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[111] captures considerable on both sides. Cutler reported his loss in one regiment as two hundred and seven killed and wounded out of three hundred and eighty in the space of half an hour. Some of the other regiments fared no better. Davis reported that out of nine field officers present, but two escaped unhurt.

Archer, after pushing the cavalry out of his way, crossed Willoughby Run in the face of the enemy, and moved forward to the charge on the eastern slope of that stream. His progress was retarded by the undergrowth, but after clearing that with great effort, his men advanced with a yell, and delivered their fire within forty or fifty feet of the enemy's lines. They were met by the ‘Iron Brigade’ under Meredith, composed of a splendid body of troops from Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. Meredith largely overlapped Archer and the latter's flanks became exposed and subjected to a cross fire which compelled a retreat. In recrossing the stream, he together with a considerable portion of the command were taken prisoners.

In describing how the action was brought on, General Heth says, that being ignorant what force was at or near Gettysburg, and supposing it to consist of cavalry, most probably supported by a brigade or two of infantry, he made a reconnaissance to determine in what force the enemy was, and whether or not he was massing his force on Gettysburg, and that accordingly Davis and Archer were directed to advance, ‘the object being to feel the enemy;’ that ascertaining from the first conflict, that the enemy was in heavy force, he proceeded to form his division in line of battle, and after resting an hour or two, he received orders to attack, and was notified that Pender would support him.

The question has pertinently been asked, if the movement was in the nature of a reconnaissance, and the object was ‘to feel the enemy,’ why was it necessary after that had been done to renew the battle. The enemy had been pretty severely felt, and the reconnaissance had ended in a most serious engagement, and it was known that General Lee did not wish to bring on a general engagement.

General Heth's reply is that he was ordered after a rest to renew the attack. The question recurs, why then, was the battle

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