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THE BATTLE OF JULY SECOND.
right flank of Sickles' corps, and at five P.M., Sykes's command came up and took position on the left of Sickles's inen. Happily, Gen. Warren, chief engineer, reached Little Round Top, which was being used as a signal station, just at the time of Hood's attack. He instantly obtained a portion of Sykes's command to seize and occupy this all-important point; this was accomplished after a most furious handto-hand contest, in which Hood's men made a most desperate effort to gain the position, but were repulsed and hurled back. At six P.M., Crawford's division of the 5th corps, consisting of two brigades of Pennsylvania Reserves, having until this time been held in reserve, went into a charge with loud shouts and most determined spirit, and drove the rebels down the rocky front of Little Round Top, across the valley below, and over the next hill into the woods beyond, taking 300 prisoners. This gallant charge saved our left from further loss, although Birney, who had taken command of the 3d corps when Sickles was wounded, was pressed so hard, and with such large numbers of the enemy, that he was obliged to fall back nearly half a mile, and reform behind the line originally held on or near the Emmitsburg road.
fiercely made; but it was resolutely met; the rebels were killed in great numbers, and driven back with frightful loss. Johnson's attack on Culp's Hill was more successful, for Geary's force, stationed there, had been so much weakened by detachments sent to aid the left in its great extremity, that only a single brigade, under Green, remained; and hence the rebels, after some two hours' fighting, penetrated our lines to the breastworks on the furthest right, and retained their foothold during the night. This closed the second day's struggle, in which our loss was fearfully large-some 20,000-but the real advantage was still in our hands, and Meade and his corps commanders were quite confident of being able to maintain their position, and effectually repulse the rebel host under Lee.
Gen. Buford's division of cavalry, af ter its arduous services at Gettysburg, on the 1st of July, was, on the 2d, sent to Westminister, to refit and guard our trains. Kilpatrick's division, which, on the 29th and 30th of June and 1st of July, had been successfully engaging the rebel cavalry, was, on the 3d, sent to our extreme left, on the Emmitsburg road, where good service was rendered in assaulting the enemy's line and occupying his attention. At the same time Gen. Gregg was engaged with the rebels on our extreme right, having passed across the Baltimore turnpike and Bonaughton road, and boldly attacked Lee's
Owing to some cause unexplained, Ewell's demonstrations on our right against the forces on Cemetery and Culp's Hills, were very much delayed, and it was nearly sunset when he order-left and rear.
ed the attack. The artillery began to The lodgment effected by Ewell's play, and Early's division advanced against Cemetery Hill, and Johnson's against Culp's Hill. The assault was
troops, on the night of the 2d of July, was esteemed by Lee important for his purposes, his idea being that Ewell
should take possession of Culp's Hill shot." The cannonade gradually ceasand the Baltimore road, and then ed, without having produced any nothrow his whole force upon and break ticeable effect, and then came "the tug our right. This purpose, however, was of war." Successive lines of rebel indefeated by Meade, who ordered a fantry advanced over the intervening powerful artillery force against the space, resolved, if possible, to carry the point entered by the enemy, and open- heights, where our men coolly but resed a heavy fire, at four o'clock in the olutely awaited them. It was a ter morning of July 3d. Geary, with his rible, an awfully bloody struggle. Picforce, having returned during the night, kett's division of Longstreet's men immediately attacked the rebels with dashed forward with such impetuosity great spirit, and having been reinforced as fairly to mount the crest of Ceme by a brigade of the 6th corps, he suc- tery Ridge; but it was in vain; they ceeded, after a four hours' sharp contest, were cut down, discomfited and broken. in driving the rebels back and re-occupy- Pettigrew's division of North Carolina ing his former position. Thus our right fresh troops on Pickett's right, had flank was secured, and Lee turned his been foolishly told that they would attention to another point of attack. meet only Pennsylvania militia; but, on receiving the first fire, their eyes were opened; the cry ran through the ranks, "the Army of the Potomac !" They quailed before the dreaded enemy, and they broke in disorder, leaving 2,000 prisoners and fifteen stands of colors in our hands. The rebels, meanwhile, showed considerable activity on their extreme right, opposite Little Round Top, from which Hood's division strove to drive our men and turn our flank; but they were not successful. A vigorous charge was made upon the enemy, and they were thoroughly repulsed, with severe loss.
For several hours there was entire silence in all directions; Lee was preparing his last great effort; Meade was waiting for the shock. The rebel artillery, nearly 150 guns, was placed on the ridge occupied by Longstreet and Hill, and a few minutes after one o'clock in the afternoon of this eventful day, the portentous silence was broken: Our artillery, which crowned the left and left centre, was not so great in number as that of the enemy, but it was very effective in its important position. For nearly two hours some 250 great guns "belched forth the missiles of death, producing such a continuous succession of crashing sounds as to make us (we quote Professor Jacobs) feel as if the very heavens had been rent asunder,—such as were never equal ed by the most terrific thunderstorm ever witnessed by mortal man. The air was filled with lines of whizzing, screaming, bursting shells and solid
Thus, as the sun was setting, the third day of the great battle was brought to its close. The rebels were beaten; Lee gave up all hope of breaking through Meade's position, and im mediately devoted himself to preparation against assault and for a speedy retreat.* Gen. Meade, in his report,
* Mr. Swinton exercises the office of military critic
RESULTS AT GETTYSBURG.
simply stating that they were "severe." On his retreat he left, at various points along the road, 7,540 wounded to be cared for by our army and people. Gen. Meade took 13,621 prisoners, while the killed, wounded and missing are estimated to be over 20,000; mak
gives his reasons, at large, for not entering instantly, and with his entire force, upon a vigorous pursuit of Lee and his army. The reader, on consulting the report, must judge of the soundness of Meade's conclusions. The cavalry was sent off directly, and on the 12th of July, Meade passed through ing Lee's loss, besides a large number South Mountain, intending to attack of general officers, to be fully one-third Lee the next day near Williamsport; of the entire army with which he so but during the night the rebel general confidently invaded the loyal states. retreated into Virginia, and finally occupied the line of the Rapidan.* Meade's army resumed its position on the Rappahannock.
In speaking of the battle on the 3d of July, Lee uses brief and general terms: "The morning was occupied in necessary preparations, and the battle The losses in the battle of Gettys- recommenced in the afternoon, and burg were painfully severe and heavy. raged with great violence until sunset. Gens. Reynolds, Weed and Zook were Our troops succeeded in entering the killed; Gens. Barlow, Barnes, Butter- advanced works of the enemy, and getfield, Doubleday, Gibbon, Graham, ting possession of some of his batteries; Hancock, Sickles and Warren were but our artillery having nearly expend wounded; while of officers below this ed its ammunition, the attacking corank, and of men, there were 2,834 kill-lumns became exposed to the heavy ed, 13,733 wounded, and 6,643 miss- fire of the numerous batteries near the ing, making an aggregate of over summit of the ridge, and, after a most 23,000. determined and gallant struggle, were compelled to relinquish their advan tage, and fall back to their original positions, with severe loss."
Gen. Lee, for prudential reasons, probably, made no report of his losses,
with some pretentiousness, and certainly with great freedom. As in the case of McClellan at Antietam, so here, in Meade's case, he sharply censures the not pursuing immediately the rebel army and completely rout
ing them, as he holds to have been perfectly possible, if not quite a certainty.-See" Army of the Potomac,"
* Gen. Lee, during his retreat, addressed his troops, July 11th, in which he reminded them of long and trying marches in penetrating the country of the enemy, besought them to think of the glorious past, nerve
themselves for victory, etc. "You have fought," he said, “a fierce and sanguinary battle, which, if not at tended with the success that has hitherto crowned
your efforts, was marked by the same heroic spirit that
has commanded the respect of your enemies, the gratitude of your country, and the admiration of mankind."
It is hardly to be expected that the routed army derived much comfort from such words as these.