The battle of Gettysburg.accounts from Participants in the battle--Friday's fight — the first Virginia infantry--the fighting in the centre — our Lesser, &c.
We have received some highly interesting information from some of the wounded, who arrived in this city Saturday and yesterday, relative to the battle of Gettysburg. We give below some of the particulars gleaned in conversation with them:
Subscription of Friday's eight.--the first Virginia regiment at Gettysburg.Much interest is fell by the public in the fate of the 1st Virginia regiment, which was organized in this city, and a large number of families here are interested in the fate of its members. The first report from it after the battle at Gettysburg was the old story of "cut all to pieces" and we deeply regret to announce that in the case of this gallant regiment the report is too true. The regiment numbering about 200 men, the remnant of the fine body that left this city in April, 1861 is attached to Kemper's brigade, in Pickett's division of Long street's corps. It had been near Chambersburg doing picket duty, but had been relieved, and on. Thursday, the 1st inst., marched 22 miles to Gettysburg, and went into bivouac near the town. Gettysburg was the right of the enemy's centre, and was, of course, the left of our centre. The battle field as viewed from our line may be described thus: From Gettysburg there stretches away towards the right a high mountain, on which there is a place defended by a stone fence. This was the enemy's position. On the right of this was another mountain meeting it at right angles, and protruding out towards our lines. This mountain was also fortified and occupied by the enemy, so that if our troops had occupied and held the main position of the Federals they would have been exposed to a murderous enfinding fire from the flanking mountain. The ground in front of the enemy's work was of a rolling formation requiring our troops first to descend a slope and then ascend to the attack. All this was to be done under fire. Our artillery was massed in front of the mountain, and behind it our infantry was placed. About 3 o'clock Friday morning the 1st Va. was ordered to fall in, and with the division marched to the right of our centre, nearly opposite the flanking mountain, and was placed about to yards behind our artillery. The can opened from our side about 1 o'clock, and after two hour's shelling, which was so inaccurate on the part of the enemy that only five men in the 1st were killed by it, the infantry was ordered to advance. This order was given at 3 o'clock P. M., and the advance was commenced, the infantry marching at common time across the field, and not firing a musket until within a yards of the enemy's works. As Kemper's brigade moved up it swung around to the left and was exposed to the front fire and flanking fire of the Federals, which was very fatal. This swinging around unmasked a part of the enemy's force, five regiments being pushed out from their left to the attack. Directly this force was unmasked our artillery opened on it with terrible precision. An officer who was within a few yards of the works informs the that our shells were thrown with wonderful accuracy into the very middle of the enemy's column killing sometimes as many as 20 or 30 at a shot. This force was advancing in column of battalions, and in at tempting to change their position, by marching by the right, was thrown into such confusion by the scathing fire of our artillery that the slaughter was still more terrible. They never rallied, and their five regimental flags were scattered all about in the crowd. This demonstration on the offensive being dispersed our infantry continued their advance upon the works, when within about 75 yards they opened the and charged on the force defending the stone fence. As they mounted the fence two or three hundred of the Yankees defending it threw down their arms and ran towards our men, giving themselves up as prisoners. Many of them ran entirely through Kemper's brigade to the rear. A good many of them were killed in running forward to surrender, our men not understanding the meaning of the ma The Confederates captured the works' but so few of them passed through the deadly fire that not enough got inside to hold them against the large force of Yankees that advanced to retake them. Seven Confederate flags were planted on the stone fence, but there not being enough men to support them were captured by the advancing Yankee force, and nearly all of our severely wounded were left in the hands of the enemy. The 1st Virginia carried in 175 men, about twenty five having been detailed for ambulance and other duty. They brought out between thirty or forty, many even of them being wounded. There is but one officer in the regiment who was not killed or wounded, and that was Lieut. Ballon, who now commands it. Col. L B. Williams went into action on horseback, and was instantly killed. He fell forward on being shot, and did not speak afterwards. His horse was hit three times. Col. W.'s body is in the hands of the enemy. Among the officers we have ascertained the following losses. Company G, Lieut. Morris, comd'g, Capt. Langley was sick but went into the fight and was wounded; Lieuts. Woody and Morris, all wounded; company B, color company Capt. Davis, wounded and missing; Lieut. Paine, wounded, company C, Capt. Halliman and Lieut. Dooley, both wounded and missing; company D, Capt. Norton, Lieuts. Reeve, Keiningham, and Blair, all wounded; company H, Capt. Watkins, Lieuts. Cuball and Martin, all wounded; company I, Lieuts. Ballon and Caho, the latter wounded. Wm. Mitchell, son of John Mitchell, in command of the color guard of the regiment, is wounded and missing. Lieut. Blair, of company D, commanded the skirmishers. We have been unable to get a list of the privates killed and wounded. Many of our wounded were brought back into our lined by the Yankees, who ... by the Federals to pursue them. The falling back of Lee was orderly, and there was no straggling by men who were unhurt.
Another account.Another account, which is derived from a young and gallant officer of the 1st Virginia infantry, states that the fighting on Friday was opened by artillery along the whole line, between 1 and 2 o'clock, the firing continuing for two or three hours. During this artillery duel the division of Gen. Pickett was drawn up in line in the immediate rear of our batteries. When the firing of cannon ceased, the order for the infantry to advance was given, which was done at common time — no doublequicking or cheering, but solemnly and steadily these veterans directed their steps towards the heavy and compact columns of the enemy. The skirmishers were at once engaged, the enemy having a double line of skirmishers to oppose our single line. The enemy were driven from their position behind a stone fence, over which entrenchments had been thrown up, and our forces occupied their position about twenty minutes. About this time a flanking party of the enemy, marching in column by regiments, was thrown out from the enemy's left on our extremes right, which was held by Kemper's brigade, and by an entrapping fire forced the requirement of our troops. This flanking party was very soon dispersed by our artillery, with immense loss, and scattered in confusion and disorder. With their repulse the heavy fighting of the day terminated.
Casualties.Gen. Kemper, whose gallantry has distinguished him on many a hard fought field, was struck whilst leading his brigade in a charge, after our troops had successfully assaulted the enemy's first line of entrenchments. He was shot in the side and groin by a minute ball, and fell forward from his horse. He was picked up and taken to a house on the battle field, which was afterwards taken possession of by a squad of Yankees. A party of men belonging to different regiments of his brigade, rallied by a Sergeant of company D, 1st Virginia regiment, charged there Yankees, drove them from the house, and rescued their gallant commandery, whom they bore to the rear on a blanket. He was taken to the division hospital, two miles in rear of the battle field. At 3 o'clock on Saturday, the 4th inst., he was still alive, but his physicians regarded his situation as exceedingly critical. Gen. Armistead was shot while standing on the enemy's entrenchments with his hat hoisted on his sword, cheering his men on in the charge. He fell into the hands of the enemy, and subsequently died of his wounds. Col. Williams, who commanded the 1st Va. regiment, received the fatal shot very soon after the infantry fighting became general.--He fell from his horse and expired almost instantly. The enemy obtained possession of his body. Maj. Lattimer, of the artillery, formerly Captain of Courtney's battery, is reported to have lost an arm; Col. Tazewell Patton, of the 7th Va. infantry, was severely wounded, and is missing; Col. Mayo, of the 3d Va infantry, slightly wounded, Major Otey, of the 11th Va., wounded in the shoulder by shell. The 1st regiment went into the action with six companies, and eighteen commissioned officers, of whom seventeen were killed, wounded or missing. The following is a partial list of the casualties in the regiment:
- Company B.--Capt. T. Herbert Davis, severely wounded and missing; Lt. J. Armistead Payne, wounded in side of the face and slightly in leg — was brought off the field.
- Company C.--Capt. J. Hullinan, missing and supposed to be killed; Lt. J. Dooley, wounded and missing — he is not supposed to be seriously wounded.
- Company D.--Capt. Geo. F. Norton, wounded in left side severely. He was brought off, and is now on the South side of the Potomac Lieut. E. P. Reese, severely wounded in left arm — new in Richmond; Lieut. Keiningham, painfully wounded; Lieut. A. Blair, shot through right hand — now in Richmond; Set J. H. Kepler, missing; Privates, J. B. Angle' slightly wounded in the side; G. E. Craig, slightly in arm; D. E. Edwards, severely in arm; T. S. Morton, severely in face; J. Keiningham; severely in face and shoulder; S. J. Wingfield, shot through right hand; L. M. Wingfield, severely in breast and hand; M. J. Wingfield, missing; Wm. Mitchell, missing, and supposed to be killed;--Govan, wounded in arm;--Sublett, in both hips severely.
- Company G.--Capt T. H. Langley, slightly wounded in the foot, Lieut. Morris, in the foot; Lieut. Wooddy, slightly in leg; Private Gentry, in leg.
- Company H.--Capt. H. A. Walkins, severely wounded in thigh; Lieut. E. W. Martin, in the head; Lieut. Cabell, in the head; Private Daniels, severely wounded and missing Theodore Martin, severely in thigh.
- Company I.--Lt. Caho, severely wounded and missing. Lt. Ballon, of this company, was the only officer in the regiment who escaped uninjured.