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[185]

Report of Colonel William F. Perry, Forty-Fourth Alabama.

headquarters Forty-Fourth Alabama regiment, Near Fredericksburg, Va., August 8, 1863.
H. W. Figures, A. A. G. General, Law's Brigade.
sir,—I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the regiment under my command in the battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the 2d July.

It occupied the place of the second battalion in the line formed by the brigade on the heights which ran parallel with and fronting the enemy's position. Having advanced with the brigade down the long slope and through the intervening meadow it was detached from its place in the line by order of General Law and by a flank movement was brought to the extreme left of the brigade.

When at a short distance from the stone fence near the base of the mountain, General Law informed me that he expected my regiment to take a battery which had been playing on our line from the moment the advance begun. This battery was situated, not on the mountain itself, but on a rugged cliff, which formed the abrupt termination of a ridge that proceeded from the mountain and ran in a direction somewhat parallel with it, leaving a valley destitute of trees and filled with immense boulders between them. This valley—not more than three hundred paces in breadth—and the cliff on which their artillery was stationed was occupied by two regiments of the enemy's infantry.

The direction of the regiment after crossing the stone fence was such that a march to the front would have carried it to the right of the enemy's position. It was therefore wheeled to the left so as to confront that position, its left opposite the battery and its right extending toward the base of the mountain. This movement was executed under fire and within two hundred yards of the enemy.

The forward movement was immediately ordered and was responded to with an alacrity and courage seldom, if ever, excelled on the battlefield. As the men emerged from the forest into the valley before mentioned they received a deadly volley at short range which, in a few seconds, killed or disabled one-fourth their number. Halting without an order from me and availing themselves of the shelter which the rocks afforded they returned the fire. Such was their extreme exhaustion-having marched without interruption twenty-four


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