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[258] there in the moonlight little rescuing parties were seeking out whom they might succor. They carried many to the improvised hospitals, where the surgeons worked unceasingly and heroically, and many lives were saved.

All through the night the Confederates were massing artillery along the crest of Seminary Ridge. The sound horses were carefully fed and watered, while those killed or disabled were replaced by others. The ammunition was replenished and the guns were placed in favorable positions and made ready for their work of destruction.

On the other side, the Federals were diligently laboring in the moonlight, and ere the coming of the day they had planted batteries on the brow of the hill above the town as far as Little Round Top. The coming of the morning revealed the two parallel lines of cannon, a mile apart, which signified only too well the story of what the day would bring forth.

The people of Gettysburg, which lay almost between the armies, were awakened on that fateful morning--July 3, 1863--by the roar of artillery from Culp's Hill, around the bend toward Rock Creek. This knoll in the woods had, as we have seen, been taken by Johnson's men the night before. When Geary and Ruger returned and found their entrenchments occupied by the Confederates they determined to recapture them in the morning, and began firing their guns at daybreak. Seven hours of fierce bombardment and daring charges were required to regain them. Every rod of space was disputed at the cost of many a brave man's life. At eleven o'clock this portion of the Twelfth Corps was again in its old position.

But the most desperate onset of the three days battle was yet to come — Pickett's charge on Cemetery Ridge — preceded by the heaviest cannonading ever heard on the American continent.

With the exception of the contest at Culp's Hill and a cavalry fight east of Rock Creek, the forenoon of July 3d

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