Friday, October 7, 2016

HISTORY AS IT HAPPENED -- Richmond Gets More News of Gettysburg

Private Samuel T. Cowley, Co. A, 2nd Va. Inf.  fought at
the  Battle of Gettysburg, Pa. (Liljenquist Family Collection,
Library of  Congress)

[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 7, 1863]
Latest from the North. The great battle at Gettysburg.
     The fight of Thursday--the battle renewed--three Yankee Generals killed and four wounded only 1,600 Confederate prisoners taken — the Confederates hold Gettysburg.
We have received from Hon. Robert Ould, Commissioner of Exchange, New York papers of the 2d, 3d and 4th insts. The news of the battle of Gettysburg differs considerably from the first Yankee accounts. When they were first attacked they were some distance beyond Gettysburg, but were driven out, and are now this side of the town. The following dispatches in the New York World give an account of the progress of the fighting. The first contains extracts from the official report of Gen. Meade, which was all the War Department would allow to be telegraphed from Washington to the Northern papers:
       Washington, July 3d.-- An official dispatch was received this afternoon from Major-General Meade, dated headquarters, army of the Potomac, 11 o'clock P. M., July 2nd, which says:
      "The enemy attacked me about 4 P. M. this day, and, after one of the severest contests of the war, was repulsed at all points. We have suffered considerably in killed and wounded. Among the former are Brigadier Generals Paul and Zook, and among the wounded Generals are Sickles, Barlow, Graham, and Warren, slightly. We have taken a large number of prisoners. "
[second Dispatch.]
Washington, July 3.
      --A later dispatch has been received from Major-General Meade, dated 8 o'clock this morning, which says:
      "The action commenced again at early daylight upon various parts of the line. The enemy, thus far, have made no impression upon my position. All accounts agree in placing their whole army here. Prisoners report that Longstreet's and A. P. Hill's forces were much injured yesterday, and had many general officers killed. Gen. Barksdale, of Miss., is dead. His body is within our lines. We have thus far about 1,600 prisoners, and a small number yet to be started. "
Dispatches about the fighting.
Harrisburg, July3.
       --A prominent citizen of Gettysburg, who left there yesterday morning on a pass issued by Gen. Ewell to go to Heidleburg, met Stuart, Fitzhugh Lee, and Wade Hampton, with what he estimated at 10,000 cavalry, who were moving in the direction of Gettysburg. Their officers told him that Lee had no intention of leaving Pennsylvania, but was going to remain here until his army was destroyed or victorious. The gentleman arrived here this evening, the enemy making no effort to retain him.
      Two militiamen from Susquehanna county were killed this evening at Camp Curtin by lightning.
      A dispatch from London this morning states that yesterday the rebels left Chambersburg, taking the road in the direction of Gettysburg. Before leaving they burned the depot and workshops belonging to the railroad. London is fourteen miles west of Chambersburg.
      The enemy also evacuated Shippensburg yesterday, moving in the same direction.
Everything goes to show that Lee has his whole army concentrated between Cashtown and Gettysburg.
      The train that left Carlisle at seven o'clock this evening brought down twenty-four rebel deserters, who had come in from the mountains. They knew nothing about the result of the battle, but state that both armies are fighting with great desperation.
Firing was heard from daylight up to three o'clock this afternoon, at different points down the river.
Battle Field near Gettysburg,
Thursday, [July 2] 4.30 P. M.
       The day has been quiet up to the present moment. The enemy are now massing a heavy force on our left, and have just began the attack with artillery. The probability is that a severe battle will be fought before dark.
      The rebel sharpshooters have been annoying our batteries and men all day from the steeples of the churches in Gettysburg.
     We hold the Emmetsburg and Baltimore roads.
Wrightsville, Pa., July2,
1 o'clock, midnight.
       Our forces are known to have gained upon the enemy until 4 o'clock this afternoon.--Since 5 o'clock the firing has been much heavier and more rapid, indicating a general engagement between the entire armies. The rebel force is concentrated on South Mountain, toward Carlisle, six miles north of Gettysburg. Gen. Sedgwick's corps passed York in the direction of Dover, at 4 o'clock this afternoon. It is in the rear of the enemy. The 2d army corps moved up from Hanover at 8 o'clock this morning.
       Philadelphia, July 3.--A special dispatch to the Bulletin, from Harrisburg, says:
Nothing is yet known as to results, but the impression prevails that the great decisive battle of the campaign has been fought in the neighborhood of Cashtown, between Gettysburg and Chambersburg.
      It is believed that we have suffered heavy losses in officers and men, but Lee is so crippled as to be placed on the defensive.
      Yesterday Gen. Meade assumed the offensive. The day before Lee had attacked Meade, and was repulsed with heavy loss.
       Lee holds a gap in South Mountain, near Chambersburg, through which he hopes to escape, if defeated. A guard stationed at Bridge Eighty-four on the Northern Central Railroad, heard firing in that direction, like that of flying artillery; whence it is believed Pleasanton is again at work with his dashing cavalry, fighting for the possession of the gap.
Columbia, Pa.,July 3.--Capt. Roberts, of Philadelphia, who was captured near Gettysburg and paroled, has arrived here.
      He reports that yesterday, beyond York, a courier from Gen. Meade to Gen. Couch stopped at a house to have his horse fed. The women in the house became alarmed and blew a born to collect the neighbors, when the courier; fearing that the noise would reach the rebels, threatened them if they did not desist. At this moment the owner of the house arrived and, taking the courier for a rebel, drew a pistol and killed him. The courier's dispatches were subsequently sent to Baltimore, very foolishly, instead of to Harrisburg.
      Capt. Porter says that numbers of people in York and Adams counties offered every possible assistance to the rebels, pointing out to them the property of Union citizens and of the Government, and showing them the roads.
      Heavy and continuous artillery firing was heard yesterday afternoon, and last night, in the direction of Dover, eight miles northwest of York.
The very latest from the battle field.
     The following dispatches are published by the World as "the very latest:"
Philadelphia,July 3.--A special dispatch to Forney's Press, dated Hanover, 1 P. M., via Washington, July 3, says: "At 10 this morning our forces opened on about 5,000 rebels, who advanced on the field at day break for the purpose of pillaging our dead. The rebels hastily retreated. The fight thus far has been the most terrific of the war. The loss on both sides was heavy. Gen. Sickles was wounded severely. His right leg was amputated, and he is doing well. A desperate battle rages."
      Washington,July 3.--The information received here is that the battle of Gettysburg last night was extremely fierce and stubborn. Heavy and determined assaults were made by the rebels, which were gallantly met by our troops.
     This morning at daylight the contest was spiritedly renewed. Our army drove the enemy, who in turn drove ours, the fighting being desperately severe, and the fiercest, probably, of the war.
Prisoners report that Longstreet was killed, and this seems to be confirmed by later intelligence.
      Colonel Cross, of New Hampshire, and General Zook, of New York, are among the killed. Gen. Sickles; it is said, was wounded, and had his leg amputated on the field.
Gen. Barksdale, of the rebel army, is killed, and his body is in our possession.
The latest intelligence received here was up to 11 o'clock to-day. [This "latest intelligence" the Yankee War Department did not allow to be made public--Ed]
A Recapitulation of the battle of Wednesday.
      The correspondent of the New York World writing on the 2d inst., thus recapitulates the battle of Wednesday:
      The engagement yesterday was quite severe, though confined to our advance, the First and Eleventh corps, the action being fought mainly by the First corps, under General Reynolds, who was killed by a sharpshooter early in the fight. We first attacked the enemy's advance just beyond Gettysburg and repulsed it, when the whole corps became engaged, and subsequently the Eleventh corps, which came up to support by the Emmetsburg road. The opposing forces were the rebel corps of Hill and Ewell. Our men gallantly sustained the fight, holding their own until 4 o'clock, when they retired to a strong position just to the east ward and southward of Gettysburg. This was maintained until the arrival of reinforcements at night, and our lines are now well formed.
     No general engagement has yet taken place, but the probability is that a great battle will be fought this afternoon or to morrow. The enemy is in great force. Our troops are now all up and well in hand.
     The battle yesterday was sanguinary in the extreme. Wadsworth's division sustained the early portion of it with great valor, charging the enemy and taking a whole regiment of prisoners with Brigadier-General Archer. We have taken fully one thousand prisoners and lost many, most of them being wounded and in Gettysburg, the greater portion of which the enemy now hold.
      The rebels occupy Pennsylvania College as an hospital. Robinson's division and one brigade of Doubleday's supported Wadsworth with great gallantry. The 11th corps, most of it, fought well, and redeemed the disgrace of Chancellorsville. Among the general officers we lose, besides Major-General Reynolds, General Paul killed, and General Barlow wounded. Gen. Schimmel fanning is a prisoner. An estimate of yesterday's casualties cannot now be made.
      Gettysburg was injured by shells to a considerable extent. Most of the inhabitants remain in the burgh, many got away yesterday. It is a beautiful place, surrounded by a beautiful open and rolling country.
      There has been more or less skirmishing all the morning, but no engagement of dimensions. Both parties are preparing for the great contest before them. Our troops are in splendid condition, and fight like veterans.
      Among the casualties in yesterday's engagement were the following:
Lieutenant Bayard Wilkison, commanding Battery G, Fourth regular artillery, son of Samuel Wilkison, Washington correspondent of the Times, right leg shot ofi below the knee, while gallantly fighting his battery against an eight- gun battery of the enemy, enfilading his position; believed to be a prisoner.
Col. Stone, 149th Pennsylvania, commanding brigade, badly wounded.
Col. Root, 94th New York, wounded and prisoner.
Col. Tilden, 16th Maine, taken prisoner.
Capts. Hovey and Thomas, of Gen. Robinson's staff, wounded.
Col. Muhier, 75th Pennsylvania, dangerously wounded.
Col. Lockman, 119th New York, wounded.
Adj't Dodge, 119th New York, wounded and captured.
Lieut. Col. Arrowsmith, 157th New York, killed.
The following is a list of losses of officers in Gen. Sol. Meredith's brigade, Wadsworth's division, first army corps, in yesterday's fight:
       Gen. Meredith, bruised on top of the head by a fragment of shell. His horse was shot under him and fell upon him, bruising and injuring him internally.
Lieut. Col. G W Woodward, Aid de-Camp to Meredith, wounded in right arm.
The New York papers have not a single exultant paragraph over the fight, which is very significant. The World, of the 4th, says:
     At last a gleam of intelligible light relieves the murky chaos of official telegrams, in which, for three days past, the battle-fields of Pennsylvania have been enshrouded. In a dispatch which would have better satisfied the general expectations, and gone further to appease the general anxiety, had the War Department thought fit to publish it in full, but which, even in the mutilated form in which Mr. Stanton presents it, commands attention and inspires confidence by its modest and manly tone, General Meade announces that a great battle really began on Thursdayevening, and was renewed yesterday morning, between his own army and the whole force of the enemy.
     He claims for his troops the credit of a stern and solid resistance to an attack of which he does not conceal the fierce and formidable character, and at 8 o'clock on Fridaymorning he asserts the continued success of that resistance.
     Since 8 o'clock on Fridaymorning, however, nothing seems to have been heard from the scene from this supreme conflict, and further tidings must therefore be looked for with an eagerness positively painful in its intensity.
     These tidings may — indeed, if the Government will but do its duty, they must — reach us at any moment. Let us hope that they may come to throw a sudden glory of victory and of hope over the solemn hour of the great anniversary which the nation this day celebrates.

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