Storming the Stone fence at Gettysburg. [from the Charlotte (N. C.) observer, March 11, 1901.]
A Morganton Confederate veteran tells of the charge.
I, Thomas Espy Causby, born in Burke county, N. C., June 24, 1831, make this statement of my recollections of the great battle of Gettysburg. Many of the little details I have forgotten, but of the facts herein stated I am absolutely positive. I enlisted as a private in Company D, Sixth North Carolina regiment, in the early part of the year 1861, and fought in the ranks through the war until I was  wounded in the battles around Petersburg, and was in a hospital at Richmond at the time of the surrender. I was in the first battle at Manassas, was at Fredericksburg, Sharpsburg, the Seven Days battles below Richmond, Gettysburg, and the fights around Petersburg. Before the battle of Gettysburg our brigade, commanded by Colonel Isaac Avery, of Burke county, was camped at Little York, Pa., where we remained two nights and a day. We were ordered to march on Gettysburg, and on the first day we met the enemy in the outskirts of Gettysburg in a big field, and captured a great many of them. Our brigade, led by Colonel Avery, marched through the streets of Gettysburg, where we captured a few more prisoners. A few Yankees were killed in the streets of the town, and from one of these I took a new canteen, of which I had need. After we marched through the town, we advanced a few hundred yards and struck camp in a deep ravine, where we remained until late in the afternoon of the second day's battle. About 5 or 6 o'clock in the evening we were ordered to advance and charge the breastworks on the big hill in front of us, where the enemy was entrenched. There was an awful roar of big guns and musketry, and we charged up the steep hill between a quarter and a half mile. The enemy's batteries kept up a terrific fire, but most of the shells and grape passed over our heads. Colonel Avery fell about half way between the ravine where we had camped and the stone fence on the hill, used as a breastwork by the enemy, and Colonel S. McD. Tate, the next in rank, took command of the brigade. Our brigade charged in good order until we were within a short distance of the stone fence, which did not extend all the way across the face of the hill. Here the brigade spread out across the face of the hill, part of the men making for the ends of the fence, as I recollect. About seventy-five of our brigade, led by Colonel Tate and Captain Neill Ray, charged directly on the stone fence, which we crossed and then bayonetted the Yankee gunners, and drove them back after a hard fight. About twenty men attached to the Louisiana brigade crossed the fence about the same time we did. We turned some of the guns on the enemy and tried to fire them, but most of them had been spiked by the Yankees. By this time it was getting dark, and the enemy we had driven back had been heavily re-enforced, and after remaining beyond the fence some fifteen or  twenty minutes we withdrew and rejoined our brigade, and that night we started on the return march to Virginia. Although I was in so many of the big battles of the war, I was never wounded until during the fighting around Petersburg, shortly before the surrender, and though now nearly seventy years of age, am still possessed of considerable strength and health, though my brave colonel and captain and, as far as I know, all of the men who crossed the old stone fence with me on the memorable charge have passed away.