his very muzzles. And, still mindful of that solemn order, he holds his place, they spring upon his carriages, and shoot down his horses! And then, his Yankee artillerists still about him, he seizes the guns by hand, and from the very front of that line drags two of them off. The caissons are farther back-five out of the six are saved. That single company, in that half-hour's fight, lost 33 of its men, including every sergeant it had. The captain himself was wounded. Yet it was the first time it was ever under fire! I give it simply as a type. So they fought along that fiery line! The Rebels now poured on Phillips's battery, and it, too, was forced to drag off the pieces by hand when the horses were slot down. From a new position, it opened again; and at last the two reenforcing batteries came up on the gallop. An enfilading fire swept the Rebel line; Sickles's gallant infantry charged, the Rebel line swept back on a refluent tide — we regained the lost ground, and every gun just lost in this splendid fight.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.