Perfectly authentic nears from the battlefield at Gettysburg
has come no later than up to Friday night. I will not attempt now a fall description; it will be thus enough when the fighting there is over.
As you have doubtless learned are this, our troops under Gen. A. P. Hill
crossed the Potomac
sport, and advanced towards Gettysburg
took a position Wednesday about three miles from the town and near a range of hills, which intervened between him and the town.
After desultory skirmishing, which continued most of the day until 1 o'clock P. M., he moved on the enemy in front.
, who had been at Carline
, came up from that direction, and reached a position on our extreme left.
Soon after Gen. Hill
advanced to the attack.
Here Gen. Ewell
encountered a large body of the enemy, who had apparently come up from the rear of Gettysburg
, and who afterwards constituted the extreme right of the enemy.
With two of his divisions — Rodes
's and Early
's — he engaged the enemy in his front simultaneously, with Gen. A. P. Hill
in the centre.
While this was progressing Gen. Longstreet
swing around his column to the right, and on Thursday morning appeared on the enemy's extreme left.
Such was the position of our lines in the first day's engagement.
The result of the fighting that day was the complete repulse of the enemy from his position, followed by Gen. Hill
's and part of Gen. Ewell
's corps, who drove them across the range of hills between us and the town, through the town, and to a point about half a mile beyond, where they occupied a mountain, a splendid and almost impregnable position, which they fortified and bristled with artillery, their line holding this mountain and extending to the right and left of it.
Thursday the event of the day opened as on Wednesday, heavy skirmishing commencing at an early hour and constituting, until about 1 o'clock P. M. when Gen. Longstreet
, whose corps constituted our right wing, advanced to the attack, and succeeded in driving before him the enemy's left, after hard fighting for the remainder of the day and during a portion of the night.
On Friday Longstreet
again opened the fight on the right, which extended to the left, Ewell
driving in the enemy's left before him. Thusour whole line surrounded three sides of the mountain, the enemy within, but such was the strength of their portion that no take it by assault was almost a hopeless undertaking.--Never the less, our infantry, preceded by heavy fire of artillery, charged it several time during the day, and, though almost uniformly successful in capturing batteries, were compelled, owing to the heavy fire of artillery concentrated on them, to fall back to the position whence they started.
The charge had to be made across an open and gradually Fancied plain, without any protection whatever from the observation of the enemy on the mountain.
With over one hundred pieces of artillery we kept up an incessant fire on the enemy, frequently dislodging them front their strong positions and slaughtering great numbers.
The muskets, and cannonading is described as most terrific by till who participated, and exceeding in rapidity and seventy any previous battle of the war. Notwithstanding, our gallant men boldly "faced the music," and could not be restrained.
Not a man or a regiment flinched.
The enemy, too, who raised the rallying cry, "You are fighting for your homes, now, boys," fought unusually well.
The loss on both sides is heavy, that of the enemy roughly estimated at from two or three to one of ours killed and wounded.
At this date, though, it is impossible to obtain anything like a correct estimate.
It may be observed, though, that four-fifths at least of our casualties are from wounds, and those principally in the hands, and limit.
Very few severely wounded have yet reached here.
Over 2,000 wounded have reached here since the first day's fight, and as many more are on the way. Among the wounded, officers here are Major Generals Pender
Gens. G. T. Anderson
, of Georgia
, of North Carolina
, and Jenkins
was severely wounded in the arm by the fragment of a shell, but fortunately the wound does not endanger the arm. He was struck while going into action on the right, Thursday.
lost the leg in which he was once wounded before.
None of these officers, I am pleased to state, are seriously wounded.
, and Barksdale
are undoubtedly killed.
The three first belonged to Pickett
's division, which suffered most severely in General and field officers, and men — particularly in the second.
I have said that we have no established information from the battle field since the close of the day's operations on Friday.
But one report has prevailed however, of the proceeding Saturday and Sunday, and all who have left the field since Saturday morning agree in the statement.
Such is the uniformity in this that it is believed to be reliable.
The report is that Gen. Lee
, desiring to draw the enemy from his strong position on the mountain and avoid an unnecessary sacrifice of his men in taking it by stores, effected a retreat towards the Potomac
, proceeded by his wagon trains.
, ving it a genuine falling back to this side of the river, came down from the height and followed, when at a distance of two or three miles they encountered our picket line, which fell back towards the main body.
turned upon them and repulsed them with great slaughter.
Meantime their retreat to the mountain again was intercepted.
, who had also fallen back from his position on the left, concealed his man from the observation of the enemy, and when Hill
commenced driving them back, moved so as to get in their rear — Jackson
like — and cut off their retreat to their fortifications on the mountain, capturing over 50 regiments and 30 pieces of artillery.
Though no official confirmation has yet been received here of this report, it obtains very general credence.
The enemy attacked our wagon train and convey near Williamsport
, Monday evening, but were repulsed, with the less of one hundred prisoners, after two hours or more hard fighting by Gen. Jenkins
The enemy numbered a brigade and eight pieces of artillery.
We had three pieces of the Washington artillery.--Those attacks on our wagon trains are of almost daily occurrence and unless they are strongly convoyed the passage from the river to the army is dangerous.
,) has penetrated almost within sight of Washington
, and intercepted and captured about $480 wagons and 1,100 mules.
The destruction of our pontoon bridge below Williamsport
was owing to carelessness.
It was guarded by an inadequate body of men, and they without arms.
, however, seems to have little use for it at present.
The following is a partial list of officers killed: Col.
V, D Groner
, 61st Va. (reported;) Adj't Campbell
, 8th Miss
H R Miller
; Col. Smith
, 55th N C; Col. Edmonds
, 58th Va. Capt
W T Magruder
; Gen. Jos David
, Adj't Gen. Col Dr.
S G C (reported;) Lt Col. Mounger
, 9th Ga; Col Jack Jones
, 20th Ga. (reported;) Col Carrington
, 18th Va, (reported;) Col Carter
, 13th Miss
; Col Ellis
, Va, (reported;) Col J B Williams
, Va, Col Allen
, 28th Va; Maj Wilson
, 28th Va.
The following is a partial list of the wounded.
, 8th Ga; Col Jack Brown
, 59th Ga; Maj Gee
, Ga; Col Kennedy
, S C; Lt. Col Whittle
. 38th Va; Col Griffin
, 18th Miss
; Col W S Luce
, 18th Miss
, missing; Col W T Holder, 17th Miss
-Col Fleiser, 17th Miss
, Lt. Col McElroy
, 13th Miss
; Maj Bradley
, 13th Miss
; Col H Gautt
, Va; Col Hunton
, Va, (reported;) Col Stuart
, 56th Va; Col W T Patten
, Va, in enemy's hands; Lt- Col Feagan
, 16th Ala, lag amputated; Major Berkeley
, Va; Maj Wilson
, 28th Va; Adj't Goodice
, 18th Miss
, supposed mortally; Col Lightfoot
, 6th Ala; Maj Culver
, 6th Ala; Col Humphreys
and Maj Blair
, 2d Miss
, missing; Lt Col Moseley
, 42d Miss, Col Stone
, 2d Miss, Col Colin
, 55th N Carolina
' Archer, of Tenn.
, who opened the fight, was captured on the first day. We captured Brag Gen. Graham