armies clashed on the west of Gettysburg
At 9 a. m. the first gun was heard.
The shadow had melted away.
, sternly questioning, alone was visible.
On the Confederate
side was A. P. Hill
, with Heth
; on the Federal
, with the Third and Eleventh corps.
The result of the first encounter was a victory for Hill
—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.
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
, 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
' 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.