over our heads at the enemy's guns on Cemetery Ridge
And so we marched ‘vaulted with fire.’
As we crossed the plain beyond the Codori house
, we halted at the word of command, moved by the left flank, till opposite the point we aimed to strike, then in line of battle, the guns on Cemetery Ridge
blazing in our faces, and every regiment of Armistead
's brigade dressed on its colors as straight as the line of yonder door.
The gallant men who met our onset thrilled with emotions of fear and admiration — they tell it themselves-at the ‘grandeur’ of the scene, at the ‘magnificence’ of our advance.
To the Count de Paris
, as he watched the Confederate
column bearing down all opposition, buffeting with unshaken courage the fierce volleys that met it, ‘it seemed,’ he says, ‘to be driven by an irresistible force.’
Meanwhile the fire of the enemy grew ever more violent, ever more destructive.
The cannon on Round-Top ‘volleyed and thundered.’
From Cemetery Ridge
grapeshot and canister tore through our ranks.
We marched, says Longstreet
, ‘through a fearful fire from the batteries in front and from Round-Top.’
‘The slaughter,’ he says, ‘was terrible, the enfilade fire from batteries on Round-Top very destructive.’
But worse remained behind.
From the stone wall which sheltered their ranks the hostile infantry ‘poured down,’ as Longstreet
says, ‘a terrific fire.’
The hiss of bullets was incessant.
Men fell at every step; they fell, I thought, like grass before the scythe.
Such were the scenes which some of us witnessed that day. The severity of our loss attests how deadly were the perils through which we passed.
Of three Brigadiers, two were buried on the field, and one left weltering in his blood.
Of the fifteen men who led the regiments of Pickett
not one escaped.
Seven were disabled, some with ghastly wounds, and eight of them were slain outright.
Of all the field officers in the whole division only two remained unhurt.
‘It was a miracle,’ says the Count de Paris
, ‘to see them safe and sound.’
And now, bearing these things firmly in mind, let us follow Armistead
‘A short time,’ says Col. Martin
, ‘before the advance was ordered, the General
, as his custom was, marched up ’