Report of Captain William Davis, Sixty-Ninth Pennsylvania Infantry.
Jones’ Cross-Roads, MD.,
July 12, 1863.
Captain: In compliance with general orders, I herewith send you a brief report of the part our regiment took in the recent engagement with the enemy in the vicinity of Gettysburg, pa. , and the casualties attending the same. In compliance with an order from Brigadier-General Webb, we took up our line of position behind a temporary breastwork made of fence-rails, strengthened with stone, on the morning of July 2, and remained in that position till the enemy advanced upon us, about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The battery of the First Rhode Island, being immediately in our front, had kept up a fierce cannonading for two hours before, and doubtless had done great execution on the rebel lines. This fact rendered our position a mark of no insignificance. The capture of the battery became a matter of great importance to the rebels, as future events proved fully. Onward they came, and absolutely seized upon the cannon. To prevent this, all the energy and power that could be brought to bear against such a result was brought into requisition. Our men fought with the bravery and coolness of veterans, and, after fighting with desperation for a period of one hour or more, we had the satisfaction of seeing the rebels turn and flee in a perfect panic. We lost in this engagement:
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The battle commenced on the 3rd instant at about 4 p. m. We still held the position assigned us the day previous. At about 1 o’clock a most fierce cannonading took place, and was continued without intermission till about 3 o’clock, when the rebels advanced a large infantry force against our whole line. Onward they came, and it would seem as if no power could hold them in check. Our troops, with few exceptions, met them bravely, but still they came, and, as they advanced to the right of our regiment, turned by the right flank and literally came right on top of our men. But if they succeeded thus far in their advance, they were here held in check, for next ardor seemed to inspire our men to greater exertions. Our whole brigade here became engaged with them, and, with the help of the Tammany Regiment and the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment, drove them from the front of our line. We lost very heavily, and among the number killed we have to deplore our colonel, D. O’Kane, and lieutenant-colonel, M. Tschudy. Our major was also wounded at this juncture, and the command fell into my hands. After the enemy had been completely driven back, I put our men to work to still further strengthen our position in the event of any other advance on the part of the enemy on the following day. We lost in the engagement:
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Our killed were all buried together, and their graves marked, so that their friends and connections can easily find them if they wish to have them disinterred. The wounded were taken to hospitals temporarily erected, and cared for as well as circumstances would admit.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Comdg. Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Captain C. H. Banes,