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[227] hundreds of yards between the right of the Third Corps and the left of the Second.

At two o'clock a few squadrons of cavalry moved out from the extreme right of the enemy's line and reconnoitered the Union left. They were driven in by a battery of the Third Corps to which a battery of Lee replied. Then a brigade of infantry deployed from the extreme right of Lee's line and advanced into the plain. When this was fairly in motion, another became visible, deploying from the woods in its rear. Another and another deployed and advanced and the great movement unmasked. Longstreet, seeing his advantage and that he enfiladed Sickles' position, planned to attack him by eschelon of brigades from the right, having Round Top for its objective point. Lee was to overlap the left flank, and, while rolling back the imperilled Third Corps upon the Second, carry the key to the position by assault.

During some moments of silence this grand manoeuvre develops itself and a second and a third line are disposed in the same formation. The western half of the plain in front of Sickles is full of marching lines of dusty brown, and the deep silence gives promise of dread work for all.

Now the advance brigade of Lee emerges from the Peach Orchard and the guns of ā€˜Rickett'sā€™ famous battery open fire upon it over the heads of the Third Corps from a ridge in its rear. The first shell overthrows the battle color of the right battalion and this is accepted as a good omen, with a hearty cheer from the Second Corps. The advance brigade falters for a moment under the shells of ā€˜Rickett'sā€™ but for a moment only, and its ranks are closed. Woodford's battery from the right of the Second Corps, Pettitt's Twelfth New York from its centre, batteries B. and G., 1st Rhode Island and Capt. Harry Sleeper's Tenth Massachusetts, in turn, open their fire upon those advancing masses over the heads of Sickles' Corps. Their fire draws upon them a deadly storm from Lee's opposing batteries to which they vouchsafe no reply. Their orders are to neglect Lee's guns and concentrate their fire upon his advancing hosts of flesh and blood. The advance is momentarily checked, its impetus is lost but still those brave men come gallantly

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