by Henry J. Hunt, Brevet Major-General, U. S. A., chief of artillery of the army of the Potomac.
The battles of Fredericksburg
raised the confidence of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
to such a height as to cause its subordinate officers and soldiers to believe that, as opposed to the Army of the Potomac, they were equal to any demand that could be made upon them.
Their belief in the superiority of the Southerner
to the Northerner
as a fighter was no longer, as at the beginning of the war, a mere provincial conceit, for it was now supported by signal successes in the field.
On each of these two occasions the Army of the Potomac had been recently reorganized under a new general, presumably abler than his predecessor and possessing the confidence of the War Department, and the results were crowning victories for the Confederates
Yet at Fredericksburg
defeat was not owing to any lack of fighting qualities on the part of the Federal
soldiers, but rather to defective leadership.
both qualities were called in question.
In none of the previous battles between these armies had the disparity of numbers been so great.
The Federal general had taken the initiative, his plan of operations was excellent, and his troops were eager for battle.
The Confederates could at first oppose but a portion of their inferior force to the attack of greatly superior numbers, and the boast of the Federal
commander, that “the Army of Northern Virginia was the legitimate property of the Army of the Potomac,” seemed in a fair way to be justified, when at first contact the advantages already gained were thrown away by the assumption of a timid, defensive attitude.
's bold offensive, which followed immediately on this exhibition of weakness, the consequent rout of a Federal army-corps, and the subsequent retreat of the whole army, a large portion of which had not been engaged, confirmed the exultant Confederates in their conviction — which now became an article of faith — that both in combat and in generalship the superiority of the Southerner
was fully established.
The Federal soldiers
returned from Chancellorsville
to their camps on the northern bank of the Rappahannock
, mortified and incensed at finding themselves, through no fault of their own, in the condition of having in an offensive campaign lost the battle without fighting, except when the enemy forced it upon them.
Yet in this battle the Northern
soldier fought well.
Under the circumstances no men could have withstood such a sudden attack as that made by “Stonewall
” Jackson on the flank and rear of the Eleventh Corps; but as soon as Jackson
encountered troops in condition for action, his pursuit was checked and he was brought to a stand.
The panic did not extend beyond the routed corps, nor to all of that, for its artillery and so much of its infantry as could form a proper line did their duty, and the army, far from being “demoralized” by this mishap, simply ridiculed the corps which, from its supposed want of vigilance, had allowed itself to be surprised in a position in which it could not fight.
The surprise itself was not the fault of the troops, and in subsequent battles the corps redeemed its reputation.
Both armies were composed in the main of Americans
, and there was little more difference between their men than might be found between those of either army at different periods, or under varying circumstances; for although high bounties had already brought into the Federal
ranks an inferior element which swelled the muster-rolls and the number of stragglers, “bounty jumping” 1
had not as yet become a regular business.
The morale of the Confederate army was, however, much higher at this time than that of its adversary.
It was composed of men not less patriotic, many of whom had gone into the war with reluctance, but who now felt that they were defending their homes.
They were by this time nearly all veterans, led by officers having the confidence of their Government, which took pains to inspire its soldiers with the same feeling.
Their successes were extolled and magnified, their reverses palliated or ignored.
Exaggerations as to the relative numbers of the troops had been common enough on both sides, but those indulged in at the South
had been echoed, sometimes suggested, in the North
by a portion of the press and people, so that friends and enemies united in inspiring in the Confederate
soldier a belief in himself and a contempt for his enemy.
In the Army of the Potomac it was different; the proportion of veterans was much smaller; a cessation of recruiting at the very beginning of active operations, when men were easily obtainable to supply losses in existing regiments, had been followed, as emergencies arose, by new levies, for short periods of service, and in new organizations which could not readily be assimilated by older troops.
Moreover, there were special difficulties.
The Army of the Potomac was not in favor at the War Department.
Rarely, if ever, had it heard a word of official commendation after a success, or of sympathy or encouragement after a defeat.
From the very beginning its camps had been filled with imputations and charges against its leaders, who were accused on the streets, by the press, in Congress, and even in the War Department itself, and after victories as well as after defeats, not only of incapacity or misconduct,
but sometimes of “disloyalty” to their superiors, civil and military, and even to the cause for which they fought.
These accusations were followed or accompanied by frequent changes of commanders of the army, of army-corps, and even of divisions.
Under such circumstances, but little confidence could be felt by the troops, either in the wisdom of a war office which seemed to change its favorites with the caprice of a coquette, or in the capacity of new generals who followed each other in such rapid succession.
But it is due to that patient and sorely tried army, to say that the spirit of both officers and men was of the best, and their devotion to duty unconquerable.
The army itself had originally been so admirably disciplined and tempered, that there always remained to it a firm self-reliance and a stern sense of duty and of honor that was proof against its many discouragements.
In battle it always acquitted itself well and displayed the highest soldierly qualities, no matter who commanded it or whence he came.
furnishes no exception to this assertion, nor evidence of inferiority of the Northern
to the Southern
soldier, but it does furnish striking illustrations of Napoleon
's well-known saying, “In war men
are nothing, a man
, who felt great confidence in his own troops, and overrated the effects of successive reverses on the Federal
soldiers, now resolved to assume the offensive, for he knew that to remain on the defensive would in the end force him. back on Richmond
He determined, therefore, in case the Army of the Potomac could not be brought to action under favorable circumstances in Virginia
, to transfer, if permitted, the field of operations to Northern soil, where a victory promptly followed up might give him possession of Baltimore
, and perhaps lead to the recognition of the Confederacy
by foreign powers.
The valley of the Shenandoah
offered a safe line of operations; the Federal
troops occupying it were rather a bait than an obstacle, and to capture or destroy them seemed quite practicable to one who controlled absolutely all Confederate troops within the sphere of his operations.
sharp lesson he had administered the previous year had not been heeded by the Federal
War Office; an opportunity now offered to repeat it, and he took his measures accordingly.
In case his Government would not consent to a bolder offensive, he could at least clear the valley of Virginia
of the enemy,--a distinct operation, yet a necessary preliminary to an invasion of the North
This work was assigned to Lieutenant-General Ewell
, an able officer, in every way qualified for such an enterprise.
In anticipation of the new campaign, Lee
's army was strengthened and reorganized into three army-corps of three divisions each.
Each division consisted of four brigades, except Rodes
's and Anderson
's, which had five each, and Pickett
's, which had three at Gettysburg
,--in all, thirty-seven infantry brigades.
The cavalry were the select troops of the Confederacy
Officers and men had been accustomed all their lives to the use of horses and arms, “and to the very end the best blood in the land rode after Stuart
, and the Lees.”
They were now organized as a division, under Major-General J. E. B. Stuart
, consisting of the six brigades of Hampton
, Fitzhugh Lee
, W. E. Jones
, and W. H. F. Lee
, and six batteries of horseartillery under Major R. F. Beckham
To these should be added Imboden
's command, a strong brigade of over 2000 effective horsemen and a battery of horse-artillery, which had been operating in the mountain country and was now near Staunton
, awaiting orders.
The artillery had recently received an excellent organization under its commandant-in-chief, General Pendleton
It consisted, besides the horse-artillery, of fifteen so-called “battalions,” each of four batteries, with one lieutenant-colonel
and a major.
To each army-corps were attached five battalions, one for each division and two as a reserve, the whole under a colonel as chief of artillery.
The total number of batteries was 69, of guns 287, of which 30 were with the cavalry.
With few exceptions the batteries were of four guns each.
The army was commanded by a full general, each army-corps, except the artillery, by a lieutenant-general, each division by a major-general, each brigade, except two, by brigadier-generals.
Nearly all these officers were veterans of proved ability and many had served in the Mexican
In the Army of the Potomac the discharge of 58 regiments had reduced its strength since Chancellorsville
by 25,000 effectives, partly replaced by 5 brigades numbering less than 12,000 men. At the battle of Gettysburg
the 7 army-corps consisted of 19 infantry divisions, 7 of which had 2 brigades, 11 had 3, and 1 had 4; in all 51 brigades.
[See lists of organizations and commanders in “The opposing forces in the Gettysburg campaign
,” to follow.] The army and army-corps were commanded by major-generals, the divisions by 3 major-generals
and 16 brigadier-generals
, the infantry brigades by 22 brigadier-generals
and 29 colonels.
The average strength of army-corps and divisions was about half that of the Confederates
, a fact that should be kept in mind, or the terms will be misleading.
The cavalry had been raised under disadvantages.
Men accustomed to the use of both horses and arms were comparatively few in the North
and required training in everything that was necessary to make a trooper.
The theater of war was not considered favorable for cavalry, and it was distributed to the various headquarters for
escort duty, guards, and orderlies.
It was not until 1863 that it was united under General Pleasonton
in a corps consisting of three weak divisions, Buford
's, D. McM. Gregg
's, and Duffie
's, afterward consolidated into two, Stahel
's cavalry, which joined at Frederick
, June 28th, becoming the third division.
The corps was then organized as follows: First Division, Buford
: brigades, Gamble
; Second Division, Gregg
: brigades, McIntosh
, J. Irvin Gregg
; Third Division, Kilpatrick
: brigades, Farns-worth, Custer
The divisions and three of the brigades were commanded by brigadier-generals, the other five brigades by colonels.
To the cavalry were attached Robertson
's and Tidball
's brigades of horse-artillery.
Under excellent chiefs and the spirit created by its new organization, the Federal
cavalry soon rivaled that of the Confederates
The field-artillery was in an unsatisfactory condition.
The high reputation it had gained in Mexico
was followed by the active and persistent hostility of the War Department, which almost immediately dismounted three-fourths of its authorized batteries.
Congress in 1853 made special provision for remounting them as schools of instruction for the whole arn, a duty which the War Department on shallow pretexts evaded.
Again in 1861 Congress amply provided for the proper organization and command of the artillery in the field, but as there was no chief nor special administration for the arm, and no regulations for its government, its organization, control, and direction were left to the fancies of the various army commanders.
were practically denied it, and in 1862 the War Department announced in orders that field-officers of artillery were an unnecessary expense and their muster into service forbidden.
Promotion necessarily ceased, and such able artillerists as Hays
, DeRussy, Getty
, and Ayres
could only receive promotion by transfer to the infantry or cavalry.
No adequate measures were taken for the supply of recruits, and the batteries were frequently dependent on the troops to which they were attached for men enough to work their guns in battle.
For battery-draft they were often glad to get the refuse horses after the ambulance and quartermasters' trains were supplied.
Still, many of the batteries attained a high degree of excellence, due mainly to the self-sacrifice, courage, and intelligence of their own officers and men.
On taking command of the army, General Hooker
had transferred the military command of the artillery to his own headquarters, to be resumed by the chief of artillery
only under specific orders and for special occasions, which resulted.in such mismanagement and confusion at Chancellorsville
that he consented to organize the artillery into brigades.
This was a decided improvement, which would have been greater if the brigade commanders had held adequate rank.
As it was, there was no artillery commandant-in-chief for months before the battle of Gettysburg
, and of the 14 brigades 4 were commanded by field-officers, 9 by captains, and 1 by a lieutenant, taken from their batteries for the purpose.
The number of field-batteries at Gettysburg
was 65, of guns 370, of which 212 were with the infantry, 50 with the cavalry, 108 in the reserve.
The disadvantages under which the artillery labored all through the war, from want of proper regulations, supervision, and command
Major-General John F. Reynolds.
The uniform is that of a field-officer in the regular infantry.
Early in the war General Reynolds was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 14th United States Infantry, and was made Birigadier-General of Volunteers in September, 1861.--editors. |
were simply disgraceful to our army administration from the close of the Mexican
to that of the Civil war, and caused an unnecessary expenditure of both blood and treasure.
It will be perceived by comparison that the organization of the Army of the Potomac was at this period in every way inferior to that of its adversary.
The army-corps and divisions were too numerous and too weak.
They required too many commanders and staffs, and this imposed unnecessary burdens on the general-in-chief
, who was often compelled to place several army-corps under the commander of one of them, thus reproducing the muchabused “grand divisions” of Burnside
, under every possible disadvantage.
Had the number of infantry corps been reduced to four at most, and the divisions to twelve, the army would have been more manageable and better commanded, and the artillery, without any loss, but rather a gain of efficiency, would have been reduced by a dozen or fifteen batteries.
Early in June Lee
's army began to move, and by the 8th Longstreet
's and Ewell
's corps had joined Stuart
's cavalry at Culpeper
A. P. Hill
's corps was left in observation at Fredericksburg
; and so skillfully were the changes concealed that Hooker
, believing that all the enemy's infantry were still near that town, ordered Pleasonton
to beat up Stuart
's camps at Culpeper
, and get information as to the enemy's position and proposed movements.
For these purposes he gave Pleasonton
two small brigades of infantry, 3000 men under Generals Ames
, which carried his total force to 10,981.
They were echeloned along the railroad, which crosses the river at Rappahannock Station, and runs thence ten miles to Culpeper
[See map, p. 55.] About midway is Brandy Station
a few hundred yards north of which is Fleetwood Hill
Dividing his force equally, Pleasonton
to cross at Beverly Ford, and Gregg
, and Russell
at Kelly's Ford
All were to march to Brandy Station
being thrown out to Stevensburg
, seven miles east of Culpeper
, to watch the Fredericksburg
Then the whole force was to move on Culpeper
On the 8th, General Lee
, having sent Jenkins
's brigade as Ewell
's advance into the valley, reviewed the other 5 brigades of Stuart
, 10,292 combatants, on the plains near Brandy Station
After the review they were distributed in the neighborhood with a view to crossing the Rappahannock
on the 9th, Stuart
establishing his headquarters at Fleetwood
Accident had thus disposed his forces in the most favorable manner to meet Pleasonton
's converging movements.
At daybreak Buford
crossed and drove the enemy's pickets from the ford back to the main body, near St. James's church.
, on the first report of the crossing, sent Robertson
's brigade toward Kelly
's to watch that ford, and Colonel M. C. Butler
's 2d South Carolina to Brandy Station
He himself took the command at the church, where he was attacked by Buford
At Brandy Station W. H. F. Lee
was wounded, and Colonel Chambliss
took command of his brigade.
had crossed at Kelly's Ford
, and Duffie
, leading, took a southerly road, by which he missed Robertson
Learning that Duffie
's advance had reached Stevensburg
and that Buford
These maps and the others relating to the campaign and battle of Gettysburg are compilations by Abner Doubleday, Brevet Major-General, U. S. A., from the official reports of the commanders on both sides, and from the maps of Colonel John B. Bachelder, which were purchased by Congress for the War Department.--editors. |
was heavily engaged, Gregg
pushed direct for Brandy Station
, sending orders to Duffie
to follow his movement.
, notified of his approach, had sent in haste some artillery and two of Jones
's regiments to Fleetwood
, and Colonel Butler
started at once for Stevensburg
, followed soon after by Wickham
's 4th Virginia.
On their approach two squadrons of the 6th Ohio, in
occupation of the place, fell back skirmishing.
sent two regiments to their aid, and after a severe action, mainly with the 2d South Carolina, reoccupied the village.
In this action Colonel Butler
lost a leg, and his lieutenant-colonel, Hampton
, was killed.
's arrival near Brandy Station
the enemy appeared to be in large force, with artillery, on and about Fleetwood Hill
He promptly ordered an attack; the hill was carried, and the two regiments sent by Stuart
were driven back.
now attacked vigorously and gained ground steadily, for Stuart
had to reenforce his troops at Fleetwood
from the church.
In the struggles that followed, the hill several times changed masters; but as Duffie
did not make his appearance, Gregg
was finally overmatched and withdrew, leaving three of his guns, two of them disabled, in the enemy's hands, nearly all of their horses being killed and most of their cannoneers hors de combat.
There were some demonstrations of pursuit, but the approach of Buford
's reserve brigade stopped them.
finally came up and Gregg
reported to Pleasonton
, informing him of the approach of Confederate infantry from Culpeper
, who had captured some important dispatches and orders, now considered his mission accomplished, and ordered a withdrawal of his whole command.
This was effected leisurely and without molestation.
recrossed at Rappahannock Station, Buford
at Beverly Ford, and at sunset the river again flowed between the opposing forces.
reports his losses at 485, of whom 301 were killed or wounded.
reports an aggregate loss (exclusive of Duffie
's, which would not exceed 25) of 907, of whom 421 were killed or wounded.
In nearly all the previous so-called “cavalry” actions, the troops had fought as dismounted dragoons.
This was in the main a true cavalry battle, and enabled the Federals
to dispute the superiority hitherto claimed by, and conceded to, the Confederate cavalry.
In this respect the affair was an important one.
It did not, however, delay Lee
's designs on the valley; he had already sent Imboden
to destroy the railroad and canal from that place to Martinsburg
's Federal division, about 9000 strong, occupied Winchester
, with McReynolds
's brigade in observation at Berryville
's division of about 10,000 men was at Harper's Ferry
, with a detachment of 1200 infantry and a battery under Colonel B. F. Smith
On the night of June 11th, Milroy
received instructions to join Kelley
, but, reporting that he could hold Winchester
, was authorized to remain there.
, leaving Brandy Station
June 10th, reached Cedarville via Chester Gap
on the evening of the 12th, whence he detached Jenkins
to capture McReynolds
, who, discovering their approach, withdrew to Winchester
They then pushed on to Martinsburg
, and on the 14th drove out the garrison.
's infantry crossed the Potomac
, and made its way to Maryland Heights
; his artillery retreated by the Williamsport
road, was pursued, and lost five guns.
, with Early
's and Edward Johnson
's divisions, marched direct on Winchester
Arriving in the neighborhood on the evening of the 13th, he ordered Early
on the 14th to leave a brigade in observation on the south of the town, move his main force under cover of the hills to the north-western
Map 6: positions June 17th.|
Map 7: positions June 24th.|
Map 8: positions June 28th.|
side, and seize the out-works which commanded the main fort.
He also ordered Johnson
to deploy his division on the east of the town, so as to divert attention from Early
This was so successfully done that the latter placed, unperceived, twenty guns and an assaulting column in position, and at 6 P. M., by a sudden attack, carried the outworks, driving the garrisons into the body of the place.
This capture was a complete surprise, and Milroy
called a council of war, which decided on an immediate retreat, abandoning the artillery and wagons.
had anticipated this, and or-dered Johnson
to occupy with a brigade a position on the Martinsburg pike
, north of Winchester
The retreat commenced at
2 A. M. of the 15th, and after proceeding three or four miles, the advance encountered Johnson
's troops, attacked vigorously, and at first successfully, but, the enemy receiving reinforcements, a hard fight ensued in which the Federals
The retreat was then continued; the troops separated in the darkness, one portion reaching Harper's Ferry
, another crossing the Potomac
On the 15th Ewell
crossed the river, occupied Hagerstown
, and sent Jenkins
's cavalry to Chambersburg
to collect supplies.
On the 17th the garrison of Harper's Ferry
was removed to Maryland Heights
, and the valley of the Shenandoah
was cleared of Federal troops.
In these brilliant operations General Lee
claims for Ewell
the capture of 4000 prisoners and small-arms, 28 pieces of artillery, 11 colors, 300 loaded wagons, as many horses, and a considerable quantity of stores of all descriptions, the entire Confederate loss, killed, wounded, and missing, being 269.
These operations indicate on the part of General Lee
either contempt for his opponent, or a belief that the chronic terror of the War Department for the safety of Washington
could be safely relied upon to paralyze his movements,--or both.
On no other reasonable hypothesis can we account for his stretching his army from Fredericksburg
, with his enemy concentrated on one flank, and on the shortest road to Richmond
's instructions were to keep always in view the safety of Washington
and Harper's Ferry
, and this necessarily subordinated his operations to those of the enemy.
On June 5th he reported that in case Lee
moved via Culpeper
toward the Potomac
with his main body, leaving a corps at Fredericksburg
, he should consider it his duty to attack the latter, and asked if that would be within the spirit of his instructions.
In reply he was warned against such a course, and its dangers to Washington
and Harper's Ferry
were pointed out. On June 10th, learning that Lee
was in motion, and that there were but few troops in Richmond
, he proposed an immediate march on that place, from which, after capturing it, he could send the disposable part of his force to any threatened point north of the Potomac
, and was informed that Lee
's army, and not Richmond
, was his true objective.
Had he taken Richmond
's large force at Suffolk
's 10,000 men2
in, the Peninsula
might have been utilized, and Hooker
's whole army set free for operations against Lee
As yet an invasion of the North
had not been definitely fixed upon.
On June 8th, the day before the engagement at Brandy Station
, in a confidential letter to Mr. Seddon
, Confederate Secretary of War
, stated that he was aware of the hazard of taking the aggressive, yet nothing was to be gained by remaining on the defensive; still, if the department thought it better to do so, he would adopt that course.
replied, June 10th, the date of Hooker
's proposal to march on Richmond
, concurring in General Lee
He considered aggressive action indispensable, that “all attendant risks and sacrifices must be incurred,” and adds, “I have not hesitated, in cooperating with your plans, to leave this city almost defenseless.”
now had full liberty of action, with the assured support of his Government,--an immense advantage over an opponent who had neither.
As soon as Hooker
learned from Pleasonton
that a large infantry force was at Culpeper
, he extended his right up the Rappahannock
, and when informed of Ewell
's move toward the valley, being forbidden to attack A. P. Hill
or to spoil Lee
's plans by marching to Richmond
, he moved his army, on the night of June 13th, toward the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and occupied Thoroughfare Gap in advance of it. On the 15th Longstreet
, keeping east of the Blue Ridge
and so covering its gaps.
on the 14th, and reached Shepherdstown
via Chester Gap
on the 23d.
's cavalry had been thrown out on Longstreet
's right to occupy the passes of the Bull Run mountains
and watch Hooker
On the 17th he encountered, near Aldie
, a portion of Pleasonton
's command; a fierce fight ensued, which left the Federals
in possession of the field.
During the four following days there was a succession of cavalry combats; those of the 19th near Middleburg
, and of the 21st near Upperville
, were especially well contested, and resulted in the retreat of Stuart
through Ashby's Gap.
had already withdrawn through the gaps and followed Hill
Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg.
From a photograph.
The cupola was first used by Union officers, and then by Confederate, as a station for observation and signals.
During the withdrawal of the First and Eleventh corps through the town to Cemetery Hill, there was hard fighting in the college grounds.--editors. |
to the Potomac
, his work of destruction completed, had taken post at Hancock
crossed the Potomac
on the 24th and 25th and directed their march on Chambersburg
, arriving on the 27th.
had been directed to guard the mountain passes until the Federal
army crossed the river, and, according to General Lee
's report, “to lose no time in placing his command on the right of our [Confederate] column as soon as he should perceive the enemy moving northward,” in order to watch and report his movements.
According to Stuart
's report, he was authorized to cross between the Federal
army and Washington
, and directed after crossing to proceed with all dispatch to join Early
so far had been completely successful; his army was exultant, and he lost no time in availing himself of his advantages.
On the 21st he ordered Ewell
to take possession of Harrisburg
; and on the 22d Ewell
corps was on the march, Rodes
's and Johnson
's divisions via Chambersburg
, which they reached on the 27th, and Early
, with orders from Ewell
to break up the Northern Central Railroad, destroy the bridge across the Susquehanna
, and then rejoin the main body at Carlisle
Early entered York
on the 28th, and sent Gordon
's brigade, not to destroy but to secure possession of the bridge, which would enable him to operate upon Harrisburg
from the rear; but a small militia force under Colonel Frick
, retreating from Wrightsville
across the bridge, after an unsuccessful attempt to destroy one of its spans, set fire to and entirely destroyed that fine structure, Gordon
's troops giving their aid to the citizens to save the town from the flames.
On the 29th Ewell
received orders from General Lee
to rejoin the army at Cashtown
; the next evening, 30th, his reserve artillery and trains, with Johnson
's division as an escort, were near Chambersburg
, and Ewell
's and Rodes
's, near Heidlersburg
Thus suddenly ended Ewell
The Lutheran Seminary.
The upper picture from a War-time photograph.
Both pictures show the face of the seminary toward the town, and in the right-hand view is seen the Chambersburg Pike.
On the first day, Buford and Reynolds used the cupola for observations; thereafter it was the chief signal-station and observatory for the Confederates--editors. |
One object was to collect supplies, and contributions were accordingly levied.
Much damage was done to roads and bridges, but the prompt advance of the Army of the Potomac made this useless to the Confederates
Before committing his army to an invasion of the North
, General Lee
recommended the proper steps to cover and support it. In a letter of June 23d, addressed to President Davis
, he states that the season was so far advanced as to stop further Federal operations on the Southern
coast, and that Confederate troops in that country and elsewhere were now disposable.
He proposed, therefore, that an army should as soon as possible be organized at Culpeper
, as “the well-known anxiety of the Northern Government
for the safety of its capital would induce it to retain a large force for its defense, and thus relieve the opposition to our advance” ; and suggested that General Beauregard
be placed in command, “as his presence would give magnitude
Gettysburg from Oak Hill.
From a photograph.
Oak Hill is a mile north-west of Gettysburg, and the view here is south-east, showing Stevens Hall (named after Thaddeus Stevens), the preparatory department of the Pennsylvania College on the left; then Culp's Hill; then Pennsylvania College, and, to the right of its cupola, the observatory on Cemetery Hill. |
even to a small demonstration.”
On the 25th he wrote twice to Mr. Davis
urging the same views.
The proposition embarrassed Mr. Davis
, who could not see how, with the few troops under his hand, it could be carried out. In fact, although General Lee
had pointed out the means, the proposition came too late, as the decisive battle took place much earlier than was expected.
This correspondence, however, with that between Lee
and Mr. Seddon
, shows that Hooker
's project to capture Richmond
by a coup-de-main
It was not now a question of “swapping queens.”
was safe, being well fortified and sufficiently garrisoned, or with available troops within reach, without drawing on Hooker
; and to take Richmond
and scatter the Confederate Government was the surest way to ruin Lee
's army--“his true objective.”
On the first appearance of danger of invasion, Pennsylvania
's vigilant governor, Curtin
, warned the people of the State
and called out the militia.
was sent to Harrisburg
to organize and command them, but disbelief in the danger — due to previous false alarms — caused delays until the fugitives from Milroy
's command, followed by Jenkins
's cavalry, roused the country.
Defensive works were then thrown up at Harrisburg
and else-where, and local forces were raised and moved toward the enemy.
Early in June Hooker
represented in strong terms the necessity of having one commander for all the troops whose operations would have an influence on those of Lee
's army, and in reply was informed by Halleck
that any movements he might suggest for other commands than his own would be ordered if practicable.
Misunderstandings and confusion naturally resulted, and authority was given Hooker
from time to time to exercise control over the troops of Heintzelman
, commanding the Department of Washington, and of Schenck
, commanding the Middle Department, followed, June 24th, by orders specifically placing the troops in Harper's Ferry
and its vicinity at his disposal.
's movements, Hooker
conformed his own to those of the enemy's main body, and crossed the Potomac
at Edwards's Ferry on the 25th and 26th of June.
On the 27th three army-corps under Reynolds
and the South Mountain
The Twelfth Corps was near Harper's Ferry
, and the three other corps at or near Frederick
now ordered the Twelfth Corps to march early on the 28th to Harper's Ferry
there to be joined by its garrison from Maryland Heights
, in order to cut Lee
's communications with Virginia
, and in conjunction with Reynolds
to operate on his rear.
, however, objected to the abandonment of the Heights
, notwithstanding Hooker
's representations that the position was utterly useless for any purpose; whereupon Hooker
abandoned his project, and finding now that he was
General Lee's headquarters on the Chambersburg pike.
From a War-time photograph. |
“ not allowed to manoeuvre his own army in the presence of the enemy,” asked to be relieved from his command.
He had encountered some of the difficulties which had beset a predecessor whom he had himself mercilessly criticised, and promptly succumbed to them.
His request was complied with, and Major-General George G. Meade
was appointed his successor, this being the fifth change of commanders of the army in front of Washington
in ten months. Meade
was an excellent officer of long service, who had always proved equal to his position, whether as a specialist or a commander of troops.
Many welcomed his advent — some regretted Hooker
All thought the time for the change unfortunate, but accepted loyally, as that army ever did, the leader designated by the President
, and gave Meade
their hearty support.
He was succeeded in the command of the Fifth Corps by Major-General George Sykes
, a veteran of the Mexican
war and a distinguished soldier.
When General Meade
assumed command, June 28th, the best information placed Longstreet
, A. P. Hill
between that place and Cashtown
, and Ewell
in occupation of Carlisle
, and the country between them, threatening Harrisburg
Unacquainted with Hooker
's plans and views [see p. 243], he determined at once to move on the main line from Frederick
, extending his wings as far as compatible with a ready concentration, in order to force Lee
to battle before he could cross the Susquehanna
With this view he spent the day in ascertaining the position of his army, and brought up his cavalry, Buford
to his left, Gregg
to his right, and Kilpatrick
to the front.
Directing French to occupy Frederick
with seven thousand men of the garrison of Harper's Ferry
, he put his army in motion early on the morning of the 29th.
that night; and on the morning of the 30th the rear of his division, while passing through Hanover
, was attacked by a portion of Stuart
, availing himself of the discretion allowed him, had left Robertson
's and Joneses
brigades to guard the passes of the Blue Ridge
, and on the night of the 24th, with those of Hampton
, Fitzhugh Lee
, and Chambliss
, had started to move
round the Army of the Potomac, pass between it and Centreville
, and so rejoin Lee
; but the movements of that army forced him so far east that he was compelled to ford the Potomac
[20 miles above Washington
], on the night of the 27th.
Next morning, learning that Hooker
had already crossed the river, he marched north by Rockville
, where he captured a wagon train.
Paroling his prisoners and taking the train with him, he pushed on — through Westminster
, where he had a sharp action with a squadron of Delaware
horse — to Union Mills
, and encamped there on the 29th.
During the night, he learned that the Federal
army was still between him and Lee
on its march north, and his scouts reported its cavalry in strong force at Littlestown
, barring his direct road to Gettysburg
; wherefore, on the morning of the 30th he moved across country to Hanover
in front and Hampton
in rear of his long train of two hundred wagons, with Fitzhugh Lee
well out on his left flank.
About 10 A. M. Chambliss
, reaching Hanover
, found Kilpatrick
passing through the town and attacked him, but was driven out before Hampton
could come to his support.
's men and horses were now nearly worn out; he was encumbered with a large captured train; a junction with some part of Lee
's army was a necessity, and he made a night march for York
, only to learn that Early
North-east corner of the McPherson woods, where General Reynolds was killed.
From a photograph. |
had left the day before.
Pushing on to Carlisle
, he found that Ewell
was gone, and the place occupied by a militia force under General W. F. Smith
His demand of a surrender was refused; he threw a few shells into the town and burned the Government barracks
That night he learned that Lee
's army was concentrating at Gettysburg
, and left for that place next day. Thus ended a raid which greatly embarrassed Lee
, and by which the services of three cavalry brigades were, in the critical period of the campaign, exchanged for a few hundred prisoners and a wagon train.
Hearing nothing from Stuart
, and therefore believing that Hooker
was still south of the Potomac
, on the afternoon of the 28th, ordered Longstreet
and A. P. Hill
to join Ewell
; but late that night one of Longstreet
's scouts came in and reported that the Federal
army had crossed the river, that Meade
had relieved Hooker
and was at Frederick
thereupon changed the rendezvous of his army to Cashtown
, which place Heth
reached on the 29th.
Next day Heth
's brigade on to Gettysburg
, nine miles, to procure a supply of shoes.
Nearing this place, Pettigrew
Map 11: positions July 1st: 8 to 10 A. M.|
Map 12: positions July 1st: 10:10 to 10:30 A. M.|
Map 13: positions July 1st: 3:30 P. M.|
Map 14: positions July 1st: about 4 P. M.|
discovered the advance of a large Federal force and returned to Cashtown
immediately notified Generals Lee
, informing the latter that he would advance next morning on Gettysburg
, sending Merritt
's brigade to Mechanicstown
as guard to his trains, had early on the morning of the 29th crossed into and moved up the Cumberland valley
' and Fairfield
with those of Gamble
, and on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 30th, under instructions from Pleasonton
, entered Gettysburg
's brigade withdrawing on his approach.
, near the eastern base of the Green Ridge
, and covering all the upper passes into the Cumberland valley
, good roads lead to all important points between the Susquehanna
and the Potomac
It is therefore an important strategic position.
On the west of the town, distant nearly half a mile, there is a somewhat elevated ridge running north and south, on which stands the “Lutheran Seminary.”
This ridge is covered with open woods through its whole length, and is terminated nearly a mile and a half north of the seminary by a commanding knoll, bare on its southern side, called Oak Hill
From this ridge the ground slopes gradually to the west, and again rising forms another ridge about 500 yards from the first, upon which, nearly opposite the seminary, stand McPherson's farm buildings.
The second ridge is wider, smoother, and lower than the first, and Oak Hill
, their intersection,
has a clear view of the slopes of both ridges and of the valley between them.
West of McPherson's ridge Willoughby Run
flows south into Marsh Creek
South of the farm buildings and directly opposite the seminary, a wood borders the run for about 300 yards, and stretches back to the summit of McPherson's ridge.
From the town two roads run: one south-west to Hagerstown
, the other north-westerly to Chambersburg
The seminary is midway between them, about 300 yards from each.
Parallel to and 150 yards north of the Chambersburg pike
, is the bed of an unfinished railroad, with deep cuttings through the two ridges.
Directly north of the town the country is comparatively flat and open: on the east of it, Rock Creek
On the south, and overlooking it, is a ridge of bold, high ground, terminated on the west by Cemetery Hill
and on the east by Culp's Hill
, which, bending to the south, extends half a mile or more and terminates in low grounds near Spangler's Spring
. Culp's Hill
is steep toward the east, is well wooded, and its eastern base is washed by Rock Creek
Confederate dead on the field of the First day. From a photograph. |
Impressed by the importance of the position, Buford
, expecting the early return of the enemy in force, assigned to Devin
's brigade the country north, and to Gamble
's that west of the town; sent out scouting parties on all the roads to collect information, and reported the condition of affairs to Reynolds
His pickets extended from below the Fairfield
road, along the eastern bank of Willoughby Run
, to the railroad cut, then easterly some 1500 yards north of the town, to a wooded hillock near Rock Creek
On the night of June 30th Meade
's headquarters and the Artillery Reserve were at Taneytown
; the First Corps at Marsh Run
, the Eleventh at Emmitsburg
, Third at Bridgeport
, Twelfth at Littlestown
, Second at Uniontown
, Fifth at Union Mills
, Sixth and Gregg
's cavalry at Manchester
's at Hanover
A glance at the map [p. 266] will show at what disadvantage Meade
's army was now placed.
's whole army was nearing Gettysburg
, while Meade
's was scattered over a wide region to the east and south of that town.
was now convinced that all designs on the Susquehanna
had been abandoned; but as Lee
's corps were reported as occupying the country from
Union dead West of the Seminary.
From a photograph. |
, he ordered, for the next day's moves, the First and Eleventh corps to Gettysburg
, under Reynolds
, the Third to Emmitsburg
, the Second to Taneytown
, the Fifth to Hanover
, and the Twelfth to Two Taverns
, directing Slocum
to take command of the Fifth in addition to his own. The Sixth Corps was left at Manchester
, thirty-four miles from Gettysburg
, to await orders.
, while conforming to the current of Lee
's movement, was not merely drifting.
The same afternoon he directed the chiefs of engineers and artillery to select a field of battle on which his army might be concentrated, whatever Lee
's lines of approach, whether by Harrisburg
,--indicating the general line of Pipe Creek
as a suitable locality.
Carefully drawn instructions were sent to the corps commanders as to the occupation of this line, should it be ordered; but it was added that developments might cause the offensive to be assumed from present positions.
These orders were afterward cited as indicating General Meade
's intention not to fight at Gettysburg
They were, under any circumstances, wise and proper orders, and it would probably have been better had he concentrated his army behind Pipe Creek
rather than at Gettysburg
; but events finally controlled the actions of both leaders.
At 8 A. M., July 1st, Buford
's scouts reported Heth
's advance on the Cashtown
's brigade formed on McPherson's Ridge, from the
Fairfield road to the railroad cut; one section of Calef
's battery A, 2d United States, near the left of his line, the other two across the Chambersburg
or Cashtown pike.
formed his disposable squadrons from Gamble
's right toward Oak Hill
, from which he had afterward to transfer them to the north.
of the town to meet Ewell
advanced, he threw Archer
's brigade to the right, Davis
's to the left of the Cashtown pike
, with Pettigrew
's and Brockenbrough
's brigades in support.
The Confederates advanced skirmishing
Union dead near McPherson's woods.
From a photograph. |
heavily with Buford
's dismounted troopers.
's battery, engaging double the number of its own guns, was served with an efficiency worthy of its former reputation as “Duncan
's battery” in the Mexican
war, and so enabled the cavalry to hold their long line for two hours. When Buford
's report of the enemy's advance reached Reynolds
, the latter, ordering Doubleday
to follow, hastened toward Gettysburg
's small division (two brigades, Meredith
's and Cutler
's) and Hall
's 2d Maine battery.
As he approached he heard the sound of battle, and directing the troops to cross the fields toward the firing, galloped himself to the seminary, met Buford
there, and both rode to the front, where the cavalry, dismounted, were gallantly holding their ground against heavy odds.
After viewing the field, he sent back to hasten up Howard
, and as the enemy's main line was now advancing to the attack, directed Doubleday
, who had arrived in advance of his division, to look to the Fairfield
road, sent Cutler
with three of his five regiments north of the railroad cut, posted the other two under Colonel Fowler
, of the 14th New York, south of the pike, and replaced Calef
's battery by Hall
's, thus relieving the cavalry.
was hardly formed when it was struck by Davis
's Confederate brigade on its front and right flank, whereupon Wadsworth
, to save it, ordered it to fall back to Seminary Ridge
This order not reaching the 147th New York, its gallant major, Harney
, held that regiment to its position until, having lost half its numbers, the order to retire was repeated.
's battery was now imperiled, and it withdrew by sections, fighting at close canister range and suffering severely.
thereupon changed his front to face Davis
's brigade, which held the cut, and with Dawes
's 6th Wisconsin--sent by Doubleday
to aid the 147th New York--charged and drove Davis
from the field.
The Confederate brigade suffered severely, losing all its field-officers but two, and a large proportion of its men killed and captured, being disabled for further effective service that day. In the meantime Archer
's Confederate brigade had occupied McPherson
's wood, and as the regiments of Meredith
's “Iron Brigade” came up, they were sent forward by Doubleday
, who fully recognized the importance of the position, to dislodge Archer
At the entrance of the wood they found Reynolds
in person, and, animated by his presence, rushed to the charge, struck successive heavy blows, outflanked and turned the enemy's right, captured General Archer
and a large portion of his brigade, and pursued the remainder across Willoughby Run
's small division had thus won decided successes against superior numbers, but it was at grievous cost
to the army and the country, for Reynolds
, while directing the operations, was killed in the wood by a sharp-shooter.
It was not, however, until by his promptitude and gallantry he had determined the decisive field of the war, and had opened brilliantly a battle which required three days of hard fighting to close with a victory.
To him may be applied in a wider sense than in its original one, Napier
's happy eulogium on Ridge: “No man died on that field with more glory than he, yet many died, and there was much glory.”
After the repulse of Davis
's division was formed in line mostly south of the Cashtown pike
, with Pender
's in second line, Pegram
's and McIntosh
's artillery (nine batteries) occupying all the commanding positions west of Willoughby Run
reestablished his former lines, Meredith
Soon after, Rowley
's and Robinson
's divisions (two brigades each) and the four remaining batteries of the corps
Assault of Brockenbrough's Confederate Brigade (Heth's division) upon the Stone barn of the McPherson farm.
The line of the stone barn was held by Stone's brigade, Pennsylvania Bucktails (Doubleday's division), its right resting on the Chambersburg pike (the left of the picture) and its left on the McPherson woods, where a part of Archer's Confederate brigade of Heth's division was captured by Meredith's brigade.--editors. |
's division was thrown forward, Stone
's brigade to the interval between Meredith
, and Biddle
's with Cooper
's battery to occupy the ridge between the wood and the Fairfield
's battery replaced Hall
's, and Calef
's rejoined Gamble
's cavalry, now in reserve.
's division was halted near the base of Seminary Ridge
By this time, near noon, General Howard
arrived, assumed command, and directed General Schurz
, commanding the Eleventh Corps, to prolong Doubleday
's line toward Oak Hill
's and Barlow
's divisions and three batteries, and to post Steinwehr
's division and two batteries on Cemetery Hill
, as a rallying-point.
By 1 o'clock, when this corps was arriving, Buford
had reported Ewell
's approach by the Heidlersburg
road, and Howard
called on Sickles
at Two Taverns
for aid, to which both these officers promptly responded.
It was now no longer a question of prolonging Doubleday
's line, but of protecting it against Ewell
whilst engaged in front with Hill
's two divisions, hardly 6000 effectives, accordingly formed line on the open plain half a mile north of the town.
They were too weak to cover the ground, and a wide interval was left between the two corps, covered only by the fire of Dilger
's and Wheeler
's batteries (ten guns) posted behind it.
That morning, whilst on the march to Cashtown
's notice that his corps was advancing to Gettysburg
, upon which he turned
the heads of his own columns to that point.
Reporting the change by a staff-officer to General Lee
was instructed that if the Federals
were in force at Gettysburg
a general battle was not to be brought on until the rest of the army was up. Approaching Gettysburg
, guided by the sounds of battle, followed the prolongation of Seminary Ridge
's, Daniel's, and Ramseur
's brigades on the western, O'Neal
's and Doles
's on the eastern slope.
, recognizing the importance of Oak Hill
, ordered it to be occupied by Carter
's artillery battalion, which immediately opened on both the Federal
corps, enfilading Doubleday
This caused Wadsworth
again to withdraw Cutler
to Seminary Ridge
, and Reynolds
's battery was posted near McPherson's house, under partial cover.
therefore placed two of his three regiments on the Cashtown pike
, so as to face Oak Hill
This left an interval between Stone
, through which Cooper
could fire with effect, and gave to these lines a cross-fire on troops entering
Confederate dead gathered for burial near the McPherson woods.
From photographs. |
the angle between them.
now sent his two brigades to strengthen Cutler
They took post behind the stone walls of a field, Paul
's brigade facing west, Baxter
, regarding this advance as a menace, gave orders at 2:30 P. M. to attack.
, sweeping round to his left, engaged Paul
, who prolonged Cutler
's line, and O'Neal
The repulse of O'Neal
soon enabled Baxter
to turn upon Iverson
also attacked him in flank, and after losing 500 men killed and wounded, 3 of Iverson
's regiments surrendered.
reports the capture of 1000 prisoners and 3 colors; General Paul
was severely wounded, losing both eyes.
Meanwhile Daniel's brigade advanced directly on Stone
, who maintained his lines against this attack and also Brockenbrough
's, of Hill
but was soon severely wounded.
, who succeeded him, met the same fate, and Colonel Dana
took command of the brigade.
, who followed Daniel, by a conversion to the left, now faced Robinson
with his own brigade, the remnant of Iverson
's, and one regiment of O'Neal
's, his right connecting with Daniel's left, and the fighting became hot. East of the ridge, Doles
's brigade had been held in observation, but about 3:30 P. M., on the advance of Early
, he sent his skirmishers forward and drove those of Devin
— who had gallantly held the enemy's advance in check with his dismounted troopers — from their line and its hillock on Rock Creek
, considering this an eligible position for his own right, advanced his division, supported by Wilkeson
's battery, and seized it. This made it necessary for Schurz
to advance a brigade of Schimmelfennig
's division to connect with Barlow
, thus lengthening his already too extended line.
The arrival of Early
's division had by this time brought an overwhelming force on the flank and rear of the Eleventh Corps.
On the east of Rock Creek
's artillery battalion, within easy range, enfiladed its whole line and took it in reverse, while the brigades of Gordon
, and Avery
in line, with Smith
's in reserve, advanced about 4 P. M. upon Barlow
's position, Doles
, of Rodes
's division, connecting with Gordon
An obstinate and bloody contest ensued, in which Barlow
was desperately wounded, Wilkeson
killed, and the whole corps forced back to its original line, on which, with the aid of Coster
's brigade and Heckman
's battery, drawn from Cemetery Hill
endeavored to rally it and cover the town.
The fighting here was well sustained, but the Confederate
force was overpowering in numbers, and the troops retreated to Cemetery Hill
entering the town about 4:30 P. M. These retrograde movements had uncovered the flank of the First Corps and made its right untenable.
Meanwhile, that corps had been heavily engaged along its whole line; for, on the approach of Rodes
attacked with both his divisions.
There were thus opposed to the single disconnected Federal line south of the Cashtown pike
two solid Confederate ones which outflanked their left a quarter of a mile or more.
's small command, less than a thousand men, after a severe contest, was gradually forced back.
's wood and beyond, Meredith
's and Dana
's brigades repeatedly repulsed their assailants, but as Biddle
's retirement uncovered their left, they too fell back to successive positions from which they inflicted heavy losses, until finally all three reached the
note to cut, P. 280.--The death of Lieutenant Bayard Wilkeson
, who commanded Battery G, Fourth U. S. Artillery, was one of the most heroic episodes of the fight.
He was but nineteen years old and was the son of Samuel Wilkeson
, who, as correspondent of the “New-York times,” was at Meade
's headquarters during the fight.
, by his fearless demeanor, held his battery in an exposed position on the Union
General John B. Gordon
, finding it impossible to advance his Confederate division in the face of Wilkeson
's fire, and realizing that if the officer on the horse could be disposed of the battery would not remain, directed two batteries of his command to train every gun upon him. Wilkeson
was brought to the ground, desperately wounded, and his horse was killed.
He was carried by the Confederates
to the Alms House
(or dragged himself there — the accounts differ), where he died that night.
Just before he expired, it is said, he asked for water; a canteen was brought to him; as he took it a wounded soldier lying next to him begged, “For God's sake give me some!”
He passed the canteen untouched to the man, who drank every drop it contained.
smiled on the man, turned slightly, and expired.--editors.
Note.--Edward Johnson's Confederate division (upper right-hand corner) did not reach the position assigned them on this map until after sunset or about dusk of July 1st.
See p. 284.--editors. |
foot of Seminary Ridge
, where Colonel Wainwright
, commanding the corps artillery, had planted twelve guns south of the Cashtown pike
, with Stewart
's battery, manned in part by men of the Iron Brigade
, north of it. Buford
had already thrown half of Gamble
's dismounted men south of the Fairfield
's division had suffered so severely that Pender
's had passed to its front, thus bringing fresh troops to bear on the exhausted Federal line.
It was about 4 P. M. when the whole Confederate line advanced to the final attack.
On their right Gamble
's brigade for some time in check, Perrin
's and Scales
's suffered severely, and Scales
's was broken up, for Stewait, swinging half his guns, under Lieutenant Davison
, upon the Cashtown pike
, raked it. The whole corps being now heavily pressed and its right uncovered, Doubleday
gave the order to fall back to Cemetery Hill
, which was effected in
The line of defense at the Cemetery gate-house.
From a photograph. |
comparatively good order, the rear, covered by the 7th Wisconsin, turning when necessary to check pursuit.
, mistaking the order, had clung with his artillery to Seminary Hill
, until, seeing the infantry retreating to the town, he moved his batteries down the Cashtown pike
until lapped on both sides by the enemy's skirmishers, at close range, when they were compelled to abandon one gun on the road, all its horses being killed.
The Eleventh Corps also left a disabled gun on the field.
Of the troops who passed through the town, many, principally men of the Eleventh Corps, got entangled in the streets, lost their way, and were captured.
On ascending Cemetery Hill
, the retreating troops found Steinwehr
's division in position covered by stone fences on the slopes, and occupying by their skirmishers the houses in front of their line.
As they arrived they were formed, the Eleventh Corps on the right, the First Corps on the left of Steinwehr
As the batteries came up, they were well posted by Colonels Wainwright
, and soon a formidable array of artillery was ready to cover with its fire all the approaches.
assembled his command on the plain west of Cemetery Hill
, covering the left flank and presenting a firm front to any attempt at pursuit.
The First Corps found a small reenforcement awaiting it, in the 7th Indiana, part of the train escort, which brought up nearly five hundred fresh men. Wadsworth
met them and led them to Culp's Hill
, where, under direction of Captain Pattison
of that regiment, a defensive line was marked out. Their brigade (Cutler
's) soon joined them; wood and stone were plentiful, and soon the right of the line was solidly established.
Nor was there wanting other assurance to the men who had fought so long that their sacrifices had not been in vain.
As they reached the hill they were received by General Hancock
, who arrived just as they were coming up from the town, under orders from General Meade
to assume the command.
His person was well known; his presence inspired confidence, and it implied also the near approach of his army-corps.
He ordered Wadsworth
at once to
to secure that important position, and aided by Howard
, by Warren
who had also just arrived from headquarters, and by others, a strong line, well flanked, was soon formed.
, who from Seminary Hill
had witnessed the final attack, sent Colonel Long
, of his staff, a competent officer of sound judgment, to examine the position, and directed Ewell
to carry it if practicable, renewing, however, his previous warning to avoid bringing on a general engagement until the army was all up. Both Ewell
, who was making some preparations with a view to attack, and Long found the position a formidable one, strongly occupied and not accessible to artillery fire.
's men were indeed in no condition for an immediate assault.
's eight thousand, nearly three thousand were hors de combat.
Early had lost over five hundred, and had but two brigades disposable, the other two having been sent on the report of the advance of Federal troops, probably the Twelfth Corps, then near by, to watch the York
's two divisions had been very roughly handled, and had lost heavily, and he withdrew them to Seminary Hill
entered the town, leaving the latter with not more than eight thousand men to secure the town and the prisoners.
's absent division (Edward Johnson
's) was expected soon, but it did not arrive until near sunset, when the Twelfth Corps and Stannard
's Vermont brigade were also up, and the Third Corps was arriving.
In fact an assault by the Confederates
was not practicable before 5:30 P. M., and after that the position was perfectly secure.
For the first time that day the Federals
had the advantage of position, and sufficient troops and artillery to occupy it, and Ewell
would not have been justified in attacking without the positive orders of Lee
, who was present, and wisely abstained from giving them.
[Continuation on page 290.]