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The Gettysburg campaign.

We propose, from time to time, to add to our “Gettysburg series” such reports as have never been published and are important in completing the Confederate account of that great battle.

We are quite sure our readers generally will thank us for giving this week the reports of the chivalric Georgian and the gallant Carolinian who both won military fame which has been only eclipsed by their splendid “victories of peace,” and who now sit together in the Senate chamber at Washington.

Report of Brigadier-General John B. Gordon.

headquarters Gordon's brigade, August 10th, 1863.
To Major John W. Daniel, A. A. G., Early's Division:
Major — I have the honor to report that my brigade began the march with Early's division from Hamilton's crossing on the 4th of June last. Halting at Culpeper Courthouse two days, on the night of the 12th, after a most exhausting march of seventeen miles in about six hours, we reached Front Royal. I was ordered to move on the pike leading to Winchester at three o'clock A. M., [242] 13th of June. Fording both branches of the Shenandoah, we marched to a point on the Staunton pike, about five and one half miles from Winchester, when, as ordered by Major-General Early, I moved to the left of this road and formed line of battle three miles southwest of the town. About four o'clock in the afternoon I deployed a line of skirmishers and moved forward to the attack, holding two regiments (the Thirteenth and Thirty-first Georgia) in reserve. After advancing several hundred yards, I found it necessary to bring into line these two regiments — the Thirty-first on the Tight and the Thirteenth on the left. The enemy's skirmishers retreated on his battle line, a portion of which occupied a strong position behind a stone wall, but from which he was immediately driven. A battery, which I had hoped to capture, was rapidly withdrawn.

In this charge, which was executed with spirit and unchecked at any point, my brigade lost seventy-five men, including some efficient officers.

On the 14th, detachments from this brigade were engaged in skirmishing with the enemy in front of the town and fort. In accordance with orders from Major-General Early, received in the night of the 14th, I began to move my brigade upon the fort at daylight the following morning. I soon discovered that the fort was evacuated, and sending a detachment to occupy it and take posession of the garrison flag, I sent an officer to communicate with the Major-General and moved as rapidly as possible in the direction of the firing distinctly heard on the Martinsburg pike.

My brigade reached the point where a portion of Johnson's division engaged the retreating enemy only in time to assist in collecting horses and prisoners.

Crossing the Potomac at Shepherdstown on the 22d of June, we marched through Boonsboroa, Maryland, to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Before reaching this place my brigade was detached by Major-General Early from the division and ordered on a different road, with a battalion of cavalry under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel White.

In front of Gettysburg a regiment of Pennsylvania militia was charged and routed by this cavalry battalion. I was here ordered to move on the direct pike to the city of York. Before entering this place, the Mayor and a deputation of citizens were sent out by the city authorities to make a formal surrender. In accordance with prior instructions from Major-General Early, I moved directly through, having sent in front of the brigade a provost-guard to occupy the city and take down the Federal flag, left flying over the principal street. We moved by the direct pike to Wrightsville on the Susquehanna. At this point I found a body of Pennsylvania militia, nearly equal in number to my brigade, reported by the commanding officer, whom we captured, at twelve hundred men, strongly entrenched, but without artillery. A line of skirmishers was sent to make a demonstration in front of these works, while I moved to the right by a circuitous route with three regiments, in [243] order to turn these works, and, if possible, gain the enemy's rear, cut off his retreat and seize the bridge. This I found impracticable, and placing in position the battery under my command, opened on the works, and by a few well aimed shots and the advance of my lines, caused this force to retreat precipitately, with the loss of about twenty prisoners, including one lieutenant-colonel. I had no means of ascertaining the enemy's number of killed and wounded. One dead man was left on the field. Our loss, one wounded. It may not be improper in this connection, as evidence of the base ingratitude of our enemies, to state that the Yankee press has attributed to my brigade the burning of the town of Wrightsville. In his retreat across the bridge, the enemy fired it about midway with the most inflammable materials. Every effort was made to extinguish this fire and save the bridge, but it was impossible. From this the town was fired, and notwithstanding the excessive fatigue of the men, from the march of twenty-nine miles and the skirmish with the enemy, I formed my brigade in line around the burning buildings and resisted the progress of the flames until they were checked.

Leaving Wrightsville on the morning of the 29th, I sent the cavalry under my command to burn all the bridges (fourteen in number) on the railroad leading to York, to which place I marched my brigade and rejoined the division, from which we had been separated since June 26th. Marching thence to Gettysburg, we participated in the battle of July 1st. In accordance with orders from Major-General Early, I formed my brigade in line of battle on the right of the division--one regiment, the Twenty-sixth Georgia, having been detached to support the artillery under Lieutenant-Colonel Jones.

About 3 o'clock P. M. I was ordered to move my brigade forward to the support of Major-General Rodes' left. The men were much fatigued from long marches, and I therefore caused them to move forward slowly, until within about three hundred yards of the enemy's line, when the advance was as rapid as the nature of the ground and a proper regard for the preservation of my alignment would permit.

The enemy had succeeded in gaining a position upon the left flank of Doles' brigade, and in causing these troops to retreat. This movement of the enemy would necessarily have exposed his right flank but for the precaution he had taken to cover it by another line. It was upon this line, drawn up in a strong position on the crest of a hill, a portion of which was woodland, that my brigade charged. Moving forward under heavy fire over rail and plank fences, and crossing a creek whose banks were so abrupt as to prevent a passage except at certain points, this brigade rushed upon the enemy with a resolution and spirit, in my opinion, rarely equaled.

The enemy made a most obstinate resistance, until the colors on portions of the two lines were separated by a space of less than fifty paces, when his line was broken and driven back, leaving the [244] flank which this line had protected exposed to the fire from my brigade. An effort was here made by the enemy to change his front and check our advance, but the effort failed, and this line too was driven back in the greatest confusion and with immense loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. Among the latter was a division commander (General Barlow), who was severely wounded. I was here ordered by Major-General Early to halt.

I had no means of ascertaining the number of the enemy's wounded by the fire of this brigade, but if these were in the usual proportion to his killed, nearly three hundred of whom were buried on the ground where my brigade fought his loss in killed and wounded must have exceeded the number of men I carried into action.

Neither was it possible for me to take any account of the prisoners sent to the rear. But the division inspector credits this brigade with about eighteen hundred. I carried into action about twelve hundred men, one regiment having been detached as above stated. The loss of the brigade in killed and wounded was three hundred and fifty--forty of whom were killed.

The movements during the succeeding days of the battle (July 2d and 3d) I do not consider of sufficient importance to mention. In the afternoon of July 5th, on the retreat from Gettysburg, my brigade, acting as rear guard, was pressed by the enemy near Fairfield, Virginia. I was ordered by Major-General Early to hold him in check until the wagon and division trains could be moved forward. Detaching one regiment (the Twenty-sixth Georgia) I deployed it, and after a spirited skirmish succeeded in driving back the enemy's advance guard and in withdrawing this regiment through the woods, with the loss of eight or ten killed and wounded.

On the 14th of July this brigade, with the division, recrossed the Potomac at Williamsport.

It would be gratifying, and in accordance with my sense of justice, to mention the acts of individual courage which came under my own observation and which have been reported to me, but as the exhibition of this virtue was the general rule, I should do injustice to many if I attempted it.

I am, Major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. Gordon, Brigadier-General.


Report of Brigadier-General Wade Hampton.

Columbia, August 13, 1863.
Major McClellan, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Major — I avail myself of the first opportunity at which I am able to do so to send in a report of the part taken by my brigade during the battle of Gettysburg. The previous operations of the brigade shall be embodied in a subsequent report as soon as I am well enough to make it out. I send the present report, as I deem it important that it should go in at the earliest moment.

The brigade was stationed, on the 2d of July, at Hunterstown, five miles to the east of Gettysburg, where orders came from General Stuart that it should move up and take position on the left of our infantry. Before this could be accomplished, I was notified that a heavy force of cavalry was advancing on Hunterstown, with a view to get in the rear of our army. Communicating this information to General Stuart, I was ordered by him to return and hold the enemy in check. Pursuant to these orders, I moved back and met the enemy between Hunterstown and Gettysburg. After skirmishing a short time he attempted a charge, which was met in front by the Cobb legion, whilst I threw the Phillips legion and the Second South Carolina as supporting forces on each flank of the enemy. The charge was most gallantly made, and the enemy were driven back in confusion to the support of his sharpshooters and artillery, both of which opened on me heavily. I had no artillery at this time, but soon after two pieces were sent to me and they did good service. Night coming on, I held the ground until morning, when I found that the enemy had retreated from Hunterstown, leaving some of his wounded officers and men in the village.

The Cobb legion, which led in this gallant charge, suffered quite severely. Lieutenant-Colonel Delaney and several other officers being wounded, whilst the regiment lost in killed quite a number of brave officers and men, whose names I regret not being able to give. On the morning of the 3d July I was ordered to move through Hunterstown and endeavor to get on the right flank of the enemy. In accordance with these orders the brigade passed through the village just named, across the railroad and thence south till we discovered the enemy.

I took position on the left of Colonel Chambliss, and threw out sharpshooters to check an advance the enemy were attempting. Soon after, General Fitz. Lee came up and took position on my left. The sharpshooters soon became actively engaged, and succeeded perfectly in keeping the enemy back, whilst the three brigades were held ready to meet any charge made by the enemy. We had, for the three brigades, but two pieces of artillery, whilst the enemy had apparently two batteries in position. In the afternoon, about four and a half o'clock I should think, an order came from General [246] Stuart for General Fitz. Lee and myself to report to him, leavings our brigades where they were. Thinking that it would not be proper for both of us to leave the ground at the same time, I told General Lee that I would go to General Stuart first and on my return he could go. Leaving General Lee, I rode off to see General Stuart, but could not find him. On my return to the field, I saw my brigade in motion, having been ordered to charge by General Lee. This order I countermanded, as I did not think it a judicious one, and the brigade assumed its former position — not, however, without loss, as the movement had disclosed its position to the enemy. A short time after this, an officer from Chambliss reported to me that. he had been sent to ask support from General Lee, but he had replied my brigade was nearest and should support Chambliss' brigade. Seeing that support was essential, I sent to Colonel Baker, ordering him to send two regiments to protect Colonel Chambliss, who had made a charge — I know not by whose orders — and whoa was falling back before a large force of the enemy. The First North Carolina and the Jeff. Davis legion were sent by Colonel Baker, and these two regiments drove back the enemy, but in their eagerness they followed him too far and encountered his reserve in heavy force. Seeing the state of affairs at this juncture, I rode rapidly to the front to take charge of these two regiments, and whilst doing this, to my surprise, I saw the rest of my brigade (except the Cobb legion) and Fitz. Lee's brigade charging. In the hand-to-hand fight which ensued, as I was endeavoring to extricate the First North Carolina and the Jeff. Davis legion, I was wounded, and had to leave the field, after turning over the command to Colonel Baker.

The charge of my brigade has been recently explained to me as having been ordered by Captain Barker, Assistant Adjutant-General, who supposed that it was intended to take the whole brigade to the support of Colonel Chambliss--a mistake which was very naturally brought about by the appearance of affairs on the field.

Of what occurred after I gave up the command, I am of course ignorant, nor can I state the casualties of my command. I am only able now to give a brief and bare statement of the part taken by my brigade in the battle of the 3d July, showing how it became engaged. The disposition I had made of my command contemplated an entirely different plan for the fight, and beyond this disposition of my own brigade, with the subsequent charge of the First North Carolina and the Jeff. Davis legion, I had nothing whatever to do with the fight.

I am, Major, very respectfully, yours,

Wade Hampton, Brigadier-General.

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