Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/147

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General Lee at Getty sbwg. J43

Early on June ist, while General Lee rode with Longstreet to Cashtown, General A. P. Hill sent two divisions, Heth and Fender, down towards Gettysburg, as he says, "to discover what was in my front," or as Heth says "to get those shoes," a premature move- ment contrary to the spirit at least of Lee's instructions. It made the great battle, not one of defense on the eastward slopes at Cash- town, but of offence at Gettysburg. Heth's advancing skirmish line found Buford's cavalry pickets at Willoughby's run, on the west side of McPherson's ridge, and forced them back with a vigor which was, to say the least, unfortunate for the Confederates. The sound of battle went west to call Ewell forward along the road from Carlisle and brought General Lee to the front from Cashtown.

General R. H. Anderson, with a division of Hill's corps, says, that, at Cashtown, General Lee, listening to the guns toward Get- tysburg, said, "I cannot think what has become of Stuart. I ought to have heard from him long before now. He may have met with disaster, but I hope not. In the absence of reports from him, I am in ignorance as to what we have in front of us here. It may be the whole Federal Army, or it may be only a detachment. If it is the whole Federal army we must fight a battle here; if we do not gain a victory these defiles and gorges through which we are passing this morning will shelter us from disaster."

Contrary to Lee's warning, Hill was giving battle against the advanced corps of the Army of the Potomac. At 10 A. M., Rey- nolds found the First Corps of the Federal army on Seminary ridge, a mile west of Gettysburg. Advancing with a division to the sup- port of Buford, Reynolds drove Archer's brigade back over Wil- loughby's run, capturing General Archer, and falling himself slain on the field. At noon, Hill's divisions, Heth and Pender, held the first corps at bay, and the Eleventh Corps arrived under General Howard, who took command of the Federal lines. Leaving one division with batteries on the Cemetery hill, Howard led two divi- sions to the fronton Seminary ridge. At 2:30 P. M., Ewell came down the Heidlersburg road, and Rodes' fine division swept down against Howard's right flank.

At 3:30 Early came into the battle from the York road, attacking the right and rear of Howard's line. At 4 P. M. Swell's divisions drove the Eleventh Corps through the town, and Hill advancing, drove the First Corps, completely routed. At 4:30 P. M., How-