Above the bayonets, mixed and crossed,
Men saw a gray, gigantic ghost
Receding through the battle-cloud,
And heard across the tempest loud
The death-cry of a nation lost!
I. SEMINARY RIDGE
 IF there had been such a thing as an airplane in the year 1863, and we could have been in it hovering over a certain
large eminence in Virginia, we might have seen a good-sized town nestling upon the northern slope of this hill.
This town is Gettysburg. It is now, on the last day of June, as little known as other American settlements of its
size. But within the short space of seventy-two hours it is destined to become famous throughout the world as the
scene of one of the most terrific and momentous battles of modern times.
Imagine a great fishing-hook, and you will have a very clear idea of the contour of this big hill, four hundred and
eighty feet above the valley below Gettysburg. Standing now with your back toward the town, and your eye following
the course of the hook on your left and to the
south-  ward, and towards its eye, you will find it crosses a slight depression a few hundred yards from the widest bulge
of the bend, then begins to rise until it attains the top of Culp's Hill. Passing that, it terminates at the eye in
what is termed McAllister's Hill. Along the base of this hilly ridge runs Rock Creek; and on the east side of it,
opposite McAllister's Hill, rises another elevation called Wolf Hill, and from this point there continues
northeastward a high ridge for a considerable distance.
Turning now to the other side of the hook you will observe that it is about three miles long, whereas the other was
but two. You will also note that it is more uniform in its course, although otherwise characterized by the same
general outlines. A few hundred yards from the point of the bend is a bluff. This is followed by a depression for a
half-mile, where the ridge is less than twenty feet above Steven's Run, a rivulet. Then the ground rises rapidly
into a bold, rocky ledge known as Little Round Top. Another dip, and still another elevation looms up which is
called plain Round Top.
The distance across the hook, from barb to lower shank, is something like two and one-half miles, and the
circumference about five miles. Within the hook the ground is low and tolerably level, but as you approach the bend
 hilly, emerging abruptly into a height called Cemetery Hill. The Baltimore Pike and the Taneytown Road enter
Gettysburg through the level space within the hook, and cross it at the end.
Looking toward the north, right over the tops of the houses on the westerly side of Gettysburg, you will see a
ridge about a mile away on the farther side of the valley, running nearly north and south, but much lower than the
Cemetery Hill. On this ridge stands the Lutheran Seminary, and the ridge itself is called Seminary Ridge. Beyond,
at short intervals, ridge and valley succeed each other until the South Mountain range terminates the rugged scene.
Woods rich in their summer foliage stand as a beautiful green framework around the cultivated fields on this fine
last June day. Here and there the vagrant crows fly peacefully and thievingly about the planted lands. But the wary
birds are more watchful than usual, for many strange men in uniform, and carrying guns, have come down the roads of
late and camped in large parties near Gettysburg. What does it mean? Well, may the crows ask the question. For
soon, very soon, there is to go up from those peaceful, brooding fields such a terrific thunder of guns, and
clatter of steel, and cry of man, as to scare those crows into the very densest clusters of the
 topmost boughs of the tallest trees for many long, weary hours to come!
Yes, for several days Rebel troops, both infantry and cavalry, have visited Gettysburg, and numerous bodies of
soldiers are hovering on the north side of the town. And now came the first of their enemy, in the form of General
Buford, who rides into the town about ten o'clock at the head of six thousand Federal cavalry. Passing on through
Gettysburg, he takes position on the farm of the Honorable E. McPherson, where he sets his guns and makes
preparations to resist an attack.
But he is not alone in the vicinity in the midst of so many of the enemy. Far from it. General Meade, in command of
the Union army, by evening is at Taneytown, thirteen miles southeast; the First Corps of his army, under General
Reynolds, is at Marsh Run, seven miles south; the Eleventh Corps, under General Howard, is at Emmettsburg, three
miles south; and the Third Corps, under General Sickles, is at Bridgeport, five miles southeast of Emmettsburg.
Hastily preparing to meet this array of Federal forces, the Confederate army marches slowly toward Gettysburg with
about sixty thousand men, coming in close ranks from the Potomac. When they arrive, their total force will equal
seventy-five thousand, with two hundred and
 eighty-seven cannon. On the other hand the Union army will total about eighty thousand men, with three hundred and
Through the night couriers are coming and going over all the roads around Gettysburg. General Buford, from the
cupola of the Lutheran Seminary, looking westward, can see the glimmering bivouac-fires of Hill's Confederate corps
in the fields of Cashtown. He is very sure Hill's men will advance and attack him in the morning. So he sends a
messenger to General Meade at Taneytown, asking for reinforcements.
It is eight o'clock on the morning of July 1st. The early sun's rays are glinting from the spires of Gettysburg
when a cavalryman comes dashing down the hill past Herr's tavern, and informs Buford that the Confederates are
coming. A few minutes later and they reach the tavern, which occupies a position on the other side of the
unfinished railroad and deep cut fronting the Seminary. The Confederate cannoneers jump from the limbers, wheel
their cannon, and send a ball whirring across the depression. This is quickly answered by Lieutenant Rodes,
commanding two guns of Calef's Federal battery on the ridge just north of McPherson's house, and a shell is thrown
toward the tavern, screaming out its mortal challenge.
Thus the great battle begins. No one has
 selected the ground. Buford has been directed to hold Gettysburg at all costs. Heth, his opponent, has been ordered
by Lee to advance on Gettysburg.
The Confederates descend the slope towards Willoughby Run, when suddenly from the grove of fine hickories and oak
about the Seminary, there comes a volley of musketry which arrests their advance. The fire is so determined that
General Heth believes he is confronted by a large column of infantry, and at once sends word to General Pender to
advance and assist him. While that division is on its way from Cashtown, the cannonading goes on between his force
at the tavern and the Union troops on Seminary Ridge, accompanied by the rattling fire of musketry.
From the cupola of the Seminary, General Buford looks out and down upon the scene. He sees a group of horsemen
coming up the Emmettsburg road, and still farther away the sunlight glints on many an approaching Union gun barrel
and bayonet. Buford has already sent a cavalryman to guide these welcome reinforcements. They leave the tunpike at
Mr. Codori's house, and turn northwest across the fields. A few minutes later the brave General Reynolds hastens
forward and shakes hands with Buford.
The two officers retire to the cupola. They sweep the horizon with their glasses—anxiously.
 Afar off, on the Chambersburg pike, they see another party of the enemy coming. It is Pender's Division, hurrying
along at full speed to assist Heth.
Now General Reynolds sends couriers riding down the Emmettsburg road to General Howard, asking the Eleventh to
hasten to Gettysburg. Other couriers seek out Wadsworth's division, who are bivouacked on Marsh Run. The word goes
quickly. All are needed to support Buford and Reynolds on Seminary Ridge.
As the brigade of General Cutler, leading the way, goes across the fields, which are cleared by axemen and pioneers
who tear down the rail fences, they see an old gray-haired man coming across the meadow from his small one-story
house on the Chambersburg road at the western end of the town. This is John Burns, a veteran of the Mexican war. He
has his trusty gun in his hand, and eagerly joins one of the passing regiments. With it he will fight valiantly
until he is finally wounded and carried off the field.
In strong contrast to this spirited aged fighter, there is a boy named John Weakly, but fourteen years old. With
gun, soldier's cap and blue blouse, he marches proudly along with the men of the Twelfth Massachusetts. He is thin,
pale, and not very strong. But his spirit is something wonderful to behold. He has begged long of
 Colonel Bates, commanding the regiment, to be mustered in as a soldier, and at last has been accepted. Poor, happy
boy! before dark he will be lying upon the field, his young blood staining the green grass from two wounds, one in
his right arm and another in his thigh.
In the meantime, Heth, finding only dismounted cavalrymen in front of him, has sent Archer's brigade across the
stream and is driving Gamble, step by step, back towards the Semi-nary. North of the turnpike Davis's Confederate
brigade is sweeping across the fields, compelling Devin to fall back. From Herr's Tavern Pegram's sixteen guns are
sending shot and shell upon Calef's and Devin's unprotected troops. Pender's division is deploying in the fields of
By this time all the forces on both sides, constantly growing, are more or less engaged. The atmosphere is thick
with drifting cannon and musketry smoke, and the smell of burning powder is strong everywhere. Slowly the Union
cavalry in the woods falls back. The Confederates, under Archer, press forward, cross Willoughby Run, and pick
their way through the thicket and tangled vines along its banks, taking position on its eastern side. Here the
conflict is renewed at close range with strong effect.
About ten o'clock, General Reynolds comes
 riding down through McPherson's field into the woods, where the air is thick with bullets. As he issues
instructions to a staff-officer of General Doubleday's, he is a conspicuous figure on his horse. The Confederates
are but a few rods distant, and can see that he is giving important directions. A sharpshooter singles him out, and
pulls the trigger. His aim is true. At the crack of the musket, the gallant Reynolds pitches from his animal, a
bullet through his brain, and dies without a sound.
The sad news runs along the lines of the "Iron Brigade," as Meredith's has been called. The men are determined to
avenge the death of their beloved commander. Meredith himself gives the command to charge, and in spite of their
desperate defense, the Confederate line of Archer crumbles like dust, retreating to the other side of the stream.
General Howard succeeds General Reynolds in command of the right wing of the Union army, and the fighting continues
at various points, with the Union getting a little the best of it.
In mid-afternoon Lieutenant Wilkeson, in charge of Battery G, Fourth United States Artillery, is sorely wounded on
a knoll near Rock Creek while defending the place against Early's advancing Confederates. A rifled cannot shot
strikes Wilkeson in the right leg, crushing the
 bones and mangling the flesh. His soldiers lay him tenderly on the ground. With great and admirable composure the
young officer ties his handkerchief around the wound, twists it into a tourniquet, then with his own hand and knife
severs the cords and tendons by which the lower extremity is held to the upper. He now coolly directs the firing of
his men at the enemy, till forcibly carried off the field. Before morning his brave spirit will have succumbed to
the Angel of Death.
A little later that day General Paul is made totally blind for life by a bullet which passes between his eyes.
General Robinson has two horses shot from under him, but is himself uninjured. This occurs during the retreat of
the First and Eleventh Corps down the Carlisle and Harrisburg roads—the first pretentious falling back of the Union
forces that day. As the Union men retreat, they turn about and walk backward, fighting desperately for every foot
of ground they relinquish to Early's Confederates. General Barlow falls, and is taken prisoner. General
Schimmelpfennig manages to conceal himself under some loose pieces of wood in the shed of a Mr. Garloch's home.
Here, fed by the children of the household, he hides for three days, undiscovered by the searching enemy.
About four o'clock General Hancock receives
 instructions from General Meade to take command of the troops at Gettysburg. And not more than an hour later
General Lee, his contemporary, arrives upon the scene. Lee is much pleased at the success of his troops thus far in
the battle. He tells General Longstreet that he is sure his men can defeat Meade's army, and that on the morrow
they will make a decided attack and finish up with Meade in quick order.
General Stuart has captured four hundred prisoners and over two hundred wagons.
The skirmishing is kept up till darkness puts an end to it, no marked advantage accruing to either side. The Union
cavalry bivouac near the town, while Stuart makes an all-night march to get away from Kilpatrick. Horses and men
are worn out. Whole regiments fall asleep; horses stumble wearily, bringing their riders to the ground.
Thus closes the first day of July. It finds the Confederate army well concentrated, and greatly elated at an
anticipated victory. The Union army, on the other hand, is widely separated still, and considerably dispirited by
the defeat of two corps with heavy loss.
II. LITTLE ROUND TOP
 IT was one o'clock in the morning of July 2nd when General Meade, who on Sunday had accepted the great trust laid upon
him by President Lincoln, came up the Taneytown road, and dismounted from his horse in front of the home of a Mrs.
Leister. He was worn out from want of sleep and from constant thinking of the great war problem that had lately
been confronting him.
General Hancock had informed him that the position to which the First and Eleventh corps had retreated was a strong
one. He had now come to see. With General Howard he rode along the lines. The moon was shining, and he could dimly
make out the general features of the country. He noted that Culp's Hill was covered with trees; that its northern
side was sharp and steep; that Cemetery Hill commanded a wide sweep of country; that there was a low ridge running
southeast towards Little Round Top, two miles from the cemetery.
And a little later, sitting upon his horse amid the white headstones of the cemetery itself, he could look over the
houses in the town, and see
 Seminary Ridge, where the First Corps had fought so stubbornly the day before; could see, also, the level fields to
the northward, where the Eleventh Corps had stood. More than this, he could trace the dark line of forest extending
southward from the Seminary, and see that the entire region would be under the sweep of artillery placed in the
cemetery and north of it, along the ridge. It was a place where it seemed possible a battle might be successfully
fought by holders.
General Meade lost no time in directing Generals Warren and Slocum to examine the ground in front of Culp's Hill,
with a view to attacking Lee in that direction. As a result of this examination, from two o'clock till daylight
Union soldiers, with axes, picks and shovels, were hard at work erecting breastworks on Culp's Hill, on Cemetery
Hill, and in the grove of oaks on the farm of Mr. Zeigler, south of the cemetery.
General Lee was up very early that morning. Even before the sun appeared he was eating his breakfast in his tent
north of the Seminary. General Longstreet came to see him from Cashtown, and tried to dissuade the Confederate
commander from attacking the Union army; but General Lee had made up his mind firmly to do so. General Hill came,
and also General Heth, who was wounded in the head the day previous
 and now wore a handkerchief bound about the injury. Up in a tree nearby was Lieutenant-Colonel Freemantle, of the
British army. He was looking across the fields with his glass at the Union position. With him were a Prussian and
an Austrian officer. The South had drawn among many nationalities.
So, except for minor exchanges of shots among pickets of both sides as they hid along the fences and in wheat
fields, and the occasional boom of a cannon from the Union forces among the white headstones in the cemetery,
answered invariably by a similar boom of a Confederate big gun sending a ball whirring over the town, the morning
of the second day passed comparatively free from noteworthy incident.
If you were to ride up the Baltimore turnpike, you would meet the Union Twelfth Corps on your right, partly hidden
from view by the woods. You would pass the toll-gate, from which the old tollman had fled. You would reach the
summit of the hill, where, on your right, the soldiers of the Eleventh Corps were lying down in the long grasses;
and, on your left, where those of the First Corps were crouching watchfully behind a stonewall. On both sides you
would note that breastworks had been thrown up behind which the artillerymen were shielding themselves.
Suppose you climb the stairs of the arched
 gateway of the cemetery, and behold the grand panorama of the field where yesterday's battle has been fought—the
town, with its red brick houses, its Gothic spires and steeples, the white walls of the Pennsylvania College north
of the town; the Almshouse beyond, where Barlow's division has fought and left its line of dead. With your glass
you can see scores of prostrate forms—men and horse—still lying where they fell.
A yellow flag is flying above the cupola of the Theological Seminary, which has been turned into a hospital. The
field in the distance, by Herr's Tavern, where the Confederate cannon had been planted, is dotted with white tents.
Trains of wagons are winding along the turn-pikes, and horsemen are riding savagely. Southward are fields and
woodlands and farm-houses—the ground where yet the greatest battle is to be fought. Eastward is Culp's Hill, dotted
with Union soldiers busily throwing up earthworks. Just around the circle, upon Cemetery Hill, cannon are thickly
planted, some pointing north, others west, others southwest.
On the Emmettsburg road it is not difficult to make out the brick house of Mr. Codori, with its large barn. Beyond,
to the west, is the farm-house of Mr. Sherfy, close to an orchard of peach-trees, whence the cross-road runs
eastward towards Little Round Top. Notice the cannon
 along the Emmettsburg road, and the troops of the Third Corps as they rest themselves, kindling fires and cooking
coffee, after their hard march from Emmettsburg. By the house of Mrs. Leister, on the Taneytown road, the
headquarters' flag of General Meade is waving. The Second Corps is on the ridge west of it. Long lines of
white-topped wagons dot the landscape eastward.
From the first General Meade was in great uncertainty as to the intentions of Lee. Had he known that the latter's
attack would be postponed that day till four o'clock, there is little doubt but that Meade would have taken the
offensive early in the morning and made an effort to occupy the enemy line. But he did not know this, expecting an
attack at any moment, and on account of the vast risks involved in taking a chance he had decided on a strictly
GENERAL MEADE'S HEADQUARTERS.
A few minutes after four, the Confederate troops of Ewell moved east towards Culp's Hill, and at once the Union
batteries on Cemetery Hill opened up fire on them. At this time Lee's army consisted of forty brigades, eighteen of
which were in position to take part in the attack upon the six brigades of the Third Corps, which must look to the
Second and Fifth Corps for any needed assistance.
The sun was going down in the western
 heavens. It was the waning time of a beautiful afternoon. Swallows twittered and flitted around the eaves of Mrs.
Leister's humble home, quite unmindful of the hurried coming and going of men on horseback. Fleecy white clouds
flecked the sky. A gentle breeze, yet untainted with tile nauseating nitrous and sulphurous fumes of battle, blew
soothingly across from the southwest.
But now the rattling fire of musketry from Stoughton's sharpshooters comes echoing across the fields as scores of
bullets are sent into the ranks of Law's Alabama brigade in the vicinity of Culp's Hill. Repulsed twice, with more
than a fourth of his men fallen, Colonel Sheffield, of the Forty-eighth Alabama, still came on.
The sharpshooters give way to superior numbers. Onward through the woods, crossing the brook south of Mr. Rose's
home, past his spring-house, marched Law's and Robertson's brigades, closely following the retreating Federals.
Soon they were in the woods, where there were large trees and boulders. They began to descend the slope towards the
position held by Ward.
In a short time they had reached their welcome haven. Ward prepared to give the enemy a warm reception as soon as
he showed himself. Presently they came rushing up. Four cannon of the Union force began to spit fire. This was
followed immediately by a deafening clatter of musketry,
 also from the Union men. Wild yells of challenge arose from the Texans of Hood's division, and these turned into
wilder cheers as the Confederates staggered and fell back.
In this manner a Confederate artilleryman in this engagement describes it:
"The Federal infantry on the slope of the hill were thick as flies in summer time, and were assisted by artillery
which poured a stream of shrapnel into our ranks. Rhea's battery of our battalion were already blazing away from
the crest of the hill, and are said to have lost thirty men in as many minutes.
"At the order, 'Cannoneers, mount! Forward!' we rushed between the already moving cannon-wheels, and nimbly sprang
into our seats—all except John Hightower, who missed his hold, and the great heavy weight of the vehicle rolled
over his form. Did we halt? No! Not if your brother falls by your side must you heed his dying cry in an emergency
like this! Such is the grim discipline of war.
"Never shall I forget the scene presented on this hill opposite Round Top. The Federal shrapnel rattled like hail
through the trees around us, while our confused infantry swayed first back-ward, then forward, in and out, like a
storm-cloud vexed by contrary winds. But after a few moments we had rallied. Our charging Georgians
 swept down the slope, cheering madly, driving the Union men before us."
Suppose that once more you act, young reader, the part of a spectator at this great drama of war. Suppose you
clatter over the rocks on your horse up the steep sides of Little Round Top, where stands an officer of the Signal
Corps and his assistant. The whole panorama of the battle lies before, as it does before them.
At your feet is Plum Run and a meadow thickly strewn with boulders. Beyond them a bit is the Devil's Den, with
Ward's brigade and the four guns of Smith's battery on the edge of a wheatfield. And up the line, beyond another
grove, rests Bigelow's Ninth Massachusetts, Phillips's Fifth Massachusetts, and Clark's batteries. In the peach
orchard is Hart's. Along the Emmettsburg road you see a line of guns, all smoking.
A white cloud is rising from the woods between the Devil's Den and Rose's house, with rolls of musketry mingling
with the heavy reverberations of field-pieces. From the timber by Warfield's house, the Confederate cannon are
sending solid shot and shells towards the peach orchard. Northward towards the Seminary, and the scene of the'
first day's battle, Confederate artillery is throwing its heavy missiles through the air. The Seminary itself is
almost hidden in a white cloud
 of smoke. Union ambulances dash out of the woods and go tearing toward the Taneytown road. Galloping over the
fields and pastures are staff-officers carrying orders.
The battle-cloud is too dense to see what is going on beyond the Confederate lines, but from the woods comes a
prolonged yell from the South's soldiers, mingled, from another point, with the hurrahs of the Union men. The air
is thick with shells. White clouds suddenly burst into view where before there was only the blue sky. There is a
singing, whining sound of musketry bullets all through the air, commingled with the whirring, shrieking sounds of
jagged pieces of iron from the heavier weapons.
The battle came nearer. It began to break at the foot of Little Round Top, on the flank of the Fourth Maine. Now a
battery of the Fifth Artillery arrived with their rifled cannon, and took up a position on the top of the
elevation. Vincent's brigade followed. A few minutes later the battle was raging furiously on the western slope and
around the summit.
Slowly the Confederates gained ground around the left flank of the Union troops. Vincent, Weed, Hazlett and Colonel
O'Rorke all fell. All at once the Confederates were surprised to receive a heavy volley from behind their backs.
 This came from a squad of Union men sheltered behind rocks and trees—in fact, from the sharp-shooters of
Stoughton's regiment, which we have encountered before. Robertson's Confederate troops turned to see whence the
volley came, whereupon Vincent's troops sprang over the rocks and dashed down the hill capturing two colonels,
fifteen minor officers, and nearly five hundred prisoners, driving the enemy back to the boulders of Devil's Den.
Not long after this General Sickles was wounded, and Hancock was sent to take his place. A little later the
Mississippians gave a great cheer as they rushed forward and captured Bigelow's four guns. South of them Wofford
was pushing towards the ridge when there came a sheet of flame from its crest. It was McGilvery's opening fire, and
was so destructive that the advancing Georgians could not face it and were compelled to find shelter behind rocks,
trees and fences.
It was now seven o'clock, the sun all but gone. The time had come for Longstreet to hurl the whole of Alexander's
division of Confederates into the conflict. On the other hand, Hancock had ordered in nearly all of Gibbon's
In the meadow east of Codori's house the fight rages with great violence—as it does at almost
 all points just now. Here, in an effort to reach Cemetery Ridge, Generals Willard and Barksdale both receive mortal
The Sixth and Twelfth corps arrive, but will they be in season to roll back the Confederates before they gain
possession of the ridge? Hancock comes up. Pointing to the dim figures of the advancing foe, he cries, "Colonel
Coville, advance and take those colors!"
There is a cheer as the Federals rush forward. The powerful Enfield rifles of the Southerners do great damage. Men
fall on every side. But the gaps are closed as fast as they occur, and the Federal soldiers press bravely on,
firing as they go. Soon the enemy becomes demoralized, breaks and flees, leaving behind many prisoners and dead and
Though the contest had ceased in the fields around Codori's and Trostle's farm-houses, it began suddenly amid the
woods on Culp's Hill and on the northern slope of Cemetery Hill. Johnson captured the Union breastworks on Culp's
Hill, and on Cemetery Hill Hays's and Hoke's brigades engaged in a fierce hand-to-hand combat with the Eleventh
Corps, but were finally repulsed.
It was ten o'clock before the engagement ceased. So ended the second day.
III. CEMETERY RIDGE
 THE clouds hung low upon the hills. It was a sultry morning—this one of July 3rd—the third one of the battle. Two guns,
deep and heavy, boomed across the fields with the first gray streaks of dawn. They were Union cannon, with an
ominous threat in their deep-throated growl. As plain as could be they said, "Watch out for me; I am coming after
In other words, General Meade had taken the defensive, determined to recover Culp's Hill. His big guns were telling
General Lee that the Union army was ready to fight it out on the spot; that, instead of being disheartened they
were about to put forth every ounce of their aggressive strength.
Now two other cannon—these from Culp's Hill and the Confederates in possession of the breastworks there—answer the
challenge. And, one by one, others join in from various points of the compass till the calm of the early hours is a
perfect bedlam of sound.
Colonel Colgrove's brigade formed in a grove between the turnpike and Rock Creek. On his
 right was the Twenty-seventh Indiana; then came the Second Massachusetts. They were to charge across the marshy
lowland and the brook which winds through it, to strike the left of the Confederate line. It was but a few rods.
Five minutes would suffice to carry them across the meadow.
The signal was given, and they moved on, There came a volley—a terrible, crashing volley. Men dropped, but the
living continued forward on the run.
The five minutes were up. Back drifted the remnant of that valiant, spirited brigade—broken, shattered.
On a granite boulder near the eastern edge of the meadow there stands to-day an imposing tablet erected by the
survivors of the Second Massachusetts. Thus it reads:
"From the hill behind this monument, on the morning of July 3rd, 1863, the Second Massachusetts Infantry made an
assault on the Confederate troops in the works at the base of Culp's Hill, opposite. The regiment carried into the
charge twenty-two officers and two hundred and ninety-four enlisted men. It lost four officers and forty-one
enlisted men killed, and six officers and eighty-four enlisted men wounded."
Back over the meadow they retreated, followed by the exultant Confederates. But suddenly they re-formed among the
trees, faced bravely about,
 and within a very brief time the ground was strewn with the enemy dead and wounded from their deliberate volleys.
From seven o'clock till eleven there was a ceaseless hurricane of fire, all wholly in the woods and for the
possession of the breastworks on the crest of the height. From behind every tree and boulder shots were proceeding.
The oaks were pitted with bullets as if stricken with the smallpox. Gradually the Confederates were pushed back.
Finally, in a violent charge by the Union troops, they lost three stands of colors, two thousand killed and
wounded, and five hundred prisoners.
At eleven o'clock the Union line was intact once more, holding the ground from Culp's Hill to Cemetery Hill, and
thence to the summit of Round Top, with breastworks nearly the entire distance.
Cemetery Ridge, south of Zeigler's Grove, is lower than Codori's house. General Lee confidently believed that he
could open fire with all his artillery upon the Union lines from an assaulting column in the woods west of
Codori's; that when the Union line had become demoralized by this cannonading he could sweep his troops across the
field west of the Emmettsburg road, hurl them like a thunderbolt upon the Union troops south of Zeigler's Grove,
 line at the center, and fold the two halves back—one upon Little Round Top, the other upon Culp's Hill—as he would
open two folding-doors, thus acquiring a masterful victory in a single crushing blow. At the same instant, he
thought, he would have Stuart's cavalry gain the rear of the Federal army, east of Culp's Hill, fall upon Meade's
wagons, and make the rout complete.
As indications pointed to a renewal of the battle on the part of the Confederates, every Union officer along the
line was on the alert—especially along the ridge between Zeigler's Grove and Little Round Top, where Lee's attack
had been anticipated. Robinson's division of the First Corps was in the grove. Then came Hays's division of the
Second Corps—the front line along a stone wall, and the second line east of the crest of the ridge. Beyond was
Gibbon's division, concealed behind a fence, the rails of which had been taken down by the soldiers and laid in a
pile during the forenoon, and a shallow trench scooped out to accommodate their prostrate bodies. A small copse of
scrub-oak marked the last-named position. Three regiments of Stannard's Vermont brigade were in front of the main
line, encircling a copse of trees and tangled vines.
The troops selected by Lee to coöperate in the attack consisted in Hill's corps and Pickett's
 division—in all, twenty-one brigades, under the direction of Longstreet, that there might be united action under
one commander. Pickett and his men had not yet taken part in any of the encounters, having only the night previous
come upon the scene from Chambersburg. They were all fresh, and eager for their part, especially the gallant
Southern leader himself. On the other hand, Longstreet was doubtful of Lee's wisdom in the movement, and had
frankly admitted to the high commander previously that he did not believe the hill could be carried.
Of the Confederates, Pickett's, Anderson's and Heth's divisions were to lead in the assault. They were to be
supported by the divisions of Pender, Rodes and Trimble. To insure success the troops were to advance in a column
or lines of brigades. In the peach orchard, Colonel Alexander had seventy-five cannon, and along the woods, behind
Hill's troops, were sixty-three more. All of these were to fire directly upon the cemetery and the ridge south of
it as soon as the general advance took place, which was to be announced by two cannon shots.
Pitted against these guns of the Confederates, General Hunt, commanding the Union artillery, had compactly arranged
forty-one cannon on the crest of the ridge, under McGilvery. Well to the right was the artillery of the Second
 Woodruff's battery was in Zeigler's Grove; and on his left were posted twenty-six additional guns, under Cushing,
Arnold, Brown and Rorty. There were also a few others here and there, making a total of seventy-one Union guns to
oppose nearly one hundred and fifty of the enemy. And, moreover, they were on an open crest, plainly visible from
all parts of the line.
At just five minutes past one, Washington time, two cannon shots broke in upon the tense stillness which had
ominously pervaded the scene for some little time. It was the signal of Lee for the advance of his men.
Instantly from below the peach orchard, northward to the Theological Seminary, came a heavy rain of solid shot and
shells from more than one hundred and fifty cannon. The air seemed to be full of large missiles. The next moment
there came a startling crash from the Union artillery—all the batteries—those on Little Round Top, those along the
ridge, those in the cemetery, those sprinkled around the western slope of Culp's Hill.
The din now was something terrific. It seemed every big gun in the vicinity was barking its loudest. From Round Top
to Cemetery Hill the Confederate positions were blazing like a volcano. General Meade's headquarters were directly
in the line of enemy fire from over a hundred cannon. The balls from these tore through
 the frail house as if it were made of cardboard, while shells exploded in the yard, wounding horses, cutting down
peach-trees, ripping open bags of oats—and finally sending the commander-in-chief, with his staff and several
newspaper correspondents, in quest of better shelter. This was found in the shape of a spot beside a huge boulder
in the woods to the eastward, where the headquarters flag was stuck in the ground, and where the General continued
to calmly give out his orders, sitting on a camp chair and using the top of the rock for a writing-table. One
hundred missiles a minute swept across the ridge, crashing through baggage wagons and ambulances, exploding
caissons, and adding indescribable horror to the scene. One Confederate shell alone, bursting in the cemetery,
killed and wounded twenty-seven men!
For upwards of an hour the terrible storm howls and rages. Then there comes a sudden silence on the part of the
Union guns. This is occasioned by General Hunt suspecting the intention of Lee to follow up the cannonading with an
advance; and wishing to conserve his ammunition for the decisive moment, Hunt wisely orders a cessation. The
gunners, hot and tired, throw themselves on the cool ground, grateful for the respite.
The Confederate artillery continues to blaze
 away, while Colonel Anderson dispatches a courier to Pickett imploring him to make his attack without delay or his
(Anderson's) am-munition will be so low that he will be unable to lend Pickett proper support.
"Shall I advance, sir?" asks Pickett of Longstreet. Longstreet rides away without deigning to reply. It is clear he
has no faith in the success of the charge, and does not wish to commit himself.
At this Pickett, relying entirely upon Lee's former order, decides to go ahead. His division sweeps suddenly out of
the woods, showing the full length of its long gray ranks and shining bayonets, as grand a martial sight as man
ever looked upon. Joining on his left wing, Pettigrew adds to the stretch with his own brigade of Confederates. How
imposing, how irresistible they look, these men from the South, as they dash determinedly across the field toward
the Union position!
As for the Federals, they lose little time in admiring the oncoming gray horde. Up from the ground in the cemetery
spring the cannoneers. They quickly run their guns forward, and pointing them toward the force of Pickett, begin to
make them "talk." Simultaneously the cannon on Little Round Top breaks the silence again.
 But the Union cannon on the ridge are still dumb; their time has not yet come.
The front line of the approaching Confederates reaches the Emmettsburg road, the Union pickets falling back. There
is an ominous silence along Cemetery Ridge, still. On, on, come the men in gray. Now they are within musket range
of the Federals on the ridge.
Just as they are crossing the road north of Codori's house, the woods along the ridge spits fire from end to end,
and solid shot and shell go hurtling through the quivering air into Pickett's ranks. The Confederates descend the
gentle slope, leaving many behind, but Still advancing. Now comes the first roll of musketry. It emanates from the
guns of two Vernlont regiments, thrown out in front of the main line.
This time the Confederates stagger. They halt, return the fire bravely—and then advance again. Another volley from
the Union infantry-men. Garnett falls dead; Kemper goes down, wounded. Armistead, the only general officer of the
division after Pickett, waves his sword; his gray hair is there, but forgotten, "Come on, boys!" he cries. And they
rush on towards the wall from behind which Gibbon's and Hays's troops have been firing upon them so disastrously.
Before they have gone three rods, the
gray-  haired leader throws up his hands, and falls mortally wounded.
At this time the supporting brigades on the left were coming within cannister range of the Federals, and the
double-shotted cannon in the cemetery were cutting them to pieces, the howitzers firing twice in sixty seconds—a
death tempest so pitiless that the Confederate troops melted away like snowflakes in a warm spring rain. Soon the
men broke in great disorder. Officers tried to rally them, but in vain. Even the importunities of their admired and
beloved Pickett failed to inject sufficient courage into them to prompt another effort forward.
In the meanwhile, the brigades of Pickett had gained the stonewall, and were pouring their volleys into the faces
of the Sixty-ninth and Seventy-first Pennsylvania of Webb's brigade. Slowly they are forced back by Armistead's
men; and Robert Tyler, seventeen years old, a grandson of ex-President Tyler, is the first to proudly plant the
Southern colors on the wall.
BATTLEFIELD OF GETTYSBURG FROM ROUND TOP.
Barely is the standard in place when a rifle cracks. A bullet tears through young Tyler's shoulder. He falls,
carrying the banner with him. As he tries to rise another bullet lays the brave boy low forever.
Wildly the Confederates rush up to the muzzles of Cushing's cannon. Cushing fires his last shot,
 and falls dead beside his guns. There is a desperate struggle. Bayonets are thrust wickedly at short jab. Where
room permits, the stocks are clubbed. Pistols go off so close to the victims' faces that powder marks border the
ugly wounds. Men without weapons, or with broken ones, use their fists. No loose stone is permitted to lie long,
but goes hurtling against some poor fellow's head, stretching him stark.
Hancock is everywhere along the line. He orders Stannard to strike the enemy in the flank, calls upon Devereux to
take his Nineteenth Massachusetts and fill the gap by Cushing's guns, commands the brigades of the Second Corps to
press in. Smyth's brigade is confronting Pettigrew, while Harrow's brigade comes from the left, and the Eighth Ohio
closes in upon his flank. All these forces cluster about and support the two Vermont brigades which originally held
the wall, and which are still fighting heroically.
In the mêlée, uproar, confusion and carnage, amid the roar of cannon, rattle of musketry, bursting of shells,
whirring and shrieking of canister and musket-balls, amid yells and oaths, cheers aid commands, brave deeds are
done momentarily by Confederate and Union soldier and officer alike. There is an utter disregard of life; men in
blue and men in gray are animated by one thought only—to win.
 Fifteen minutes! But it seems an hour! When General Pickett looks around for his supports they are not there. There
is no one to fold back the door which he has opened, and which has already closed again. The cannon in the cemetery
have decimated his supporting brigades on the left, and those which were to have appeared at his right are still,
by some misunderstanding of orders, far back, west of the Emmettsburg road.
There is no help for them now. Surrounded, a retreat will mean annihilation. Four thousand five hundred throw down
their arms and surrender, while those farther away from the stone wall seek safety in flight. Then, from Little
Round Top all the way to Cemetery Ridge, there rises a mighty chorus of voices shouting the paean of victory, which
rises even above that awful roar of other battle noises.
The conflict has ceased in Codori's fields, but south of Round Top and out on Rummel's farm the cavalry is still
engaged. The Union troops here make an effort to capture some of Long-street's trains and also create a diversion
which will prevent him from advancing once more against Little Round Top. Farnsworth is mortally wounded by the
Confederate infantry, and his troops repulsed.
The First New Jersey Regiment, under Stuart,
 advances across a level field in the direction of Mr. Rummel's house. Suddenly from the barn swarms a strong body
of dismounted Confederates. Muskets and carbines begin to rattle. A Confederate battery appears at the edge of the
woods to assist, but is counterbalanced by the arrival of Randol's Union battery. Hard the men on both sides fight.
Stuart knows no fear or flinch. Hampton is equally as gallant. But the spirit of the South has been broken by the
defeat of Pickett. After a while it tells, and his brave men in gray fall slowly back, just as the sun is going
It is the last blow. The battle of Gettysburg has been fought and lost by General Lee. More than twenty thousand of
his men may be counted in the total list of killed, wounded and prisoners.
No wonder that the night of the third day is one of gloom and despondency for the Confederates! Nearly every one of
their regiments has taken part in the engagement, with frightful losses. All the way from Fredericksburg had they
come with a feeling of contempt for the Union army, and a confidence in victory. Now how bitter the reversal of
The morning of July 4th dawns—anniversary of the Declaration of Independence—the birth of a great nation. From
Cemetery Hill you may see with your glasses the white canvas tops of
 many army wagons and ambulances, far away in the southwest, moving toward the mountains, in the direction of the
It is the Confederates, enacting the last sad scene of the intense conflict. The very gait of horse, the very
posture of man, as they go, tell you of heavy hearts caused by a long-held hope crushingly shattered.