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END OF THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.
At about this time, Meade, who felt anxious about his weaker left, had reached Little Round Top, and ordered Crawford to advance upon the Con. federate right. The brigade of McCandless and a regiment of Fisher's pushed toward the Emmettsburg road, driving before them an unsupported battery upon a brigade of Hood's division, which made a feeble resistance and fled, leaving two hundred and sixty men (Georgians) as captives, with their battle-flag. In this sortie nearly the whole ground lost by Sickles the day before was recovered, with seven thousand small arms, a Napoleon gun, and the wounded Unionists, who had lain, uncared for, twenty-four hours.
Thus, at near sunset, ended in victory for the Nationals, the decisive BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG—a battle that had been fought by both armies with amazing courage and fortitude. The actors in it were chiefly of the artillery and infantry arms of the service. The cavalry force of each remained on the borders of the great conflict, yet, on the part of the Nationals, they rendered very important service in threatening the wings, the trains, and the communications of the opposing army, neutralizing the power of large bodies of infantry, and foiling Lee in his efforts to turn Meade's flanks. Buford, as we have seen, was in the National rear, while Kilpatrick and Gregg were on the flanks of the foe.' Specially important
1 Kilpatrick, who had been out trying to intercept Stuart's cavalry on their way to join Lee, had a severo fight with them at Hunterstown, on the evening of the 2d of July. It was chiefly an artillery duel by the horse batteries of each. The Confederates were worsted, when Kilpatrick, according to an order, hastened to TwoTaverns, on the Baltimore turnpike, in the rear of Meade's army. On the morning of the 3d, these troopers were on and near the Emmettsburg road, on the right and rear of the Confederates, and at eleven o'clock, made a dash for the capture of their train. A heavy force of infantry was immediately sent to co-operate with some of Stuart's cavalry in confronting this new danger, when Generals Farnsworth and Merritt, acting as if they had heavy infantry supports, dashed forward over fences, and drove their foes back in much confusion. In the last of the charges by which the result was reached, Farnsworth was slain, and with him many of his brave men. The troops engaged in this affair, which greatly weakened the Confederate attack on Meade's lines, were the First Vermont, First Virginia, and Eighteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
FLIGHT OF THE CONFEDERATES.
were the services of Merritt and Farnsworth, of Kilpatrick's command, on
the Confederate right, for they prevented Hood from turning July, 1963.
Meade's left during the terrible battle on the afternoon of the 3d." Both armies were severely shattered by losses and weakened by exhaus, tion,' but each rested on the night after the battle, in ignorance of the real condition and destination of the other. Lee felt that his situation was a perilous one, and early in the evening he withdrew Ewell's division from Gettysburg and the hills southeast of the town, and began preparations for a retreat toward the Potomac, by way of the Cumberland Valley. During
that night and all the next day, while his army remained on July 4.
Seminary Ridge, he sent away as many of his sick and wounded as possible, with his enormous wagon-train of baggage, stores, and plunder, and troops of horses, mules, and cattle, captured in Pennsylvania. These took the Chambersburg and Hagerstown roads, and were followed on the evening of the 4th by the whole army along the latter highway, by the village of Fairfield, carrying with them about four thousand prisoners. A severe rain-storm had commenced at the close of the day, and the flight was distressing to all who participated in it. When it was made evident by the reports of cavalry scouts, on the night
of the 3d, that Lee was about to retreat, General Meade was
urged by some of his officers to make an immediate advance on the Confederate army. Great responsibility makes men conservative and cautious. It was only about twenty days since the command of the Army of the Potomac, at a most critical time in its history, with all the inherent responsibilities of the act, had been laid upon General Meade. This, and a consideration of the shattered condition of that army after the great battle, made him cautious and prudent, and he would not consent to a renewal of the conflict at Gettysburg. So he lay there, quietly awaiting the development of the disposition and plans of his antagonist, until Sunday morning, the 5th, when it was well known that Lee's whole army, excepting a few pickets, was on its way toward the Potomac. Then, having been re-enforced
I When the battle ceased, the ammunition of the Army of the Potomac was becoming scarce ; and of the reserves, only a single brigade of Sedgwick's corps had not, in some way, participated in the battle. The Army of Northern Virginia was equally exhausted. The National loss in men, from the morning of the 1st until the evening of the 34 of July, was reported by Meade to be 23,156, of whom 2,534 were killed, 13,709 were wounded, and 6,613 were missing. A greater portion of the latter were prisoners. Lee, as usual, made no report of his losses. He spoke of them as “ severe." A careful estimate, made from various statements, places the number at about 30,000, of whom about 14,000 were prisoners. Generals Barksdale and Garnett were killed. Generals Armistead, Pender, and Semmes were mortally wounded; Generals Hood and Trimble were severely wounded, and Generals Anderson, Hampton, Heth, Jones, Pettigrew, Jenkins, and Kemper, not so badly.
3" Owing to the strength of the enemy's position, and the reduction of our ammunition," Lee said, in his report, * a renewal of the engagement could not be hazarded, and the difficulty of procuring supplies rendered it impossible to continue longer where we were."
Lieutenant-Colonel Freemantle, of the British army, who was with Lee, says, in his narrative (page 269), that it was " diflicult to exaggerate the critical state of affairs, as they appeared about this time," and declares that “General Lee and his officers were evidently impressed with a sense of the situation."
3 In his diary, July 4, Colonel Freemantle made the following record : " Wagons, horses, mules, and cattle, captured in Pennsylvania, the solid avantages of this campaign, have been passing slowly along the road all day; those taken by Ewell are particularly admired."
4 See map on page 62.
LEE ESCAPES INTO VIRGINIA.
the day before by the advance division of General Couch's militia, who had come up from the Susquehanna under General W. F. Smith, he ordered Sedgwick's comparatively fresh corps to commence a direct pursuit, and sent Kilpatrick to harrass the fugitives and destroy their train on the Chambersburg road. The greater part of the army remained to rest, and to succor the wounded and bury the dead.
Sedgwick overtook the rear-guard of the Confederates ten miles from Gettysburg, at the Fairfield Pass of South Mountain, and reported to General Meade that it was easily defensible by a small force, against him. Meade recalled Sedgwick, and determined to put his whole force in puisuit, in a flank movement, by way of Emmettsburg and Middletown, and the lower passes of the South Mountain range, through which he hoped to strike his antagonist's flank. He ordered General French at Frederick to send a force to Turner's Gap,' and with his main body to re-occupy Harper's Ferry. Leaving a brigade each of cavalry and infantry to harrass and delay the Confederate rear, he left Gettysburg, with a greater portion of the army, on the 6th, and crossed the mountains into the Antietam Valley. But he moved so cautiously and tardily that when, on
• July, 1863. the 12th, he overtook Lee, the latter was strongly intrenched on a ridge covering the Potomac from Williamsport to Falling Waters, waiting for the flood in the river, caused by the recent rains, to subside, and allow him to cross into Virginia. Unfortunately for Lee, General French had anticipated Meade's order, re-occupied Harper's Ferry, and sent a cavalry force to destroy the pontoon bridges which the Confederate commander had left, under guard, at Falling Waters. But for the accomplishment of this destruction, Lee's army might have passed over on the day of its arrival at Williamsport; but he was compelled to make preparations anew, and also to present a bold front to his pursuers. He showed so much strength when they approached, that Meade spent the 12th in intrenching and reconnoitering. He desired to attack Lee the next morning, but a majority of his commanders, whom he consulted late that evening, decided against it. Unwilling to take the responsibility, he allowed his army to remain inactive all the next day. That night, Lee having constructed another
July 13, 14. bridge at Falling Waters, passed the corps of Longstreet and Hill quietly over it in the gloom, while Ewell's forded the river above Williamsport. The vigilant Kilpatrick had observed the movement toward the bridge, and struck Hill's rear-guard under the unfortunate Pettigrew, drove it to the river, killed one hundred and twenty-five of the men, and made fifteen hundred of them prisoners, with three battle-flags. Pettigrew was mortally wounded, and Major Webb, who led the Sixth Michigan Cavalry in a charge on the occasion, was killed. Kilpatrick's total loss was one hundred and five men. Thus ended, in utter discomfiture and repulse, Lee's formidable invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863.?
See page 471, volume II. ? In the preparation of this narrative of the events of the invasion, the writer has arailed himself, in addition to personal observations, and the accounts, written and oral, given him by actors in the scenes, of the official reports of the opposing commanders and their subordinate officers; narratives of correspondents with the armies, and of Professor Jacobs and others who have published interesting monographs concerning the battle. Special acknowledgment is due to Colonel J. B. Batchelder, for his communications to the writer on the subject, and his admirable isometrical drawing of the battle-field of Gettysburg, whose accuracy is attested by General Meade and his fellow-cominanders on that occasion. It is wonderfully minute in its 76
VISITS TO THE BATTLE-FIELD.
The writer visited the battle-ground at Gettysburg a week after the conflict, and again in the autumn of 1866, each time with traveling companions already mentioned in these pages.
On the first occasion we encountered many difficulties after leaving Philadelphia, first in trying unsuccessfully to reach Gettysburg by way of Harrisburg, and then by detention in Baltimore, the Northern Central railway being in the exclusive service of the Government for some days after the battle. Having “friends at court,” we gained, through them, permission to take passage in a Government train, which we did at ten o'clock on a pleasant morning, in company with Mr. Barclay, the philanthropist spoken of, members, of both sexes, of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, and friends of slain and badly wounded soldiers.
On leaving Baltimore, we saw the evidences of the hasty preparations to repel the invaders ; ' and on the way to Hanover Junction we passed several of the block-houses constructed for the defense of the bridges on the railway. We dined at the Junction, where lay the charred remains of a train of cars, destroyed by the invaders, and toward evening arrived at Hanover. There we tarried an hour, and the writer visited the scene of the cavalry fight on the 29th of June, and made the sketch on page 58. We reached Gettysburg at eight o'clock in the evening, and gladly accepted the kind hospitality of the family of a leading citizen (David M. McConaughy), whose services before the battle, in imparting information, were acknowledged by General Meade. He, like all other patriotic citizens of Gettysburg, had opened his house to the strangers who thronged the town; and on the fol
lowing morning he kindly accompanied us to the important July 11,
points on the battle-field, of whose scenes he had been an eye and
ear-witness. With him, in his light carriage, the writer was privileged to spend the entire day in an inspection of the theater of the drama chiefly within the National lines. We rode out on the Bounaughtown road, across Rock Creek, to the heights on which Ewell's guns were planted; and along a by-road we went down by the base of Wolf Hill,
*recrossed the creek where the southern slopes of Culp's Hill touch it, and there began to see the evidences of the struggle of Slocum’s corps with the foe on the right of the National line. Unexploded conical shells were half-buried in the oak-trees, whose branches were cut and bruised by others; and the trunks of nearly all were scarred so thickly with bullet-marks for ten or fifteen feet from the ground, that
scarcely an inch together of the untouched bark remained. Over the rocky slope of Culp's Hill, up which the Confederates details, showing the movements, even of regiments, during the conflict, and giving a perfect impression of the
A MONUMENT, 5
1 See note 3, page 49. 2 The blessed labors of the Sanitary and Christian Commissions cverywhere, will be hereafter mentioned. We found the members of each in full force, when we were at Gettysburg, with supplies of every kind needful for the suffering bodies and minds of the soldiers. The Christian Commission distributed about a thousand boxes of stores and publications at Gettysburg. The Sanitary Commission was equally active there. 3 See page 55.
4 See page 55 5 This is a sketch of one of the monuments mentioned in the text. It was a rough piece of a sapling, with a figure 3 on a smooth spot, which referred to a registry made, that would indicate the number of bodies buried there. Great care was taken by the Unionists to have every one of the four thousand dead bodies found on the field, buried, and the places of burial indicated.
SCENES ON THE BATTLE-FIELD.
pressed in front of Slocum's lines, fragments of clothing, accouterments, shells, and fire-arms were strewed among many new-made graves, some in the form of trenches, in which a number of the dead were buried together, with some rude monument to mark the spot.
Passing over Culp's Hill among the debris of battle, along the line of breastworks depicted on page 70, we came to the open field where Wadsworth was stationed, between Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. There were the mounds of several batteries, and on the wooded slope in front were the marks of a severe struggle. Southward we could see Round Top, nearly three miles distant, and toward it we rode by way of the Cemetery, whose fences were gone and grounds were furrowed by shot and shell. There we saw the result of Howard's foresight and kindness, in the preservation of the monuments he had caused to be laid prone on the ground. One granite shaft, standing upright, had received a spent ball point-blank, which bruised but did not break the stone. In all that region the effects of the heavy cannonade on the 3d' were visible at every turn. The bodies of the slain soldiers were buried, but those of the horses, some untouched and some a-consuming by fire, were scattered thickly over the fields, especially where Hancock's batteries were, and along the Taneytown road,
Meade's headquarters. No less than eight dead horses were lying near a farm-house (Mr. Trossel's), as seen in the engraving; and during our ride within
) the Union lines we saw the remains of not less than two hundred of these noble brutes, many of them on fire, the smoke of which, with the effluvium of decomposition everywhere, filled the whole region of Gettysburg with unpleasant odors.
After sketching Meade's head-quarters, we passed down the Taneytown road a short distance, and turned into a rough by-way that led over to the Emmettsburg road, at the northern slope of Little Round Top. From that eminence we had an excellent general view of the battle-field between it and
Gettysburg. As we descend-
saw the graves of
GRAVES ON THE FIELD OF GETTYSBURG.
I See page 71.
? See page 63.