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[98]

IV: the Third day

When Slocum and Williams, after the meeting of corps commanders had broken up, had returned, after midnight, to their respective commands on the right, they learned for the first time of the enemy's occupation of the Twelfth Corps's vacated lines. Slocum at once notified General Meade of the facts, when he was ordered to dislodge the enemy in the morning. Orders for an attack at daybreak, to regain the lost portions of the lines, were then issued.

On the southern slope of Culp's Hill, nearly at right angles to Rock Creek, is a narrow swale running from Rock Creek, about the middle of which a sharp indentation pierces the hill, forming to the eastward of it a well-defined spur of the hill. The crest of this spur had been, until the evening of the second day's battle, occupied by Ruger's troops, his left joining Geary's right on the main hill, and his line extending in a semicircle around and over the swale, until his right rested on Rock Creek, the swale penetrating his line from the rear. The enemy having, upon the withdrawal of Ruger's troops for reinforcement of the left wing, occupied the position on the spur, the morning of the 3d of July dawned upon an entirely different disposition of the troops on this part of the field. Geary's line, which had been along the main hill in the direction of the prolongation of the spur, was now extended and sharply refused on the ridge west of the indentation on the hill, while Ruger's troops, consisting as before of McDougall's and Colgrove's brigades, had formed in the order named, from left to right, a line slightly concave to the enemy's position, entirely south of the swale, with their left resting almost on the Baltimore Pike and their right on Rock Creek.1 Lieutenant Muhlenberg, chief of artillery of the Twelfth Corps, stationed his own and Lieutenant Kinzie's batteries, supported by Lockwood's brigade, southwest of the Baltimore Pike, commanding the enemy's position, the low ground in the descent of the swale to Rock Creek, and enfilading for some distance the line of the bed of the creek. To the southeast of these two batteries were posted, on Powers's Hill,

1 See Map No. 19, July 3, 4.30 A. M.

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