July 1, 1863

Gettysburg, First Day:

“… Wadsworth’s division was falling back…, the rebs pushing rapidly on and cheering. They were also attacking the Eleventh Corps at the same time. The Cashtown Road being our most important point, each one had aimed to take care of it. Robinson had ordered Stewart (Battery B, 4th US) to take post on each side of the railroad. Doubleday had ordered Stevens (Battery E, 5th Maine Artillery) from where I had placed him at the left to the road itself. Cooper (Battery B, 1st Pennsylvania) had his four guns immediately in front of the main building… Thus there eighteen pieces on a frontage of not over two hundred yards. But there was no time to make changes, for the rebs were coming steadily on down the ridge in front only five hundred yards off and all the guns were blazing away at them as lively as possible. In a little time I went to the right and front of (Lieutenant) Wilbur’s section, one piece of which was on the Cashtown Road. I found Lieutenant Davison had thrown his half of Battery ‘B’ around so as to get an oblique, almost enfilading fire on the rebel lines. His round shot, together with the canister poured in from all other guns, was cutting great gaps in the front line of the enemy. But still they came on, the gaps being closed by regiments from the second line, and this again filled up a third column which was coming over the hill. Never have I seen such a charge. Not a man seemed to falter. Lee may well be proud of his infantry; I wish ours was equal up to it.”

–From “A Diary of Battle, The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainwright, 1861-1865

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