G'burg 3pm

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G'burg 7pm

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The Battle of Gettysburg

The Regiment broke camp the morning of July 2nd, at 4 am, and without breakfast
or coffee, marched 3 miles where a line of battle was formed, parallel to and about
Ĺ mile to the right of the Baltimore Turnpike. After remaining in position for about
one hour they re-crossed the road, formed a line of battle, at right angles to the
road, and moved in the direction of Gettysburg. Keeping Gettysburg on their right,
they halted about 1 pm, about 2 miles from the first line of battle.

They remained in this position (between Little Round Top and the Wheatfield),
laying on arms, until about 4 pm.  At that time, the two brigades of regulars were
thrown into action. Moving across the valley, in front of Little Round Top, the
Regulars pushed the enemy back to Devilís Den (to the left of Round Top), the
Second Brigade (Burbank) pushed forward and took position in woods to the left
of the Wheatfield and the First Brigade took up a reserve position at the edge of
the woods. The Third Corps (Generals Sickles and Caldwell), supported by the
First Brigade, First Division, (Colonel William S. Tilton) and Second Brigade, 1st
Division, (Colonel Jacob B. Sweitzer), were to the front, on the far side of a stone
wall, in the Wheatfield. Hard pressed, the lines of the Third Corps started to give
way. General Caldwell at first stated that his troops, being out of ammunition
were simply being replaced. It was soon realized, however, that the troops were
breaking. The Regiment, with the rest of the 1st Brigade was ordered forward to
the stone wall. Confederate forces, however, were able to advanced to the stone
wall within 3 minutes and the 1st Brigade, still in column of battalions, started
receiving fire from its flank. The 2nd Brigade, alone in the woods, was all but cut
off by the enemy. General Ayres (commander of the second division, Fifth Corps)
gave orders to fall back to the position previously occupied at the base of Little
Round Top. The Division fought its way back, across swampy ground, losing 53
officers and 776 enlisted men. The Fourth U. S. had 9 enlisted men killed and
1 officer and 27 enlisted wounded.

The Pennsylvania Reserves (Fifth Corps, 3rd Division, commanded by Brigadier
General Samuel W. Crawford) moved forward to cover the retirement and were
able to drive the Confederate forces back through the Wheatfield and hold their
advanced position for the night. As July 2nd came to an end the Union troops had
been beaten back to the positions the Third Corps had been ordered to hold in
the morning. Facing the Union forces had been Confederate forces under Generals
Longstreet and Hill.

The Regiment remained in these lines all day, July 3rd, while Confederate forces assaulted Cemetery Ridge
(Pickettís Charge). The Regiment had no losses on July 3rd, despite coming under artillery fire. At about 10 a.m.
on July 4th, the 1st Brigade, along with the Sixth U.S. (2nd Brigade) was ordered to do a reconnaissance. The
reconnaissance moved forward 1 to 1 Ĺ miles, through the Wheatfield to determine the enemyís positions. Finding
that General Lee had refused his right flank and still held a strong position towards the center, the reconnaissance,
having accomplished itís mission, fell back to its original position. During the reconnaissance the Fourth U. S. had
1 officer and 2 enlisted men wounded.

Earlier on July 4th a heavy rain had started, thus the remainder of July 4th was used to bring up various wagon trains,
bury the dead, care for the wounded, and generally putting things in order.