The ‘old first’ Virginia at Gettysburg.
[from the times-dispatch Oct. 16, 1904.]
Men who fought to the bitter end in the greatest of battles.
The famous Pickett charge
And the part the old first Virginia Regiment played in it.
[The following details by a participant in the renowned charge and Past Commander
of G. E. Pickett
Camp, C. V., and who is an estimable citizen of Richmond
, merits preservation.—Ed.]
Much has been written about this historic event and chiefly by those who are writers, but get their information from all kinds of publications, while those who were actors in the bloody drama have had but little to say, and they are fast passing on to answer the roll call of their comrades gone before.
The story of Pickett
's charge will ever be remembered and generations yet to come will point to it as one of the grandest acts of heroism in American history.
The Old First Virginia formed part of Kemper
It held the centre position in the brigade line.
The 3d of July, 1863, was extremely hot, and the brigade had to endure the sweltering sun, lying in rear of Seminary Ridge
in open field, while to its left were the brigades of Garnett
partly sheltered in the woods.
The distance from the position of Kemper
's brigade to the angle of the tone wall, the point of attack, was just one mile across an open hilly plain, crossed by the Emmetsburg
road, thus the enemy from their position on Roundtop Hill
could see and count every man we had when we advanced to the charge.
Moreover, on these hills the enemy placed their batteries, which fired with fatal effect on our men as they charged.
Just before our artillery opened, there was a detail of fifteen men from each regiment made to act as skirmishers.
These moved at