was still with me, and I said to him, “ If you go away from there, I will have to hold it.”
“That's all right,” said he; “ I will go away.”
He did so, and I moved right up. It was a pretty good position, where you could cover your troops.
Soon after relieving Buford, we saw some Rebel infantry advancing.
I do not know whether they brought them from Hagerstown, or from some other place.
They made three dashes, not in heavy force, upon our line to drive us back.
The troops that happened to be there on our line were what we considered in the Army of the Potomac unusually good ones.
They quietly repulsed the Rebels twice; and, the third time they came up, they sent them flying into Funkstown.
Yet there was no permission to move on and follow up the enemy.
We remained there some time, until we had orders to move on and take a position a mile or more nearer Hagerstown.
As we moved up, we saw that the Rebels had some light fieldworks — hurriedly thrown up, apparently — to cover themselves while they recrossed the river.
I think we remained there three days; and the third night, I think, after we got up into that position, it was said the Rebels recrossed the river.
The 4th and 5th were devoted by Gen. Meade
to hearing for the wounded and burying the dead; part of our cavalry pursuing on the Cashtown
road, as Sedgwick
did on that by Fairfield
On the 5th, Meade
was satisfied that Lee
had retreated; but he believed that he was falling back into the Cumberland Valley
— not making for the shelter of the Potomac
He decided to move the great body of his forces by the left flank through Boonsboroa Pass, and so place himself between the enemy and his resources.
that the main body of the enemy was in position in and around Fairfield Pass, and that it might be necessary to fight another battle in those mountains.
Hereupon, the 5th corps and some other troops were sent to reenforce Sedgwick
, and the 1st and 3d, which had been started by Butterfield
, chief of staff
, on the Boonsboroa road, were halted; while others, farther in advance, moved on. Soon, word came from Sedgwick
that it was unwise to push the enemy farther on the route he was following; whereupon, the whole army was impelled down the Middletown
being ordered to move the most of his command from Fairfield Pass by Emmitsburg
to join the main body.
Arrived at Middletown
, the army was halted a day to rest and refit, and then moved through South Mountain
by Boonsboroa to Hagerstown
and the Potomac
; where Lee
had of course arrived before it, taken a strong position, and was prepared to maintain it. Lee
says, in his official report:
The army remained at Gettysburg during the 4th, and at night began to retire by the road to Fairfield, carrying with it about 4,000 prisoners. Nearly 2,000 had previously been paroled; but the enemy's numerous wounded, that had fallen into our hands after the first and second day's engagements, were left behind.
Little progress was made that night, owing to a severe storm, which greatly embarrassed our movements.
The rear of tho column did not leave its position near Gettysburg until after daylight on the 5th.
The march was continued during that day without interruption by the enemy, except an unimportant demonstration upon our rear in the afternoon, when near Fairfield, which was easily checked.
Part of our train moved by the road through Fairfield, and the rest by the way of Cashtown, guarded by Gen. Imboden.
In passing through tho mountains, in advance of the column, the great length of the trains exposed them to attack by the enemy's cavalry, which captured a number of wagons and ambulances; but they succeeded in reaching Williamsport without serious loss.
They were attacked at that place on the 6th by the enemy's cavalry, which was gallantly repulsed by Gen. Imboden.
The attacking force was subsequently encountered and driven off by Gen. Stuart, and pursued for several miles in the direction of Boonsboroa.