at sunrise, for his express orders had been, both to Hill
and to Ewell
, that they should not bring on a general engagement until after the concentration of his army at Cashtown
; and now Hill
was engaged, at the very beginning of the day, in hot contention, eight miles away from Lee
's selected defensive position, where the ‘strength of the hills’ would have been his, in the open country about Gettysburg
, where mere numbers would have greatly the advantage in an engagement.
, of Longstreet
's command, reports that Lee
was listening intently, as he rode along, to the sound of Hill
's guns, miles away to the eastward, and then saying: ‘I cannot think what has become of Stuart
; I ought to have heard from him long before now. He may have met with disaster, but I hope not. In the absence of reports from him, I am in ignorance as to what we have in front of us here.
It may be the whole Federal army, or it may be only a detachment.
If it is the whole Federal force we must fight a battle here; if we do not gain a victory, these defiles and gorges through which we were passing this morning will shelter us from disaster.’
by the middle of the forenoon, Lee
anxiously awaited information from the front.
This he soon had, in a call from Hill
for assistance, when at once he gave orders to Longstreet
to close up his command, and rode rapidly to the scene of action, where he arrived in time to witness the grand advance of his Second corps through Gettysburg
, between 4 and 5 in the afternoon, by which 5,000 or more Federal prisoners were captured; four Confederate divisions having snatched victory from the five Federal ones that had defeated Hill
, and not only fought bravely, but held tenaciously the field of combat and inflicted severe losses on the victors.
The old fighting spirit of Jackson
's men was fully aroused by the great success they had again won over the Federal
corps that they had so recently routed at Chancellorsville
, and they were eager to follow in pursuit of the 6,oco Federals remaining of the 20,000 that had been engaged, in refuge behind the stone walls and outcropping rocks of the Gettysburg ridge
, or Cemetery hill
himself was fired by a like desire, and through Adjt.-Gen. Walter H. Taylor
he sent an order to Ewell
: ‘Press those people and secure the hill if possible.’