one mile wide, and through this valley ran the Emmittsburg road in a somewhat diagonal line, with a heavy fence on either side.
The charge was to be made across this valley so as to strike the left centre of the enemy's line.
The hope was that if we broke their line, we would swing around to the left, rout and cut off their right wing, where Stuart
waited with his cavalry to charge upon them; and thus destroy or capture them, and put ourselves in possession of the Baltimore
road and of a commanding position.
Such were the plans of the assault and such was the position of the hostile forces.
's plan to make an assault was dangerous and hazardous, but he was pressed by the force of circumstances which we cannot now consider.
The success of his plan depended largely on the promptness and co-operation of his generals.
Without this there could be little hope of success.
He gave his orders and retired for to-morrow.
All wait on the to-morrow.
And now the 3d of July has come.
The summer sun early heralded by roseate dawn, rises serenely and brightly from beyond the wooded hills.
No darkening clouds obscure his bright and onward way. His aspect is as joyous as when Eden
first bloomed under his rays.
Earth and heaven are in happy accord.
The song of birds, the chirp and motion of winged insects greet the early morn.
The wild flowers and the cultivated grain of the fields are glad in their beauty and fruitage.
The streams joyously ripple on their accustomed way, and the trees lift and wave their leafy branches in the warm, life—giving air. Never was sky or earth more serene—more harmonious—more aglow with light and life.
In blurring discord with it all was man alone.
Thousands and tens of thousands of men—once happy fellow countrymen, now in arms, had gathered in hostile hosts and in hostile confronting lines.
It was not the roseate dawn nor rising sun that awoke them from the sleep of wearied limbs.
Before the watching stars had withdrawn from their sentinel posts, the long roll, the prelude of battle, had sounded their reveille, and rudely awoke them from fond dreams of home and loved ones far away.
For two days had battle raged.
On the first, when the field was open and equal, the soldiers of the South
, after most determined resistance, had driven their foe before them from position to position—from valley to hill top, through field and through the town, to the heights beyond.
On the second day, on our right and on our left, with heroic valor and costly blood,