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[296] advance directly on the Heidlersburg road. I notified the General commanding of my movement, and was informed that in case we found the enemy's force very large, he did not want a general engagement brought on till the rest of the army came up. By the time that this message reached me, General A. P. Hill had already been warmly engaged, and had been repulsed, and Carter's artilley battalion of Rodes's division had opened on the flank of the enemy with fine effect. The enemy were rapidly preparing to attack me, while fresh masses were moving into position in my front. It was too late to avoid an engagement without abandoning the position already taken up. I determined to push the attack vigorously.

General Rodes had drawn up his division with Iverson's brigade on the right, Rodes's old brigade (Colonel O'Neil) in the centre (these two on the ridge leading to the west of Gettysburg), and Doles on the left in the plain. The Fifth Alabama regiment was kept by General Rodes to guard the wide gap left between O'Neil and Doles. Daniel and Ramseur were in reserve.

He at once moved forward, and after advancing for some distance in line, he came in sight of the enemy, and O'Neil and Iverson were ordered to attack, Daniel advancing in line 200 yards in rear of Iverson to protect that flank. At this time only desultory artillery firing was going on in Hill's front; Carter was warmly engaged. O'Neil's brigade, advancing in some disorder in a different direction from that indicated by Major-General Rodes in person to Colonel O'Neil, and with only three regiments (the Third Alabama by some mistake being left with Daniel's brigade), was soon forced to fall back, although the Fifth Alabama was sent to its support. Iverson's brigade was thus exposed, but the gallant troops obstinately stood their ground till the greater part of three regiments had fallen where they stood in line of battle. A few of them being entirely surrounded, were taken prisoners; a few escaped. The unfortunate mistake of General Iverson at this critical juncture in sending word to Major-General Rodes that one of his regiments had raised the white flag and gone over to the enemy, might have produced the most disastrous results. The Twelfth North Carolinia, being on the right of his brigade, suffered least.

A slight change of Iverson's advance had uncovered the whole of Daniel's front, and he found himself opposed to heavy bodies of infantry, whom he attacked and drove before him till he reached a railroad cut extending diagonally across his front and past his right flank, which checked his advance. A battery of the enemy beyond this cut, near a barn, enfiladed his line, and fresh bodies of infantry poured

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R. E. Rodes (6)
A. Iverson (6)
E. A. O'Neil (5)
Junius Daniel (4)
George Doles (2)
Thomas H. Carter (2)
S. D. Ramseur (1)
Ambrose P. Hill (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
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