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CAMPAIGN OF GETTYSBURG-PURSUIT OF LEE-FIRST FIGYT AT GETTYSBURG
DEATH OF REYNOLDS-HOWARD ESTABLISHES HIMSELF ON CEMETERY HILL
HAXCOCK SENT FORWARD TO SELECT A BATTLE-FIELD-THE SELECTION OF
CEMETERY HILL-RAPID CONCENTRATION OF THE ARMY--THE PREPARATION
--RETREAT OF LEE-BOTH ARMIES MARCH FOR THE POTOMAC-SUCCESS OF
KILPATRICK-SERVICE OF THE CAVALRY---TIIT POTOMAC SWELLED BY THE
RAINS-LEE HELD A WEEK ON THE NORTHERX BANK:-STRANGE INACTION
THE REBEL ARMY ESCAPESZTHE PYRSUIT---CLOSE OF THE CAMPAIGN.
THEN Meade took command of the army, Lee was
well advanced into the interior, and he immediately followed after him. The latter was very
The latter was very anxious respecting his cominunications, and sent Ewell eastward from Chambersburg, to cross the South Mountain. Early's division moved east as far as York, on the inhabitzuts of which he levied a large sum of money, while the rest of the corps kept on to Carlisle. Lee now determined to move upon Harrisburg. but on the night of the 29th, hearing that Meade was well across the Potomac, and had advanced as far as the South Mountain, threatening his communications, he determined to concentrate his army east of the mountains, and Long. street and Hill were directed to march from Chambersburg to Gettysburg, to which point, also, Ewell was ordered to hasten from Carlisle. The reports of these movements having reached Meade, he ordered Reynolds, with the First, Eleventh and Third Corps, to move forward and occupy the place. On the arrival of the latter, he found Buford's save
alry fighting fiercely with Hill, who was pouring his columns through the mountains, on the Cashtown road. Moving promptly around the town; he deployed his advance division, and marched steadily and sternly on the enemy, and at the same time sent back a courier to Howard, with the Eleventh Corps, to hurry forward. The conflict had hardly commenced, when Reynolds fell, mortallý wounded, and the command of the First Corps devolved on Doubleday. In the meantime, at half-past eleven, Howard arrived on the field, and took chief command. The enemy were now pushed vigorously, and Doubleday handsomely entrapped and took prisoners an entire rebel brigade. The Eleventh Corps gallantly redeemed its fair fame lost at Chancellorsville, and Hill was getting severely punished, when, at two o'clock, the banners of Ewell's Corps were seen advancing to the field, along the York road, outflanking Howard's line of battle. The latter had, as he advanced to the attack, left Steinwehr's division, with its artillery, on Cemetery Ridge, in rear on the town, and when he found it necessary to fall back, with great forethought he sent to the same commanding position some more guns, ap, thus, almost by chance, and to protect himself from defeat, fixed the grand central point of the mighty battle that was to decide the campaign.
When the tidings of Reynolds' fall reached Meade, he immediately dispatched Hancock to represent him on the field, saying, as he departed, “If you find a good place to fight there, let me know." The latter arrived on the ground only to find the army in confused retreat, and Howard rallying his forces behind Cemetery Hill. The enemy poured tumultuously through Gettysburg in fierce pursuit, and captured some twenty-five hundred of our troops. But as they approached the ridge, they were met by a fierce artillery fre, inud, after struggling a while to make head against it, full back, anů, night coming on, the conflict ended. Stuart,
with his cavalry, which had been following Hookerin Virginia, when the latter crossed the Potomac, crossed further down, so that he was at this time between Meade, and Washington and Baltimore.", His presence in this region created the wildest consternation, and the streets of the former place were barricaded, and the citizens summoned to defend the place. This isolated position of his, however, was of incalculable advantage to us, for had he been present with Ewell's .corps on this day, the battle of Gettysburg, in all human probability, would never have been fought.
When Hancock reported the state of affairs to Meade, and the position which Howard had selected, he immediately resolved to give battle at that point, and, having dispatched swift riders to the different corps, with orders for them to march with the utmost speed to Gettysburg, he himself set out, and reached the place a little after midnight. Lee, all this eventful night, was also concentrating his army, bat, being ignorant of Meade's movements, he advanced cautiously, and all too slowly for himself. One west, and the other east of the Cumberland Mountains which separated them, the mighty columns of the two armies pressed forward, all that warm July night, towards the great battle-field of the morrow. But how unequal were the prospects! Lee was hurrying on to find a place on which to fight; while Meade, not by his own foresight, but by the foresight of Providence, had selected his, which seemed by that same Providence made on purpose for the rebel host to break itself to pieces against. The defeat and retreat of the day bud forced this position on us, which, if held by the rebels instead of us, would in all probability have reversed the fortunes of that great and vital campaign.
THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.
The morning of the 2nd of July, lit up a strange and thrilling scene around that hitherto quiet inland town, the inhabitants of which, a few hours before, little thought that one of the mightiest battles of the war, and of the age,
would be fought there. No teams of the farmer were moving that day. The swath in the harvest-field lay where it had fallen the evening before. The streets and the door-yards were filled with pale and anxious men and women, and all was expectation--save that the unconscious herds grazed quietly in the fields, and the summer birds sang merrily as ever among
green tree-tops. But these things were unheeded amid the mighty preparations on either side. The steady tramp, tramp, of the arriving columns, with streaming banners, and load, defiant music—the heavy rumbling of artillery carriages, as they swept in long and ominous rows on the field—the pealing of bugles, the galloping of horsemen hither and thither, and all the fearful preparations necessary when two hundred thousand men are about to close in fierce and mortal combat, absorbed all minor interests, and made that July morning appear to those inhabitants solemn as the ciosing day of time.
As soon as daylight had revealed the landscape distinctly, Meade was in the saddle, and rode all over his position, to take in its capabilities, and arrange the location of his troops. His
eye rested on the rebel army, marshaling in the distance, and ever and anon turned anxiously along the roads over which his own brave troops were coming. They were pressing forward at the top of their speed, brigade on brigade and division on division, till, by seven o'clock, the Second and Fifth Corps, and the balance of the Third, had reached the field, and at once marched to their appointed
POSITION OF THE ARMY.
places. Far back, many a weary mile, panting over the dusty roads, was the gallant Sixtb, with the noble Sedgwick at its head, straining every nerve to reach the point of danger. It had started at nine o'clock in the evening, and all night long swept forward as though on a race for life. Thirty-two miles lay between it and Gettysburg, to which the urgent order of Meade was hurrying it. It accomplished the whole distance by two o'clock in the afternoon.
Our line of battle, when completed, extended for nearly five miles along a row of heights which receded to the right and left from Cemetery Hill, that stood boldly out in front, overlooking Gettysburg, and field and woodland beyond. The line was in shape something like a horse-shoe. The right was strongly protected by Wolf's and Culp's hills, very steep and difficult of ascent, while Howard, with the Eleventh Corps, held the center. At his right, across the road, ob another hill, was the First Corps Next to him, completing the right, was the Twelfth Corps, under Slocum. On the left of Cemetery Hill, was Hancock's Second Corps; next to him, the Third Corps, under Sickles—forming the left, until the arrival, in the midst of the battle, of the Fifth Corps, under Sykes. Thus stood the Union army on Thursday afternoon
In Lee's army, Ewell occupied the left, Hill the center, and Longstreet the right. He had not designed to give battle unless attacked, when he could choose his own position, but finding himself suddenly confronted by Meade, and doubtless encouraged by the previous day's success, he . determnined to try the issue in a bold assault on our strong position. His army was concentrated first, and had he moved earlier to the assault, before the arrival of the Fifth and Sixth Corps, he might, perhaps, have carried our position. But the "stars fought against him."
Thinking that if he could drive back our left, he could more easily assail the higher position of Cemetery Hill, he