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PREPARATIONS FOR DEFENSE.
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were marching toward Pittsburg, and would scale the Alleghanies; then on
That danger, so sudden and awful, seemed
1 This little cut shows the form of block-houses erected along the line of the road, particularly at the bridge
where the railway crossed Gunpowder Creek. These were built of stout hewn logs and pierced for musketry. At the dam of Jones's Falls Creek, about eight miles from Baltimore, where a reservoir, called Swan Lake, is formed, from which Baltimore is supplied with water, palisades, as seen in the annexed engraving, were erected across a road approaching from the westward. These were for the purpose of preventing the invaders, marching from that direction, striking the railway there, or cutting off the supply of water from the city.
The alarm of the loyal people of Baltimore was also great. All the military and many citizens were made busy in erecting fortifications to defend the city against the invaders, while the Secessionists were joyful because of the prospect of soon wel
coming to Baltimore what they were pleased to call “ the deliverers of Maryland.” Lines of intrenchments, with redoubts, were constructed, extending a long distance, 80 as to completely inclose the city on the land side. In that work the colored people, bond and free, bore the brunt of labor. A thousand of these were gathered by the police in one day and put into the ranks of workers.
? As an illustration of the sudden change from perfect confidence to wild alarm, the writer will mention the following occurrence: The Loyal League of Philadelphia had made extensive preparations for a magnificent celebration of the approaching anniversary of our National Independence. The writer was invited to be present as a guest. When the news came that Jenkins had been at Chambersburg and Ewell was in Maryland, he wrote to a leading citizen of Philadelphia, suggesting that the thousands expected at that celebration might be called to a defense of their homes rather than the pleasures of a festivity. In a letter on the 27th, that citizen repelled the idea of any peril, but on the 29th he wrote: “We are in danger. Heaven knows whether we are to be captured. All the town is excitement. We know not what to do!" And a friend who, in a letter two days before, declared there was no danger, wrote on that day, “ I avail myself of your kindness to place under your care a box of merchundise, which you will please put in a dry place.” Even the city of New York was considered unsafe in the last week in June, and for that reason precious things were sent from Philadelphia as far as the writer's home, more than seventy miles up the Hudson River.
HOOKER SUCCEEDED BY MEADE.
* June, 1863.
* June 26.
The remainder of Lee's army, under Longstreet and IIill, crossed the
Potomac on the 24th and 25th,' concentrated at Hagerstown, and
pressed on in the path of Ewell toward the Susquehanna. Informed of this passage, Hooker put his own army in motion, and on the 26th and 27th crossed the river at and near Edwards's Ferry, one hundred thousand strong, having been re-enforced from the defenses around Washington, under General Heintzelman, and from Schenck's Middle Department.' Wishing still further to increase his army, and regarting the post at Harper's Ferry (then garrisoned, on Maryland Heights, by eleven thousand men, under General French) as of little account in the then state of affairs, asked the
General-in-chief" (Halleck), “Is there any reason why Maryland
Heights should not be abandoned after the public stores and property are removed ?" Halleck did not approve of the abandonment of the post, and said so, when Hooker, who had the following day personally inspected French's position, again urged the abandonment of it, saying, the garrison was “of no earthly account” then, and that the stores were only “a bait for the rebels, should they return."? Expecting a compliance with his wishes, he advanced his army to Frederick, in a position to dart through the South Mountain passes, upon Lee's line of communications, or upon his columns in retreat, or to follow him on a parallel line toward the Susquehanna. For this purpose he had ordered General Slocum to march his corps to Ilarper's Ferry to join General French, that their united forces might push up the Cumberland Valley and threaten Lee's rear.
But Halleck would not consent to the abandonment of Harper's Ferry, and the disappointed and irritated Commander of the Army of the Poto
mac telegraphed to the General-in-Chief, saying, “My original
instructions were to cover Harper's Ferry and Washington, I have now imposed upon me, in addition, an enemy in my front of more than my numbers. I beg to be understood, respectfully, but firmly, that I am unable to comply with these conditions with the means at my disposal; and I earnestly request that I may be at once relieved from the position I occupy.” His request was immediately granted, and, by an order issued on the same day, General George G. Meade was directed to assume the command of the army. General Hooker was ordered to Baltimore, there to await commands from the Adjutant-General. Three days passed by, and he heard nothing from Washington, when he proceeded to that city, and was at once arrested by order of Halleck, for visiting the capital without leave, in violation of a rule forbidding officers to do so. This was the end of General Hooker's services in the Army of the Potomac.
That change of chief commanders, in front of an enemy on the eve of an inevitable great battle, was a perilous thing, calculated to demoralize the best disciplined troops. But the Government trusted the men. The veterans of the Army of the Potomac knew, appreciated, and loved Hooker, and were
i General Heintzelman was in command of the Department of Washington, with about 36,000 men, and Schenck's Department east of the Cumberland, included the posts of Harper's Ferry and Winchester. not until Hooker was about to cross the Potomac that Halleck consented to let him have any troops from these Departments. Then he placed the forces in both at his disposal, but only nominally, for, as the text shows, when Hooker was abont to use a portion of these troops in the grand movement against the invaders, Halleck interposed his authority and prevented such use.
? Hooker's telegruphic dispatch to Halleck, June 27, 1863.
LEE'S MARCH OF INVASION CHECKED.
• June 28,
GEORGE G. MEADE.
sadly disappointed, for they knew less of Meade; but, impelled by the love of country, the shadow of regret soon passed from their brows, and they were ready and willing to trust and follow their new commander. To him General Halleck gave permission to use the garrison at Harper's Ferry, according to the dictates of his own judgment. In fact the army was placed under Meade's absolute control, with the assurance of the President that no exercise of executive authority or powers of the Constitution should interfere with his operations in the great emergency. With these extraordinary powers and responsibilities, General Meade prepared to meet General Lee in battle.
On the day when Meade assumed the chief command, Lee, who was about to cross the Susquehanna at Harrisburg, and march on Philadelphia, was alarmed by intelligence of the presence of the Army of the Potomac, in augmented force, threatening his flank and rear, and the demonstrations on his front of the gathering yeomanry of Pennsylvania and troops from other States. He instantly abandoned his scheme of further invasion, and ordered a retrograde movement.
Stuart on the same day crossed the Potomac at Seneca, with a large force of his cavalry, captured men and destroyed property near the river,' and, pushing on to Westminster, at the right of the Army of the Potomac, swept across its front to Carlisle, encountering Kilpatrick on the way, and then followed in the track of Ewell, toward Gettysburg. The latter had been directed to recall his columns, and take position near Gettysburg, the capital of Adams County; and Longstreet and Hill were ordered to cross the South Mountain range in the same direction, and press on by the Chambersburg road, leading through Gettysburg to Baltimore. The object was to keep Meade from Lee's communications, and to concentrate the Confederate Army for either defensive or offensive operations. Lee hoped to be able, by such concentration, to fall upon and crush the Army of the Potomac, and then march in triumph upon Baltimore and Washington. He was nervous about fighting so far from his base, so he chose the vicinity of Gettysburg for that concentration, because, in the event of defeat, he would have a direct line of retreat to the Potomac.
In the mean time General Meade had put his entire army in motion northward from Frederick, for the purpose of arresting the invasion, or meeting and fighting Lee; and General French was directed to evacuate Harper's Ferry, remove the public property to Washington, and occupy Frederick and the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railway. Meade moved on, but it was not until the evening of the 30th, after two marches, that he received correct information of Lee's move
1 He burned 17 canal boats and a train of 175 army
all laden with public stores.
DISPOSITION OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
ments, and his evident intention to give battle in full force. Satisfied of this, Meade issued a short but stirring address to his army, and then sought a good position, where he might easily concentrate his troops, and engage advantageously in the great struggle which he knew was impending. He chose the line of Big Pipe Creek, on the water-shed between the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, southeast of Gettysburg, with the hills at Westminster in the rear. On the night of the 30th, he issued orders for the right wing, composed of General Sedgwick's (Sixth) corps, to take position at Manchester, in the rear of the creek; the center, consisting of Generals Slocum (Twelfth) and Sykes's (Fifth) corps, to move toward Hanover, in advance of the creek, and the left, nearest the foe, under General John F. Reynolds, formerly of the Pennsylvania Reserves, composed of his own (First), Sickles's (Third), and Howard's (Eleventh), to push on toward Gettysburg, and thus mask the forming of the battle-line on Pipe Creek. The Second Corps (late Couch's, and then under Hancock) was directed to take position, with the army head-quarters, at Taneytown, on the road from Emmettsburg to Winchester. Meade's cavalry, in the mean time, was diligently engaged on his front and flanks. Buford's division had moved north
through Middleburg, and, at noon of the 29th,“ occupied Gettys• June, 1863.
burg. At about the same hour, Kilpatrick, with his command, while passing through Hanover, was suddenly and unexpectedly assailed by Stuart (then on his march for Carlisle), who led a desperate charge, in per
son, on the flank and rear of General Farnsworth's brigade, on the common near the railway at the eastern end of the village. A severe battle ensued in the town and on its borders, when General Custer, who had advanced to Abbottsville, returned, and the Confederates were repulsed with the loss of
1 " The enemy are on our soil,” he said ; " the whole country now looks anxiously to this army to deliver it from the presence of the foe; our failure to do so will leave us no such welcome as the swelling of millions of hearts with pride and joy at our success would give to every soldier of this army. Homnes, firesides, and domestic altars are involved. The army has fought well heretofore; it is believed that it will fight more desperately and bravely than ever, if it is addressed in fitting terms. Corps and other commanders are authorized to order the instant death of any soldier who fails in his duty at this hour."
2 This is from a sketch made from the railway, by the writer, a few days after the battle, and represents the open common on the eastern end of the village, near that road. In the buildings, and also in the fence toward the right of the picture, a number of marks made by pistol-balls might then be seen. Here the battle began, and continued down the street seen near the center of the picture.
OPENING OF THE CONTEST AT GETTYSBURG.
a flag and fifty men. Farnsworth lost about one hundred men. The gallant New York Fifth Cavalry, led by Farnsworth and Major Hammond, bore the brunt of battle, and won high commendation.
At this time Gettysburg was the focal point toward which the hostile armies were really tending, and circumstances speedily made the fields about that village the theater of a great battle,' instead of those along the line of Pipe Creek, where Meade expected to fight. Buford, as we have seen,
, entered Gettysburg on the 29th, and on the following evening, Reynolds, commanding the left, was ordered to advance upon it along the Emmettsburg turnpike. At that time the corps of Hill and Longstreet were upon the Chambersburg turnpike, west of Gettysburg, and Ewell was marching down from Carlisle, on the north.
At the hour when Reynolds was ordered to move on Gettysburg, the advance divisions of Hill were lying within a few miles of that town, after a reconnoitering party had ventured to the crest of Seminary or Oak Ridge, only half a mile northwest of the village. That night, Buford, with six thousand cavalry, lay between Hill and Gettysburg, and, at about nine o'clock the next morning," he met the van of the Confederates, under General II. Heth, on the Chambersburg road, near Wil
* July 1, loughby's Run, between Seminary Ridge and the parallel eminence a mile farther west. A skirmish ensued. Reynolds, who had bivouacked at Marsh Creek, a few miles distant, was then advancing with his own corps, followed by Howard's, and having those of Sickles and Slocum within call. The sound of fire-arms quickened his pace, and, at a little past ten o'clock, his advance division, under General Wadsworth, composed of the brigades of Generals Cutler and Meredith, passed rapidly through the village, and over the fields from the Emmettsburg road, under cover of Seminary Ridge, to the relief of Buford, who, by skillful maneuvering, and good use of his horse artillery, had kept the foe in check. Reynolds, who was with his advance, directed Cutler to place his brigade in position, with Hall's battery, on each side of the Chambersburg road and across a railway-grading at a deep cut near. Before this could be accomplished, the advancing Confederates were upon them, when a volley of musketry from the Fiftysixth Pennsylvania, led by Colonel J. W. Hoffman, opened the decisive Battle of Gettysburg, Meredith's “Iron Brigade” was immediately to
I Gettysburg lies on the northern slope of a gentle eminence, known as Cemetery Hill, because on its crown was a public burying-place. Half a mile west of the village is another eminence, called Oak Ridge, and sometimes Seminary Ridge, because a theological seminary of the Lutheran Church stands upon it. About a mile farther west, beyond Willoughby's Run, is a similar ridge, parallel with Oak Ridge. North of the town, also on a gentle slope, is the Pennsylvania College. Southeast from Cemetery Hill, between the Baltimore turnpike and Rock Creek, is Culp's Hill; and beyond the creek, in that direction, is Wolf Hill, a rugged, wooded eminence. Two miles south west of Cemetery Hill is a rocky peak, called Round Top, and near it a rocky hill of less altitade, called Round Top Ridge. This extends, in diminished altitude, to Ziegler's Grove, on Cemetery Hill. North of the town, the country is a rolling plain; and, at a distance of about ten miles southwest of it, is seen the bold outline of the South Mountain range.
? Hill's corps consisted of the divisions of Heth, Pender, and Anderson, the first two containing 10,000 men euch, and the last, 15,000. Longstreet's corps followed, with McLaws's division, 12,000, in advance; Hood's, 12,000; and Pickett's, 7,000; the latter having the wagon-trains of the Confederates in charge. Two divisions of Ewell's corps (Rodes's, 10.000 strong, and Early's, 9,000) had encamped the previous night at Heidlersburg, nine miles from Gettysburg; and his third division, under Edward Johnston, 12,000, was yet at Carlisle. At the hour when the van of each army met, the Union force near was less than 30,000 men, and that of the Confederates was over 70,000.
· Hoffman's regiment was in the second brigade of the first division of the First Army Corps, and was then under the command of Brigadier-General L. Cutler. The Fifty-sixth Regiment was the second in the column