The Courageous part taken in the desperate conflict June 2-3, 1863,By the Florida brigade (General E. A. Perry), there commanded by Colonel David Lang, with the serious casualties sustained.
[The following account is taken from the worthy tribute to a noble brother—‘The Memoir of Captain Charles Seton Fleming, of the Second Florida Infantry, C. S. A., by Francis P. Fleming (ex-Governor of Florida), Jacksonville, 1881,’ in which it forms Chapter VI, pp. 79-88, and Appendix G, pp. 121-4. Charles Seton Fleming, the son of Colonel Lewis Fleming, a planter of Florida, of gentle Irish descent, was born near Jacksonville, February 9, 1839; educated in local private school, and in youth found employment in a mercantile house in Chicago, Ill. He evinced at an early age a preference for the profession of arms, and early in the year 1858, entered as a cadet ‘King's Mountain Military School’ at Yorkville, South Carolina, the principal of which institution was Major Micah Jenkins, who afterward served with distinction as a General in the C. S. Army, ‘and fell a martyr to the “Lost cause” on the bloody field of the ‘Wilderness’ on the 5th of May, 1864.’ Young Fleming attended this school until June, 1859. After serving for a time as the purser on a river steamer, he entered, in July, 1860, upon the study of law, in the office of his brother, Louis J. Fleming, in Jacksonville, Florida. In consonance with his instincts he was also a member of a local military company—the ‘Minute Men.’ In April, 1861, in the ‘momentous call of the period,’ he assisted in raising a company to form a part of the Second Florida infantry, designed as a representative regiment of his State, for service in Virginia. It was organized at Pulatka, early in May, with John W. Starke as captain, C. Seton Fleming, first lieutenant, Alexander Mosely (son of ex-Governor Mosely), senior second lieutenant and John E. Caine, a native of South Carolina, as junior second lieutenant. The Second Florida infantry entered the field by going into encampment at Yorktown, Va., on the 17th September, 1861. In the sight of Yorktown, in the spring of 1862, the Second Florida,  received its ‘baptism of fire’ in a sortie in conjunction with the Second Mississippi battalion, made to dislodge a detachment of the enemy's sharpshooters near Fort Magruder; and in which they were successful. As acting-adjutant of the Second Florida, in the engagement at Williamsburg, May, 1862, Lieutenant Fleming was severely wounded through the hip and was left in Williamsburg. Upon the entrance of the enemy he fell into their hands, and in the latter part of July, was placed with other prisoners on the ‘Rip Raps’ in Hampton Roads. Having been exchanged, Fleming returned to his regiment to find himself without rank, the reorganization having taken place whilst he was a prisoner, and it was thought that he would not recover from his wound. He therefore took his place in the ranks of his old company, but soon after the second battle of Manassas, he was appointed Captain of company G, of the Second Florida, and participated in the investment of Harper's Ferry and the battle of Sharpsburg. Upon the return of Lee's army to Virginia the Florida regiments, the 2d, 5th and 8th were formed into a brigade and placed under the command of General Edward A. Perry. The brigade did gallant service at the battles of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862; Chancellorsville, May 3-4, 1863; at Gettysburg, as detailed; at Bristow's Station, October 14, 1863, and in other engagements—Captain Fleming constantly participating. He sealed his devotion to the cause he loved so well, being killed while leading the Second Florida, in the engagement near Gaines' Farm, Virginia, June 3, 1864. He was buried in the woods on McGehee's farm, but on June 3, 1893, his brother, ex-Governor Fleming, having found the grave, had the remains disinterred and placed in Hollywood cemetery, Richmond, where they now rest.] At Gettysburg the Florida brigade, participating in the desperate charges of the Confederate centre, under A. P. Hill, on the 2d and 3d of July, sustained fearful losses in killed and wounded, being proportionately greater than that of any other brigade engaged. And it is not too much to say that the charges of Perry's, Wilcox's and Wright's brigades, of Anderson's division, on the 2d, and of Perry's and Wilcox's on the 3d, were in every sense as brilliant and heroic as that of Pickett's division, which has been immortalized by Virginia historians.  The loss of officers on July 2d placed Captain Fleming in command of his regiment, which he led in the charge of the 3d immediately after the repulse of Pickett. Speaking of it afterward to the author, he said that, in leading the 2d Florida in this charge, he experienced the happiest moments of his life. After making the charge on the 3d, being compelled by overwhelming numbers and want of support to retreat and give up the position gained at such fearful cost, Captain Fleming and Captain William E. McCaslan, of the 2d Florida (the latter Acting Assistant Adjutant-General of the brigade), were leisurely and gloomily retiring side by side to the former position of the Confederate lines, discussing the terrible ordeal of battle through which they had passed during the last two days; McCaslan remarked that, no matter how one escaped the dangers of any particular battle, he was exposed to the same in the next, and it seemed impossible to pass in safety through them all. The words were scarcely uttered when a shell from one of the enemy's batteries struck him on the head, and he fell dead. Thus terminated the career of a gallant soldier and courteous gentleman, admired and respected, and his loss deeply lamented by the whole brigade. The following is the report of the part taken by the Florida brigade in the battle of Gettysburg in a letter from Colonel Lang, of the 8th Florida (who was temporarily in command), to General Perry, who, at the time of the battle, was ill with typhoid fever:
Colonel Lang soon after this wrote a letter to the editors of the Richmond Enquirer, which was published in that paper, to correct an erroneous statement of ‘P. W. A.,’ the army correspondent of the Savannah Republican, in his report of the battle of Gettysburg. Colonel Lang's letter was as follows:
P. W. A., in a letter to the Enquirer, written soon after, corrected the error into which he had fallen, using the following language:
The mistake into which I was led, and into which it seems your own correspondent also fell, was a very natural one. Information reached me from so many different sources, as to leave no doubt of its correctness, that General Anderson's orders to his division were to advance and assault the enemy, the brigade on the right (Wilcox's) leading off, and the others following in their order to the left. (Such too, was the general order of battle.) Three of his brigades —Wilcox's, Perry's and Wright's—did advance, were hotly engaged, were flanked for want of timely support, and suffered heavily; while the two other brigades did not advance-their movements, we are permitted to infer from the tenor of General Andersons card, having been arrested by their military superiors.Another army correspondent, signing himself ‘S,’ had fallen into a similar error, which he subsequently corrected in a letter to the Advertiser and Register, paying a handsome tribute to the Florida troops, from which we make the following extract:
No man, capable of performing his duty, can shun the field in this hour of supreme trial, without disgracing himself and his posterity, and endangering the cause so dear to every lover of liberty. Instead of abusing the furloughs which have been given them, or taking shelter in nitre bureaus, and behind frivolous and unmanly excuses for exemption, every able-bodied man who cannot better serve the cause at home than in the army, should esteem it a privilege to come at once to the field, without waiting to be called, and thus emulate the example of the brave Floridians, who have sent more men to the war than the number of voters in the whole State. And this reminds me that in my account of the great battle of Gettysburg, full justice was not done to Perry's Florida brigade. Its performance was not only creditable, but gallant, as is shown by its heavy loss, which, in proportion to the number engaged, exceeds that sustained by any other brigade on the field. The brigade belongs to Anderson's division, Hill's corps; Wilcox held the right of the division, Mahone the left, Wright the centre, Perry (Colonel Lang in command), the right centre, and Perry the left centre. Wilcox was to advance first, to be followed by the other brigades in their order to the left. It appears, for reasons given in a former communication, that only three brigades became fully engaged— Wilcox's, Perry's and Wright's. Colonel Jayne's 48th Mississippi, of Perry's brigade, which had been thrown forward as skirmishers and lost heavily, supposing that the brigade proper would follow on in support; but for some reason it did not, nor did Mahone's on the left. While marching through a piece of woods to his proper place, on the 2d, Wilcox became engaged with the enemy, and soon repulsed him. About 6 P. M. (too late to co-operate with McLaws and Hood, though no blame can attach to the brigadiers), the several brigades in the division were ordered to advance to the attack, in the order given above. Wilcox moved forward promptly, followed by Lang, who, in his turn, was followed by Wright. Each fought bravely and desperately, drove the enemy back to its front, and ran over several batteries and heaps of slain; but each, in its turn, was compelled, after almost unparalleled losses, to abandon the enterprise of carrying the impregnable position of the enemy, and retrace its steps to the point from whence it had started. Had the attack been made simultaneously along the whole line at the time Longstreet engaged the enemy, or, even, when the three brigades went in, the historian might have been called on to record a different result. On the 3d, Wright was not engaged, but Wilcox and Lang were ordered to co-operate with Pickett and Pettigrew in the assault on Cemetery Hill. The Floridians and Alabamians fought with distinguished courage, as on the previous day, and again forced the enemy to yield to their desperate charges; but, for the second time, the assault was not made simultaneously, and when position after position had been carried, it was found that three others still, which, with their weary and wasted forces, it was impossible to storm. First, Pickett retired, and then Wilcox and Lang—each having suffered frightful losses, and leaving their dead and wounded in the hands of the foe.
The second Florida was commanded on the first day by Major Moore, who was wounded and left on the field, as was Captain Ballantine, second in command. On the third day Captain Fleming  assumed command, Lieutenant Todd being second in rank. The Fifth Florida was commanded by Captain Gardner, who lost an arm on the second day, when the command devolved on Captain Bryan, and next upon Captain Hollyman. The Eighth was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Baya. These three regiments made up the brigade which was under Colonel Lang, of the Eighth, who handled it skilfully and bravely, in the absence of General Perry, who is detained from duty by severe illness.To the foregoing testimonials of the valor of Perry's brigade at Gettysburg should be added the following tribute from their gallant division commander. Emanating from the high source that it does, it should be preserved a front page in the history of Florida's soldiers:
Soon after the return of the army to Virginia, the author having received and accepted the appointment of 1st lieutenant of Company ‘D,’ of the 1st Florida cavalry, doing duty with the Army of the  Tennessee, severed his connection with the Army of Northern Virginia, and parted, for the last time, from his brother—the subject of this memoir—the companion of his boyhood, youth and early manhood, and with whom, up to that time, he had served as a soldier since the commencement of the war.
Appendix G—pp. 121-4.casualties of Perry's brigade at the battle of Gettysburg, July 2-3, 1863.
Killed—Second Florida.Company A—Lieutenant H. F. Riley, Privates D. Knight, Thos. Flowers, W. Bond. Company B—Lieutenant R. S. Jenkins. Company C—Lieutenant P. Shealy. Company D—Sergeant C. W. Johnson. Company E—Captain W. E. McCaslan. Company F—Lieutenant George Pooser, Private S. D. Phretchard. Company I—Sergeant William W. McLeod. Company K—Corporal G. Reddick. Company M—Lieutenant E. L. Hampton, Sergeant A. Williams.
Fifth Florida.Company A—Private D. W. Scott. Company B—Private R. R. Barnes. Company C—Privates S. H. White, Arvin Oliver, Elias Barimna. Company D—Private James Burney. Company E—Lieutenant J. A. Jenkins, Privates S. H. Calhoun, R. C. Cash, R. Hudson, B. Sincoe, H. Linton. Company F—Captain John Frink. Company G—Private John Baugh. Company I—Private J. C. Cox. Company K—Lieutenant J. C. Blake, Private Thomas Mumford.
Eighth Florida.Company C—Privates William Slaughter, C. B. Griffin. Company F—Private John Rowe. Company G—Private Thomas Galloway. Company I—Private S. Crews.