Mede's official report of the battle of Gettysburg.
's official report of the battle of Gettysburg
is published in the Northern
We yesterday gave a summary of the results as stated by him, and to-day publish, as a very interesting matter of history, his report.
The Confederate army, which was commanded by Gen. R. E. Lee
was estimated at over one hundred thousand strong.
All that army had crossed the Potomac river
and advanced up the Cumberland Valley
Reliable intelligence placed his advance thus:--Ewell
's corps on the Susquehanna
, and Columbia
's corps at Chambersburg
, and Hill
's corps between that place and Cashtown
The 28th of June was spent in ascertaining the positions and strength of the different corps of the army, but principally in bringing up the cavalry which had been covering the rear of the army in its passage over the Potomac
, and to which a large increase had just been made from the force previously attached to the defences of Washington
. --Orders were given on this day to Major-General French
, commanding at Harper's Ferry
, to move with seven thousand men to occupy Frederick
and the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, with the balance of his forces, estimated at four thou-thousand, to remove and escort public property to Washington
On the 29th the army was put in motion, and on the evening of that day it was in position, the left at Emmetsburg
, and the right at New Windsor.
's division of cavalry was on the left flank, with his advance at Gettysburg
's division was in the front at Hanover
, where he encountered Gen. Stuart
's Confederate cavalry, which had crossed the Potomac
at Seneca Creek
, and passing our right flank, was making its way towards Carlisle
, having escaped Gregg
's division, which was delayed in taking position on the right flank, by the occupation of the reads by a column of infantry.
On the 30th the right flank of the army was moved up to Manchester
, the left still being at Emmetsburg
, or in that vicinity, at which place three corps, First, Eleventh, and Third, were collected under the orders of Major-General Reynolds
. General Butord
having reported from Gettysburg
the appearance of the enemy on the Cashtown
road in some force, General Reynolds
was directed to occupy Gettysburg
On reaching that place, on the 1st day of July, General Reynolds
's cavalry warmly engaged with the enemy, who had debouched his infantry through the mountains on Cashtown
, but was being held in check in the most gallant manner by Buford
immediately moved around the town of Gettysburg
, and advanced on the Cashtown
road, and without a moment's hesitation deployed his advanced division, and attacked the enemy, at the same time sending orders to the Eleventh corps, General Howard
, to advance as promptly as possible.
Soon after making his dispositions for attack, Major-General Reynolds
fell mortally wounded, the command of the First corps devolving on Major-General Doubleday
, and the command of the field on Major General Howard
, who arrived about this time (11:30 A. M.) with the Eleventh corps, then commanded by Major-General Shurz
. Major-General Howard
pushed forward two divisions of the Eleventh corps to support the First corps, now warmly engaged with the enemy on a ridge to the north of the town, and posted his Third division, with three batteries of artillery, on the cemetery ridge, on the south side of the town.
Up to this time the battle had been with the forces of the enemy debouching from the mountains on the Cashtown
road, known to be Hill
In the early part of the action the success was on the enemy's side.
's division of the First corps having driven the enemy back some distance, captured numerous prisoners, among them General Archer
, of the Confederate army. --The arrival of reinforcements to the enemy on the Cashtown
road, and the junction of Ewel.'s corps coming in on the York
and Harrisburg roads, which occurred between one and two o'clock P. M., enabled the enemy to bring vastly superior forces against both the First and Eleventh corps, outflanking our line of battle and pressing it so severely that about four o'clock P. M. Major-General Howard
deemed it prudent to withdraw these two corps to the Cemetery ridge
, on the south side of the town, which operation was successfully accomplished; not, however, without considerable loss in prisoners, arising from the confusion incident to portions of both corps passing through the town, and the men getting confused in the streets.
About the time of the withdrawal, Major-General Hancock
arrived, whom I had dispatched to represent me on the field, on hearing of the death of General Reynolds
In conjunction with Major-General Howard
, General Hancock
proceeded to post the troops on Cemetery Ridge
and to repel an attack that the enemy made on our right flank.--This attack was not, however, very vigorous, the enemy seeing the strength of the position occupied, seemed to be satisfied with the success he had accomplished, desisting from any further attack this day.
About 7 o'clock P. M. Major-Generals Slocum
, with the Twelfth Corps and part of the Third, reached the ground, and took post on the right and left of the troops previously posted.
Being satisfied, from reports received from the field, that it was the intention of the enemy to support, with his whole army, the attack already made, and reports from Major General Hancock
on the character of the position being favorable, I determined to give battle at this point, and early in the evening first issued orders to all corps to concentrate at Gettysburg
, directing all trains to be sent to the rear at Westminster
, at 11 P. M. first.
Broke up my headquarters, which till then had been at Taneytown
, and proceeded to the field, arriving there at 1 A. M. of the second.
So soon as it was light I proceeded to inspect the position and to make arrangements for posting several corps as they should reach the ground.
By 7 A. M. the Second and Fifth corps, with the rest of the Third, had reached the ground, and were posted as follows: The Eleventh Corps retained its position on Cemetery Ridge
, just opposite to the town; the First corps was posted on the right; the Eleventh on an elevated Knoll connecting with the ridge and extending to the south and east, on which the Twelfth corps was placed, the right of the Twelfth corps resting on a small stream at a point where it crossed the Baltimore pike
, and which formed on the right flank of the Twelfth something of an obstacle.
extended in a westerly and southwesterly direction; gradually diminishing in elevation till it came to a very prominent ridge called "Round Top
," running east and west.
The 2d and 3d corps were directed to occupy the continuation of Cemetery Ridge
on the left of the 11th corps and 5th corps.
Pending their arrival the 6th corps was held in reserve.
While these dispositions were being made the enemy was massing his troops on an exterior ridge, distant from the line occupied by us from a mile to a mile and a half.
At 2 P. M. the 6th corps arrived, after a march of thirty-two miles, which was accomplished from 9 P. M. of the day previous.
On its arrival being reported I immediately directed the 5th corps to move over to our extreme left and the 6th to occupy its place as a reserve for the right.
About 3 P. M. I rode out to the extreme left to await the arrival of the 5th corps and post it, when I found that Major-General Sickles
, commanding the 3d corps, not fully apprehending my instructions in regard to the position to be occupied, had advanced, or rather was in the act of advancing, his corps some half mile or three quarters of a mile in the front of the line of the 2d corps on a prolongation which it was designed his corps should rest.
Having found Major-Gen. Sickles
, I was explaining to him that he was too far in the advance, and discussing with him the propriety of withdrawing, when the enemy opened upon him with several batteries in his front and his flank, and immediately brought forward columns of infantry, and made a vigorous assault.
The 3d corps sustained the shock most heroically.
Troops from the 2d corps were immediately sent by Major-Gen. Hancock
to cover the right flank of the 3d corps, and soon after the assault commenced.
The 5th corps most fortunately arrived and took a position on the left of the 3d, Major-Gen. Sykes
commanding, immediately sending a force to occupy "Round Top
" ridge, where a most furious contest was maintained, the enemy making desperate but unsuccessful efforts to secure it. Notwithstanding the stubborn resistance of the 3d corps, under Major-Gen. Birney
, (Major-Gen. Sickles
having been wounded early in the action.) superiority in numbers of corps of the enemy enabling him to outflank its advanced position, Gen. Birney
was counselled to full back and reform behind the line originally desired to be held.
In the meantime, perceiving the great exertions of the enemy, the 6th corps, Major-Gen. Sedgwick
, and part of the 1st corps, to which I had assigned Major-Gen. Newton
, particularly Lockwood
's Maryland brigade, together with detachments from the 2d corps, were all brought up at different periods, and succeeded, together with a gallant resistance of the 5th corps, in checking, and finally repulsing the assault of the enemy, who retired in confusion and disorder about sunset, and ceased any further efforts on our extreme left.
An assault was, however, made about 8 P.M., on the 11th corps, from the left of the town, which was repelled with the assistance of troops from the 2d and 1st corps.
During the heavy assault upon our extreme left portions of the 12th corps were sent as reinforcements.
During their absence the line on the extreme right was held by a very much reduced force.
This was taken advantage of by the enemy, who, during the absence of Geary
's division of the 12th corps, advanced and occupied part of the line.
On the morning of the 3d, Gen. Geary
, having returned during the night, attacked at early dawn the enemy, and succeeded in driving him back and reoccupying his former position.
A spirited contest was maintained all the morning along this part of the line.
, reinforced by Wheaton
's brigade, of the 6th corps, maintained his position and inflicted very severe losses on the enemy.
With this exception our lines remained undisturbed till 1 P.M. on the 3d, when the enemy opened from 125 guns, playing upon our centre and left.
This cannonade continued for over two hour., when, our guns failing to make any reply, the enemy ceased firing, and soon his masses of infantry became visible, forming for an assault on our left and left centre.
An assault was made with great firmness, directed principally against the point occupied by the 2d corps, and was repelled with equal firmness by the troops of that corps, supported by Doubleday
's division and Stannard
's brigade, of the 1st
corps. During this assault both Major-General Hancock
, commanding the left centre, and Brigadier-General Gibson
, commanding the 2d corps, were severely wounded.
This terminated the battle, the enemy retching to his lines, leaving the field strewed with his dead and wounded, and numerous prisoners in our hands.
's division of cavalry, after its arduous service at Gettysburg
, on the first, was, on the second, sent to Westminster
to refit and guard our trains.
's division, that on the 29th, 30th, and 1st, had been successfully engaging the enemy's cavalry, was on the 3d sent on our extreme left, on the Emmetsburg
road, where good service was rendered in assaulting the enemy's line and occupying his attention.
The result of the campaign may be briefly stated, in the defeat of the enemy at Gettysburg
, their compulsory evacuation of Pennsylvanian and Maryland
, and withdrawal from the upper valley of the Shenandoah
, and the capture of three guns, forty-one standards, and 13,621 prisoners. 24,978 small arms were collected on the battle field.
Our own losses were very severe, amounting, as will be seen by the accompanying return, to 2,834 killed, 13,709 wounded, and 6,643 missing--in all 23, 186.