Thomas E Jenkins.

Gettysburg in war and in peace online

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^be (5reatc0t Battle of nl^o^crn ^imce*








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., l>v JOHN COX'S SON S . .


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'T IS 2s OT our jvarpose or desire to publish
in this volume any extended or graphic
account of the vvorld-famed Battle of Gettysburg.
The record of that terrible carnage has long since
found a fitting place u]ion the pages of American history.
In the annals of warfare the battle of Gettysburg is justly
termed " the greatest conflirt of modern times." The name
of Gettysburg has been brought froni rural obscurity to
world-wide celeljrity. The battle was equal in magnitude,
desperation, liuman slaughter, and in the vast interests which coidd
be decided only by the result, to any recorded in history.

The heroism of the American soldier has won (as it so well de-
served,) tlie applause and admiration of the world. Xow in the
days of tranquil peace, with our country united, prosperous and
wonderfully progressive, we are a nation of patriotic citizens. It
is that same patriotism that prompts and encourages us to visit the
scenes and localities now dedicated and consecrated to the perpetua-
tion of American valor, there to do homage to the memory of our
fallen kindred of the "blue" or the "grey," who, inspired by an
intuitive sense of duty, sacrificed all — home, friends, position and
life itself — in defense of the cause they thought was right. Let
not one thought or bitter prejudice suggest the i)assions of that
awful conflict. The Avar is over, and with it should terminate every
semblance of hatred and every recollection of individual sacrifice.
Therein exists the evidence of true patriotism, without which the
soldier's valor must be devoid of earnestness and manly courage.

Peace reigns supreme, and now in friendship true,
United are the " boj-s " who wore the grey and blue.
Each valiant hero of that sturdy fight
Fought nobly for the cause he thought was right.

— 4 —

In the C()nij)iluti(in of tlii.s volun.c \\( have nitulc a curei'nl
research of the works ol' the ln'st autlioriiius, ami likewise ri'ceived
official inl\)niuition from the War l><'|»artiin'iit at A\'as]iingtoii. We
are not historians. In thai ])oi-ii(iii of oiii- work ri'fci-i-iii,y to the
Battle of Gettysburg it i.s oiii- desire to present in brief and con-
densed form sucli informaLion as will likely })rove interesting to
expectant visitors to the ])attlefield. How to reach the locality of
the famous three-days' liglit is a question which necessarily concerns
the traveler, by whom the guarantee of comfort and convenience i3
always earnestly considered. This question Avas solved by the AYest-
ern Maryland IJailroad in the completion of the Gettysburg Short
Line (Tape-Worm JRailroad) in the Spring of 188!). The new road
opens a short, direct and ])anoramic route to the battlefield from
points West, South and Southwest, via Hagerstown. From Phila-
delphia and Washington the Western Maryland lioute, via Balti-
more and Emory Grove, is too well known to retjiiire elaborate
comment. The entire ride presents a changeful series of nature's-
most enchanting pictures.

If in the publication of this little work we succeed in intelli-
gently demonstrating the advantages and conveniences of the two
routes to the Battlefield of Gettysburg as offered ])y the Western
Maryland l^ailroad, then our sole ])urpose shall have be(^n attained.






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— 5 —

Jt?e Jou;^ of Gettysbijn?.


ETTYSBURG IS pleasantly situated at the base
of South Mountain, in a fertile plain be-
tween the ridges of Cemetery Hill on the south-
h ^^^L li '^^■^st 4nd Seminary Ridge on the west, and is sur-
rounded ]jy a cluster of low hills forming the
^^«j background to a Ijroad expanse of rich valleys
teeming with cultivation. Its geographical posi-
tion is about seven miles north of the State line
dividing Maryland and Pennsvlvania. The site
of Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, was
originally located by thrifty German colonists in
1 779, (just three years following the declaration
of American independence). The town was
founded by James Getty in 1780, became the
county-seat in 1800, and was incorporated in 1807.
The population of Gettysburg at the time of the
battle was about 1500 inhabitants.

In the early Spring of 1863, the question of invasion, if con-
sidered at all, was deemed most improbable. It must be remem-
bered that battlefields are not selected by choice or favor. Various
iind sometimes unexplainable circumstances and conditions lead
contending armies to wage disastrous warfare Avhen and where
least expected. Gettysburg, however, may be justly considered an
exception, for the direct causes which led to the culmination of
the great battle were not only anticipated within reasonable time
for preparation and resistance, but a conflict itself must naturally
have been expected in that vicinity by reason of the advance of
the Confederates bevond the boundary of Mason and Dixon's line.




!•«%■ Sj


\ I /he question is often asked by tlie visitor to tlie buttlefielJ liow
&j^ was it possible to gather and concetitrate the strength of
two great armies in the vicinity of Gettysburg within such a
limited time? How was it accomplished? In order to intelligently
comprehend the one important fact bearing upon this (piesticn, the
reader has but to remember tliat the Army of Xorthern Virginia,
commanded by Gen. Lee, was marching northward for the purpose
of invading Pennsylvania. It was the one great ambition of Lee's
life that the final result of the issue should be decided upon Xorth-
ern soil. The South had already suffered terrible devastation, and
it was deemed expedient that hostilities should cease, at least
temporarily, in Southern territory.

In the latter part of the niontli of June, 1S63, after the
battle of C'hancellorsville, Lee's army crossed the Potomac river.
The forces were divided into three corps, commanded hj Gens.
Ewell, Hill and Longstreet. The advance continued up the
Cumberland Valley, a portion of the command proceeding to a
point on the Susquehanna opposite Harrisburg. Another di-
vision, commanded l)y Gen. Early, had iu tlie meantime reached
Chambersburg after a tedious and hazardous march. This di-
vision crossed the South Mountain, and arrived near Gettys-
burg on the morning of June 2(5th, 18(Jo. Early's })roject
was to join the forces of Lee, then gathered on the banks of
the Susquehanna. AVith tliis determination. Gen. Early ad-
vanced his troops northward, jjroceeded to York, and con-
tinuing his advance, attemjited to cross the Susquehanu;i, at
Wrightsville, but Avas frustrated by the Federals burning the


]()im bridge coniit'cting Wriglitsvilk- uixl ('(iluml)iu. fJcnerul
Let- iK'ing tints ;»]»])ris(Ml of tlie ra])id advunoc of the Cnion forces,
withdrew his (•ominaiid and jiroceeded soutliward. It was at this
time that (ieii. Lee h-anied that liis eo-o])cration with Kiehiiioiid
was iiilereeptetl : ill iH'taliation lie resolved tcj unite his forces and
threaten Ikiltiinon'. Concentrating his entire command at (Jettvs-
Iniru", lu' decided to move southward without delay. This movement
of tlu' Army of Northern ^'irginia was entirely unexpected by the
Federal forces. Gen. Meade supposed the army of Lee to be concen-
trated at the vicinity of Harrisburg and along the ^^usquehanna.
To check its further advance, he spread out his command to cover a
sweeping stretch of territory, and in this position marched onward
toward the river. The futility of the movement can readily l)e un-
derstood, foi- whilst the Federal forces Mere gradually becoming
scattered and separated, the Confederate commands were gathering
in strength in the vicinity of Gettysburg. AVe shall now follow the
course of the Union army in its pursuit of Lee's command after
the battle of ( 'hancellorsville.

The advance of the Federal forces toward the field of Gettys-
burg, from June ^Gth to July 1st, LS63, was mainly to oppose the
invasion of Lee's army, which had already reached the borders of
Pennsvlvania. The approach to Gettysburg of the various brigades,
divisions and corps as here exiilained are similarly described in the
official reports of the Adjutant General's Department, compiled
under the direction of Brigadier General Eichard C. Drum and
l)ublished in the records of the Gettysburg campaign.

June :20, LS63 — Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac
moved from Fairfax Court House. Va., to Poolesville, Md.; the First
Corps from Harnesville to Jefferson, Md.; the Second Corps from
Gum Springs, Va., to the north side of the Potomac at Edward's
Ferrv; the Third Corps from the mouth of the ]\Ionocacy to Point
of Eocks, ]\Id.; the Fifth Corps from Aldiu, Va., via Carter's Mills,
Leesburg and Fdward's Ferry, to within 4 miles of the mouth ()f the
]\Ion.ocacv, Mtl.: the Sixth Corps from Germantown and C^entreville

— 10 —

to Di-aiii'svillc. \:i.: ilie- Klrveiitli ('orp.s IVuiu .Te'litTsoii to Middle-
town. MA.: tliL' 'I'wrirtli ('or]».s froiii Lee.sbur^, \'n,^ via Edward"?
Forrv. to the inoutli of tlie ^[ouocacy, ^Id.: and tlie Cavalry Corps
(Hnford's and Crregg's Divisions) from Aldie to Leesbuig, Va.
Staliel's Cavalry Division was cii rouJr l)etweeu the Potomac and
Frederick, Md. Crawford's l^'imsylvania Iieserves ]nov('(l from
Vienna to Goose Creek. Va

Comlxds: Skirmish near (K'ttysbiirg. Pa.

June 27 — Headquarters Army of tlie Potomac moved from
Poolesville to Frederick, Md.; the First Corps from Jefierson to^Iid-
dletown, Md.; the Second Corps from near Edward's Ferry, via Pooles-
ville, to Baniesville, Md.; the Third Corps from Point of Rocks,
via Jefferson, to ]\Iiddletown, Md.; the Fiftli Corps from a point be-
tween Edward's Ferry and the month of the Monocacyto Ballinger's
Creek, near Frederick, ]\Id.; the Sixth Corps from Dranesville, A'a.,
via Edward's Ferry, to near Poolesville, Md.; the Twelfth Corps
from near the month of the Monocacy, via Point of Eocks, to Knox-
vilk'. Md.; Bnford's Cavalry Division from Leesburg, Va., via Ed-
Avard's Ferry, to near Jefferson, Md.; Gregg's Cavalry Division from
Leesburg. Va.. via Edward's Ferry, toward Frederick, ]\Id.; and the
Artillery Peservc from Poolesville to Frederick, Md. Stahel's
Cavalry Division reached Frederick, Md. Crawford's Pennsylvania
Reserves moved from Goose Creek, A'a., via Edward's Ferry, to the
moutli of the Monocacy, Md.

( Uinihiiis : Skirmish near Fiiirfax Court Plonse, Va.

Jniw ■•*S — The First Corps marched from Middletown to Fred-
erick ; the Second Corps from Barnesville to Monocacy Junction :
the Third Cor})s* from Aliddletown to near AVoodsborough ; the
Sixth Corps from near Poolesville to Hyattstown ; the Eleventh
Cor})s from Middletown to near Frederick, and the Twelfth Corps
from Knoxville to Frederick. Buford's Cavalry Division moved
from near Jefferson to Middletown; Gregg's Cavalrv Div



*^Iaj. (tcii. I). E. Sickles resumed command of the Third Corps, relievx.
ing ^laj. (tC'ii. D. I>. Birney, wiio hail Ijeen lemporariiy in command.

— 11 —

reached Frederick and marched thence to New Market and Kidge-
ville. Crawford's Pennsylvania Reserves marched from the mouth
of the Monocacy and joined the Fifth Corps* at Ballinger's Creek.
StaheFs Cavalry Division was assigned to the Cavalry Corps, as the
Third Division, under Brig. Gen. Jndson Kilpatrick, with Brig.
Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth commanding the First Brigade and Brig.
Gen. Geo. A. Custer commanding, the Second Brigade.

Conibcds: Skirmishes between ()ff'utt"s Cross-Roads and Seneca,
and near Rockville, Md., and at Fountain Dale, Wrightsville, and
near Oyster Point, Pa.

June 2f) — Headquarters Army of the Poiomac moved from Fred-
erick to Middleburg; the First and Eleventh Corps from Frederick
to Emmitsburg; the Second Corps from Monocacy Junction, via
Liberty and Johnsville, to Uniontown ; the Third Corps from near
Woodsborough to Taneytown ; the Fifth Corps from Ballinger's
Creek, via Frederick arid Blount Pleasant, to Liberty; the Sixth
Corps from Hyattstown, via New Market and Ridgeville, to New
Windsor; the Twelfth Corps from Frederick to Taneytown and
Bruceville ; Gamble's (^First) and Devin's (Second) Brigades of
Buford's (First) Cavalry Division, from Middletown, via Boons-
'borough, Cavetown and Monterey Springs, to near Fairfield; Mer-
ritt's Reserve Cavalry Brigade, of the same Division, from Middle-
town to Mechanicstown ; Gregg's (Second) Cavalry Division from
New Market and Ridgeville to New Windsor; Kilpatrick's (Third)
Cavalry Division from Frederick to Littlestown ; and the Artillery
Reserve from Frederick to Bruceville.

Combats.: Skirmishes at Muddy Branch and Westminster, Md.,
and at McConnellsburg and near Oyster Point, Pa.

June 30 — Headquarters Anny of the Potomac moved from
Middleburg to TaneytoAvn ; the First Corps from Emmitsburg to
Marsh Run; the Third Corps from Taneytown to Bridgeport; the

*Maj. Gen. George C. Meade relinquished command of the Fifth.
Corps to Maj. Gen. Geo. Sykes, and assumed command of the Army of
the Potomac, relieving 3Iaj. Gen. .Joseph Hooker.

— V'i —

Fil'lli Corps froiii Liberty, via .Idhiisv ill.-. I'liiun Uridine ami riimn,
tt' riiioii ^lills; ihc Sixtli Corps from Xew "Wiiid^^or to ^^Iiuichestvr;
tlif 'J'woli'th C;ori).s IVoni Tuueytovvii ami ]>riiceville to Littiestowii ;
(Jaml)lc's and Doviii's Brigades, of Pniford's Cavalry Division, from
near l-'airlield. \ ia Kiiimitsburg, to (iettysburg; Cregg's Cavalry
Division IVoiii \e\v Windsor to Westminster, and tlience to Man-
chester; Ivilpatrick's Cavalry Division from Littlestovvn to Hanover;
and the Artillery Ileserve from Hrueeville to Taneytown : Kenly's
and .Morris" brigades, of French's Division, left ^laryland Heights
I'm- l''i\'derick, and Elliott's ami Smith's Brigades, of the same Divi-
sion, moved from the Heights, liv wav of the Chesapeake and Ohio
Canal, for Washington.

Combatu: Action at Hanover, Pa. Skirmishes at Wesrminster,
Md.. and at l'"airlield and Sporting Hill, near Harrisburg.

■J 1(1 11 1 — First Corps moved from ^larsh Hun: Eleventh Corps
from Emmitsburg to Gettysburg; Second Corps from Uniontown,
via Taneytown, to the vicinity of Gettysburg ; Third Corps from
Bridgeport, via Emmitsburg, to the field of Gettysburg; Fifth
Corps from Tnion ]\Iills, via Hanover and McSherrystown. to
Bonaughtown ; Sixth Corps from Manchester to Gettysburg;
Twelfth Cor})S from Littlestown to the field of Gettysburg.
Gregg's Cavalry Division marched from Mancliester to Hanover
Junction; Huey's Brigade returned to Milnchester ; Ivilpatrick's
Cavalry Division moved from Hanover to Berlin: Hansom's and
Fitzhugh's Artillery Heserves marched froiu Taneytown to a point
in the vicinity of Gettysburg; Standard's Vermont Brigade were
ordered from the defences of Washington and joined the First
Corps on the field of Gettysburg; Smith's First Division of the
Department of the Susquehanna marched from the vicinity of
Harrisburg to Carlisle, and Kenly's and Morris' Brigades of
French's Division readied Frederick en, rovfe to Gettysburo-.

u —

J\)e pirst Day's pi^l^t.

JULY 1ST, 1863.






(TTs STATED in the introductory of this little work, it is not our
/iX purpose or desire to present in these pages a, detailed account
of the great Battle of Gettysburg. We have sifted and in-
vestigated a vast accumulation of data, selecting the jiith and sub-
stance of facts likely to prove interesting to the reader, who has
neither ])atience nor inclination to delve into an elaboration of war
history. As our research has been careful, precise and complete,
we feel justified in claiming that the information herein j^resented
is authentic ; if not, then the true history of that awful battle has
yet to be written.

The determination of Lee to threaten Baltimore was thwarted.
The progress of his army was practically impossible without en-
countering the Union forces. In the early morning of July 1st,
(ieneral Hill, following the course of Early, advanced toward the
low ridges about two miles north and Avest of Gettvsburg, and there
met Buford's f'avalry j)0sted in a commanding i)osition on the low
iiills and in the fields adjacent the Chambersburg road bevond
tSeminary Kidge. Buford's skirmish line extended from the inter-

— 15 —

section of Millerstown road and Willoughby Run, thence on the
left bank of that stream crossing- Mnmniasburg, Carlisle and Plar-
risburg jikes. The positions thus occupied ]iractically covered all
l)oints of the enemy's approach. The guns of Buford's light bat-
teries were planted to cover the roads likely to be used in the first
advance of the Confederates. It was Heth's Division of Hill's
Corps that opened the attack. The great Battle of Gettysburg Avas
inaugurated. A sharp and determined skirmish fire had been main-
tained for nearly an hour, when Heth's Division was reinforced by
the ai'rival of artillery, which at once opened lire on Buford's bat-
teries. The combat raged Avith terrific earnestness. The shrieking
shot, the bursting shell and the deafening boom of the great guns
added consternation and ten'or to the awful scene. The situation
was desperate. Buford's gallant command was greatly outnumbered
at tlie beginning of the conflict ; he anxiously awaited reinforce-
ments, without which a crisis would soon ensue. Gen. Reynolds,
away in advance of his corps, brought the encouraging assurance to
Buford that aid would soon be given. He directed Buford to main-
tain his position, and determined to concentrate the entire right
wing of the army at the scene of the contest. Cutler's Brigade of
Wadsworth's Division, (First Corps), led the advance in the rein-
forcement of Buford's Cavalry. The 76th and 147th New York
and the 56th Pennsylvania went with Wadsworth to the right of the
Confederate line and north of the old Tape-Worim Railroad.*
The 14:th Brooklyn and the 95th New York, together with Hall's
Maine Battery, occupied a position south of the Tape- Worm Rail-
road grading. The battery was located on the Chambersburg pike.
The infantry of Cutler's Brigade at once engaged in action. Gen.
Doubleday, with the remaining regiments of the First Corps,
arrived upon the scene and checked the advance of the Confederate
lines on the Fairfield and Hagerstown roads. The Ii*on Brigade,
commanded by Col. Morrow, of the 21:th Michigan, attacked the
Confederate force of Archer's Brigade, Third Corps. This attack
had scarcely commenced when the 2d Wisconsin, under Col. Fair-

*Now the Western Maryland's "Gettysburg Shout Line."

— lb —

tii'M. (lashcil ii|Miii the right ihuik of Arclu;r*s c(tiiiiiiaml, caiiluring
ArclKT and iicafly a tliousaiid of his men. During tlic charge of
the Iron liriguJe, Genenil lleyuolds was. killed. Ik* was sitting
on liis horse near the edge of a wood in consultation with his staff.
He is su])])Osed to have been shot by a ('onfederate sluirpshooter
secretcil ill the adjacent woods.

Gen. I ><iiihled,iv now assumed conuiiand. Cutler's Brigade
had been forced Ijack toward Gettysburg. Their retreat was
checked by the prompt action of Doul»leday, who sent reinforce-
ments to engage the enemy. At noon a lull in the battle occurred.
It was a welcome relief. Hetli reorganized his sliattered forces.
The Federals were reinforced by Pender's Division and two divi-
sions of tlie First Corps, under Eowley and Eobinson. The battle
again commenced Avith renewed determination on both sides. The
Confederates were soon encouraged by the arrival of Ewell witli
Stonewall dackson's veterans. The veterans secretly occupied every
available position not directly exposed to the Union line. When,
however, the effects of their telling fire revealed their hiding places,
Devin's Cavalry drove them temporarily from their stronghold. At
1 P. M. Gen. Howard arrived upon the field and took command,
relieving Gen. Doubleday. Vigorous and repeated assaults were made
against the First and Eleventh Corps by Gens. Ewell and Hill, whose
united commands numbered about 50,000. The Union forces were
driven back toward (rettysburg. The retreat Avas orderly and delib-
erate, until the town was reached, but once Avithin the narroAV con-
fines of the streets the rapid fire of the Confederate batteries dealt
terrible destruction, especially in the rear of the retreating Federals.
Confusion jirevailed, over 1,200 Federals Avere made prisoners i)i less
than half an hour. All Avho escaped took u]) a strong position on
Cemetery Hill. The Confederates occupied the tOAvn. Thus ended
the battle of July 1st, 1863.

The results of the first day's battle may Ije briefiy sunnned up
as follows

The odds Avere greatly against the Union forces in the number
of men engaged in the conflict. The Federals ended the day



— IS —

(ii.<l)iiitc(L (liix.'ii liDiii llu'ir jiosiiidiis aixl almost disorgaiii/A'd Ijy a
})a!iic. 'riic Cunl't'tleralL'S muiv in a coiKlition ol' (.'Xiiltuiit excite-
iiieiit, and st'ciiicd t-agt-r to ivJU'W lliu contest, liest lor the Aveary
soldiri's, Ibr one briid" nigiit, ])t'rhap,s to be tlioir last on earth.
Only a few hours ix'sjiitc tVoni scenes of death and desolation.
Tliouglils tiirninL;' honu-ward, picturing the forms and faces of
lovi'd ones, who might never again gaze u])on the features of hus-
band, father or l)rother. In the stilhiess of that solemn lught
the soldier's jtrayi'i' was uttered in earnest sup})licatiou for ])eace
and lionie. The true soldier is not lie who revels in a victory of
blood and destruction, l)ut i-allur is he the hero Avho glories in
the restoration of jjcuce, and rejoices because the war is over.

19 —

J\)e Second Day's pi^t?t.

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Online LibraryThomas E JenkinsGettysburg in war and in peace → online text (page 1 of 8)