previous next
[258] armies clashed on the west of Gettysburg. At 9 a. m. the first gun was heard. The shadow had melted away. Gettysburg, sternly questioning, alone was visible. On the Confederate side was A. P. Hill, with Heth and Pender; on the Federal, Reynolds, with the Third and Eleventh corps. The result of the first encounter was a victory for Hill. Gallant Reynolds—a heavy loss to his army—was killed during the action. History puts no faith in precedents, else Gettysburg would have opened another page on July 3d. Lee himself had no illusions. On the evening of the first day he showed his sound common sense in what he said to Longstreet: ‘They are there in position. I am going to whip them, or they are going to whip me.’ He trusted in his troops; cared little for the disparity in force; but never quite forgot that war had its lottery.

While Hill was fighting for Seminary ridge, Ewell, on his way back from the east, was in time to strike from the north; and his effective blow, which hurled Schurz back through the town, uncovered the Federal line still defiant on Seminary ridge, and compelled it to give up the strong position occupied during the next two days by Hill and Longstreet. ‘Hays' brigade,’ said Early, ‘advanced toward the town on Gordon's left in fine style, encountering and driving back into the town in great confusion the second line of the enemy,’ until the Louisianians formed in line in the street running through the middle of Gettysburg. They captured two pieces of artillery and Federal soldiers at every turn, and having no men to spare for guards, sent them to the rear as they pressed on. Hays declared he was satisfied that the brigade captured more prisoners than its own number. Their own loss was Captain Richardson, Fifth, and 6 men killed and 37 wounded. The Louisiana Guard artillery, also effectively participating, lost one man killed. During the evening Nicholls' brigade came to the east of Gettysburg and took position.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Seminary Ridge (Pennsylvania, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
A. P. Hill (3)
Reynolds (2)
James Longstreet (2)
Harry T. Hays (2)
Schurz (1)
J. B. Richardson (1)
Pender (1)
S. D. Lee (1)
Heth (1)
John B. Gordon (1)
Winchester Ewell (1)
Early (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 3rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: