The Richmond Daily Dispatch
July 6, 1863
|Fighting at Spangler's Spring outside Gettysburg.|
The latest: great battle at Gettysburg.
The Yankees Claim not to be Befitted and to have captured Six thousand prisoners.--the Confederates hold the field-yankee General Reynolds and Paul killed — heavy loss of the Federal--the Grand battle expected Friday, &c., &c.
We are indebted to the courtesy of Dr. W. W. McClure. for a Baltimore American of Friday evening last, the 3d inst. It gives the particulars of an important battle fought on Wednesday and Thursday last, between our troops under Generals Longstreet and Hill, and the enemy under Gen. Reynolds, who was killed. We give a summary of the news:
The first day's battle.
The Baltimore American has the following account of the first day's battle:
It appears that at 9 o'clock on Wednesday morning, (the 1st inst.,) the 1st and 11th corps of the Army of the Potomac reached Gettysburg, entering from the East side of the town, and marching directly through to the west side, the cavalry force of the enemy failing back as we advanced. On passing out of the West end of the town, the enemy was observed advancing rapidly from the Chambersburg pike, in line of battle, towards the town, evidently endeavoring to hold an advantageous position commanding the town. The first corps, under Gen. Reynolds, was in the advance, and pushed forward at double quick to secure the advantageous position. The enemy, under Longstreet and Hall, advanced steadily, and in a few minutes a heavy-fire, both of artillery and musketry, was opened along the whole Federal and Rebel lines. The 11th army corps, under Gen. Haward, was also soon in position, and for a time a heavy battle raged. Several charges were made by the enemy to dislodge our forces, all of which were unsuccessful.
At 3 o'clock the enemy massed his entire forces and endeavored to turn our right wing. Gen. Reynolds advanced, to meet them, and a heavy infantry fight ensued, in which both parties suffered severely, volley after of musketry being ponder into the opposing columns with deadly effect. In the charge Maj. Gen, Reynolds fell, mortally wounded, and died soon after being conveyed to Gettysburg. He was as usual, leading his corps, and in the thickest of the fight. Gen. Paul, commanding the 3d brigade of the 1st army corps, was also killed on the field, and Cols. Wistar and Stone severely wounded, and were taken prisoners by the enemy. The field between the contending armies was strewn with the dead and wounded, and it is said that the enemy suffered fully as heavily as we did though it is not known what was their loss in officers.
The offers to flank our right wing entirely failed, and we hold the prominent and commanding position for which the struggle was made at the close of the fight, which for the day about 1 o'clock in the afternoon.--At this time two more corps of Gen. army reached the field, and during the night the main body of our army was in position to meet any demonstrations that the enemy might make in the morning, or to advance on hire, as the Commanding General might decide.--The 1st army corps nobly maintained the position against the effort to flank its right, and fairered for a moment, when its of the enemy. A great and decisive battle was considered imminent, and, not withstanding our severe loss in officers, the advantages of the day were regarded as dividedly with our forces.
The army was in fine condition, full of enthusiasm for the coming battle, and confident of success. General Meads had also, it was thought, concentrated his forces to a greater extent than the enemy, a large portion of whose army was still scattered up through the Cumberland Valley.
Col. Wistar commanded the Pennsylvania "Bucktails," and Col. Stone also commanded a Pennsylvania regiment, and both were in the 2d brigade of the 1st army corps Col. S, at the time of receiving his wound, was acting as Brigadier-General of the brigade. General Newton took command of the 1st army corps on the fall of Gen. Reynolds.
Gen. Paul commanded the 3d brigade of the same corps, and was a most efficient officer.
Some gentlemen connected with the press who arrived here last (Thursday) evening, from Gettysburg, having left before daylight in the morning, represent, the condition of affairs at the close of the fight on Wednesdayevening to have been still more favorable and promising of a successful issue than the previous information we had received. They state that the rebels had held Gettysburg for some time previous to the approach of our army, and had not only occupied but had commenced fortifying the hills west of the town, where they proposed to check our advance towards Chambersburg and the month of the Cumberland Valley.
The movement of Gen. Reynolds and the rapidity with which he advanced after entering the East end of the town took them somewhat by surprise, and he soon obtained the prominent position which the rebels were fortifying. The fighting through the balance of the day was in a futile attempt on their part to regain this important position, from which they were frequently repulsed.
Early in the afternoon both Longstreet and Hill combined their forces for a grand effort to turn our right flank, when Gen. Howard's 11th corps, (the Dutch corps,) which broke and ran at Chancellorsville, dashed in to regard their lost laurels, and most nobly did they repulse these two veteran corps of the rebel army. The repulse was so complete that no further attempt was made by the enemy during the balance of the day, and night closed in with our holding the position chosen by the enemy to give us battle from. The 3d and 12th army corps also came on the field after the last repulse of the enemy, but owing to the fall of Gen. Reynolds, and the lateness of the hour, as well as the exhaustion of the men, and the desire to take care of the wounded, it was determined not to push the enemy for a renewal of the conflict.
When our informant left the field yesterday (Thursday) morning, Gen. Meade had arrived, and the main body of our army was in position, ready to push the enemy so soon as day should dawn.
Gettysburg is just 25 miles east of Chambersburg, over a fine rolling country most of the way, which will doubtless be the scene of the great battle of the rebel invasion.
From one of the officers who came down in charge of prisoners, who arrived last night, who left GettysburgWednesdayafternoon, we have accounts not so favorable as those given by other parties. He describes the fight on that day as rather unfavorable to our arms, and states that the enemy held the field at the close of the day, our forces having fallen back after the fall of Gen. Reynolds; that the attack of the enemy was so sudden and unexpected that both the corps of Hill and Longstreet were for a time engaged with Gen. Reynolds's corps, and that the 11th corps took but little part in the battle.
The Second day's Fighting.
The American learns from parties that left Gettysburg at noonThursday, that up to that time everything was progressing favorably for the Federal arms. It says:
Up to that time they assert that over six thousand prisoners had been captured, and sent to Union Bridge for transportation to Baltimore. At nine o'clock last Light a train with 800 prisoners, the first instalment of those captured, arrived at the Baltimore depot, and shortly after Gen. Schenck announced from his headquarters that those then in Baltimore and at the Relay House, which would soon be in his possession, amounted to 2,360. We learn that nearly 1,000 of these prisoners were captured on Wednesdayevening by the 11th army corps in their gallant charge on Longstreet's corps. They are said to have at first slightly faltered, but their officers cried to them to "remember Chancellorsville," when they into the fight with a fury that was irresistible and the whole line of the enemy gave way before them.
During the early part of Thursday, up to noon, at which hour our informant left, there had been no general battle, though heavy skirmishing had been going on all the morning, resulting in heavy loss to the enemy and the capture of nearly 5,000 prisoners. Is all these skirmishes, which were conducted under the direction of Gen. Meade, our arms were entirely successful; but the enemy studiously avoided a general engagement, and it was thought there would be none before to-day, when it was said to be the intention of Gen. Meade to press the enemy along the whole line.
The prudence and skill displayed by Gen.Meade in the management of his army and the strategy evinced by him in coping with Lee, had already won the confidence of his troops, and his presence along the lines drew forth the strongest demonstrations of attachment. The army evinced a determination to win at all hexardstand and had been strongly impressed by their officers with the dreadful consequences that would ensue to them and the country if a disaster should occur to our arms in the coming conflict.
The enemy was rapidly concentrating his troops yesterday from the Cumberland Valley towards Chambersburg, and General Meade's whole army had reached the field of battle.--If Gen. Couch presses on the enemy down the Valley with his troops from Harrisburg, which is confidently expected, we may look for a glorious result.
The Fighting on Wednesday--further particulars.
A correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer. writing under date of Wednesday, July1, 8 o'clock A. M., says:
This morning, early, the First and Eleventh army corns, which had been during the night encamped near Emmetsburg, advanced — the 1st corps marching in the following order: 1st division, under Gen. Wadsworth; 3d division, Gen Doulileday; these followed by five full batteries under Col. Wareswright; bringing up the rear was the really splendid division of Gen. Robinson--this corps having been in the advance during the whole time of our march from Falmouth, were the first force of infantry to Gettysburg, and to come up with and fight the enemy.
During the day this corps had been under the direction of Gen. Doubleday, Gen Reynolds being in command of the right wing, commission the 1st 3d, 11th and 12th corps.
When come three miles from town, and while quietly marching along, the sound of heavy and rapid cannon firing was heard coming from the direction beyond Gettysburg. Almost at the same instant Capt Mitchell, a gallant aid upon Gen. Reynolds staff came dashing down the road with orders to the various division commanders to push forward their divisions as rapidly as possible. The order was given to double quick, which was the obeyed, and kept up until the intervening space where our batteries were engaged was passed over. These batteries, two in number, were a part of the artillery belonging to General Baford's division; and were stationed some half a mile to the South of the Gettysburg Theological Seminary, while the opposing force were stationed and snuggery entrenched upon the East side of Marsh Creek, and about the same distance from the Seminary as were our own forces — The latter was the first to open fire, and were for a time compelling our batteries to retire from their position. This they were quietly doing, and in good order, when the division of Gen. Wadeworth same to their support the two able regiment, the 2d Wisconsin and 24th Michigan, rushing up and driving from in front of them the infantry force who were making desperate efforts to capture the pieces. When these supports arrived the batteries against took up a commanding position, which they were enabled to hold during the day.
In rear of the position so taken up, and to the right, the division of Gen. Wadsworth was drawn up in line of battle, with the division of General Robinson holding the second were by their partial success in driving from position the batteries, attempted another charge, with the object of seizing the pieces, when the brigades of the 2d division, with fixed bayonet, made a charge upon them, and such as were not killed were taken prisoners. Two entire regiments — a Tennessee and Mississippi regiment — were then bagged.
Immediately after the arrival and going into position of the first corps, the eleventh, under the amiable and brave Gen. Howard, who had been in the rear and marching on the same road as the first made their appearance, marched directly through the town and at once formed a line of battle on the right of the Chambersburg road and some half a mile west of the college, which is located at the extreme end of the town. After some three hours of artillery the rebels commenced to retire. There were massed two infantry corps, and in this formation a pursuit of their retreating column was commenced. After driving them back towards the mountain, something over a mile, soon after four o'clock it was discovered that with an extensive force of infantry and cavalry, they were endeavoring to turn our left flank, with a view probably to get between us and our supply trains. Before this being noticed, and it being evident that our reinforcements, the 3d and 12th corps, who had been anxiously inquired after during the entire day, were not yet up, no other alternative was offered us than to retire to the East of the town, end take up a better position upon the top of a hill and along the line of road leading to . This was done, but in admirable order, no unusual haste being apparent, while at the same time all ammunition and supply wagons as were up to the front were sent to the rear.
A little after 4 o'clock the 3d corps, under command of General Sickles, came upon the field, and went into position upon the left of that hold early in the morning by the 1st corps. The Twelfth, under General Slocomb, as well, arrived about the same time, and were stationed upon the right of the 11th corps. After those two corps, as well as those who had borne the heat and burthen of the day, were formed in battle array, they made an advance, and with but little resistance succeeded in driving the rebels from the town, and back into the position they first occupied early in the morning. In this manner, and in these locations, both armies are resting for the night.
The Second, Fifth, and Sixth Corps are moving this way, and by morning will be up and ready to do battle with us.
While the later mentioned movement was being made, the enemy kept up a continual ruin of shot and shell upon the town, and when ceasing their cavalry dashed through the town, capturing all stray parties there congregated, together with the wounded, who were occupants of, and the surgeons and who were in attendance in, the many hastily organized hospitals there located.--While the firing was in progress some few buildings were set on fire, but the town not being compactly built only such buildings as were struck by the shells were consumed.
A rebel brigade captured.
They also made an effort to capture a wagon train on the left and rear, and in attempting this movement nearly a whole brigade of rebels were captured, among them Brigadier General Archer, of the Rebel Army, formerly of the United States Army.
So rapidly were the relics reinforced with fresh troops in their attempt to turn the left of the corps, that it obliged the order to be given to fall back a distance of perhaps a mile, fighting the whole time.
Gen. Reynolds killed.
While personally gallantly leading the first bayonet charge made by Gen. Wadsworth's division, the noble, popular and gallant Major General John F. Reynolds received a wound which, in less than hour's time, resulted in death. The missile which robbed us of one of the brightest ornaments of our army, as well as one of us bravest and most useful members, was the sharp- pointed Minnie rifle ball, it having entered the back of the neck, coming out at the temple.
Among other prominent officers killed is found the name of Gen. Paul. Gen. Wadzworth is severely wounded. Gen. Robinson, for the third time, had a horse shot under him. While among the names of officers of less rank who are more or loss wounded, are found these of Col. Bales, of the 12th Massachusetts; Col. Leonard, of the 13th Massachusetts; Col. Faireuild, of the 2d Wisconsin; Col. Root, of the 94th New York; Capt. Rob. Williams, of the 12th Massachusetts; Lt. Thomas, Acting Aid to Gen. Baxter; Capt. Case. Hovey, of the 12th Mass. Aid to Gen. Robinson, and Adj't. Weaver, 9th Penn.
Among those captured are the names of Dr. Nordguist, Medical Director of Robinson's division, and Capt. Fred Gerker, of Philadelphia, of the same division. In the confusion occasioned by the charge of cavalry, and our approach to many hospitals being cut off, it is impossible to obtain a correct list of casualties. Our losses, though, are enormously heavy, especially among field and line officers. Neither are we warranted in guessing how seriously the rebels have suffered.
Of the rebels nothing definite as to their numerical strength is here positively known; at least, if known, is not stated, some placing their entire strength in Pennsylvania at 80,000, others at 125,000.
Our scouts report that to-night Hill is reinforcing the enemy, and that they are miring down the mountain by three different roads.--Their position to-day was one of unusual excellence, and selected with the same eye to natural defence and arrange which has ever characterized them — upon the side of a broad running stream, and with a high mountain back of them; their artillery upon the bill side in a position one above the other, like seats in the parquette of a theatre.
The Federal Gen. Reynolds.
The Federal General, John Fulton Reynolds, who was killed in the battle at Gettysburg, on Wednesday last, was born in Lancaster, Pa., and at the age of 17 entered the Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1841, just, 21 years of age, and received a commission as brevet 2d Lieutenants in the Third Artillery. In the Mexican war he was brevetted Captain and Major for gallant conduct in the battles of Monterey and Linda Vista. Subsequently he was an Aid de-Camp to Gen. Wool In 1855 he was promoted to a full Captaincy in his regiment, and served with some distinction in the severe battles with the Oregon Indians in 1856.
In August, 1861, he was appointed to the rank of Brigadier General of Volunteers, and took command of one of the three brigades of the Pennsylvania Reserves, under Gen. McCall, the other two being under command of Gen. Meade, now in command of the Yankee Army of the Potomac, and Gen. Ord, who recently succeeded Gen. McClernand at Vicksburg. With this division Gen. Reynold took part in nearly all the great battles in Virginia. Having been sent down to the Peninsula and marched to the front around Richmond, he was posted with his brigade on the extreme right of the Federal line, and, with McCall and Meade, sustained the first onslaught on McClellan's army at Mechanicville. He was in all of the seven days fight around this city, except the engagement at Malvern Hill, having the day previous been taken prisoner with General McCall and brought to this city.
After his release he took command of the division of Pennsylvania reserves and led them in Pope's disastrous campaign. Soon after the close of that campaign he was communed by the Governor of Pennsylvania to the command of the militia raised for the defence of that State in September, 1862. When Gen. Lee recrossed the Potomac Reynolds rejoined his command in the Federal army and marched with Fredericksburg, where he was subsequently advanced to the command of the first army corps, having meanwhile been made Major General by Lincoln. He commanded that corps in the fights at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He is represented by the Northern press to have been a thorough, accomplished, and brave soldier.
The Confederate Evacuation of Chambersburg — a portion of the place Sunny.
The Confederates evacuated Carlisle,Pa., on the morning of the 1st inst., leaving on the Baltimore pike. During their stay they on the place for 25,000 the bacon, 100 sacks salt, 1,500 bbls flour, 5,000 lbs. each of and sugar, 25,000 lbs dried fruit, 25 bbls violanses, 300 ounces quinine, 90 lbs.50 lbs. opium, &c., which they "generally took what they wanted." They destroyed the railroad. bridge at the place, and among other outrages, Gen. Jenkins had the Manor Hotel searched, and a cold lucky for his dinner. An "impudent female rebel spy" informed on the cold --had a regular mail communication with it mond while they occupied the town, and two mails were distributed. After they left in the morning, Gen. Smith (Federal) occupied; the place in the evening but a force of the retable returned, and by shelling the place burnt the U. S. barracks and the gas house.