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[355] struck the extreme right of the Union position on Culp's Hill. If Ewell's delay had thwarted the original intention of preventing re-enforcements being sent from the right to buffet Longstreet's attack, it at least gave him the opportunity to make his demonstration, when at length made, really effective; for such heavy detachments had been taken from the Twelfth Corps to re-enforce the left during the operations of the afternoon, that there remained of this corps but a single brigade, under General Greene, drawn out in a thin line, with the division of Wadsworth on its left. The brunt of the attack fell upon Greene, who, re-enforced by parts of Wadsworth's troops, maintained his own position with great firmness, but Ewell's left penetrated without opposition the vacated breastworks on the furthest right, and this foothold within the Union lines he held during the night.

Thus closed the second day's action, and the result was such that the Confederate commander, believing he would be able ultimately to carry the position, resolved to renew attack on the morrow. It must be admitted that the events of the day seemed to justify this belief. Longstreet had carried the whole front on which the Third Corps had been drawn; Ewell's left was thrust within the breastworks on the right, in a position which, if held by him, would enable him to take Meade's entire line in reverse, and the Union loss in the two days combat had already reached the frightful aggregate of upwards of twenty thousand men. But Lee's inference, though specious, was unwarranted. The position carried from Sickles at such costly price to the assailants was no part of the real line as drawn on the crest of hills south of Gettysburg. This, intact throughout, remained yet to be assailed; and such was the confidence felt by the corpscommanders in their ability to maintain this position, that notwithstanding the partial reverses of the day, and the heavy loss sustained, when they came together that night there was a unanimous determination to fight it out at Gettysburg—a sentiment which was quite in accord with General Meade's own conviction.


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Warrenton Ewell (3)
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