Report of Col. Samuel S. Carroll, Eighth Ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43]
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., THIRD DIV., SECOND CORPS,
Two Taverns, Pa., July 5, 1863.
Maj. J. M. NORVELL,
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the brigade which I have the honor to command in the battle of Gettysburg:
On the 2d instant, by command of Brigadier-General Hays, commanding division, the brigade was formed in line of regiments, right in front, between Woodruff's battery on the left and the Taneytown road on the right, at about 8 a.m.
An hour afterward an order was received from the same source to send four companies to the front as a support to the skirmishers already there, who seemed to be hard pressed, and four companies from the Fourth Ohio Volunteers were sent out. They kept up a brisk interchange of shots with the enemy's skirmishers. At 12 m. those four companies were relieved by two others from the same regiment.
About 1 p.m. the enemy opened upon our position with shell, and fired a dozen or two rounds. Immediately afterward their skirmishers commenced to advance and ours to retire. At this juncture, an order was received from the brigadier-general commanding division to send my leading regiment to their support, and I immediately took the Eighth Ohio out some 200 yards to the front, directing Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer, commanding, to advance two companies deployed as skirmishers and relieve those of the Fourth Ohio Volunteers, and to maintain his position at all hazards, as he would be supported by the rest of the brigade.
About 6 p.m. the enemy opened a severe artillery fire upon the Second and Third Brigades, of this division, on the left of Woodruff's battery, advancing their infantry at the same time in their front, when orders were received from the brigadier-general commanding to move three regiments (Fourteenth Indiana, Fourth Ohio, and Seventh West Virginia) by the left flank, and take position on the left of the Second Brigade, which was executed under a heavy discharge of shot, shell, and musketry. This position was retained but a few minutes when orders were received from the same source to return with two regiments to the old position, which was done, leaving the Fourth Ohio on the left of the Second Brigade.
About dark, I received orders through Major Norvell, adjutant-general of the division, to move immediately to the assistance of part of the Eleventh Corps supporting batteries on Cemetery Hill, as they were being driven back, and the enemy were charging those batteries, and that I would be conducted by an aide of General Howard's. Moved immediately with three regiments, the Fourteenth Indiana leading. We found the enemy up to and some of them in among the front guns of the batteries on the road. Owing to the artillery fire from our own guns, it was impossible to advance by a longer front than that of a regiment, and it being perfectly dark, and with no guide, I had to find the enemy's line entirely by their fire. For the first few minutes they had a cross-fire upon us from a stone wall on the right of the road, but, by changing the front of the Seventh West Virginia, they were soon driven from there. The firing continued until about 10. 20, when they fell back out of range, and skirmishers were advanced in our front. General Ames' division then made connection with me on our right and left.
This position we maintained until the 5th. We were exposed to a great deal of cross-firing during the heavy cannonading of the 3d, and kept up occasional skirmishing with the enemy up to the evening of that date, besides being annoyed by sharpshooters from the town, who had a flank fire upon us. The Eighth Ohio retained their position in front of the extreme right of the corps until after the severe fighting of the 3d, when they were relieved, after being in front over twenty-four hours, and receiving the first of the attack of the 3d, and maintaining their position until the line of the enemy was up with them, when they changed front, and opened fire on their flank, charging them and inflicting great damage.
Too much credit cannot be given to both the officers and men of that regiment, as well as their gallant leader, Lieut. Col. Franklin Sawyer, and Captain Kenny, acting major. I commend in the same terms the officers and men of the other three regiments, who, throughout the whole time, acted with soldierlike coolness and courage, as they always do. I would mention by name Col. J. Coons, Lieutenant-Colonel Cavins, and Major Houghton, Fourteenth Indiana; Lieutenant-Colonel Carpenter, commanding, and Major Stewart, Fourth Ohio, and Lieutenant-Colonel Lockwood, Seventh West Virginia Volunteers, the only field officers present, for gallant and meritorious conduct on the field.
My thanks are due to my staff, Lieut. J. G. Reid, Eighth Ohio Volunteers, acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. J. E. Gregg, acting assistant inspector-general; Capt. S. Fiske, Fourteenth Connecticut, aide-de-camp; Lieut. J. H. Carr, Fourth Ohio Volunteers, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Van Dyke, Fourteenth Indiana, for their valuable assistance in a trying emergency.
Captain Willard, Fourteenth Indiana Volunteers, with his pioneer corps, worked most untiringly, caring for the wounded, burying the dead, and collecting arms and accouterments from the field, and were under fire while the brigade was. Captain Craig, Eighth Ohio, commanding provost guard, was busied in assisting the pioneer corps, taking charge of and turning over prisoners.
My adjutant, Lieutenant Reid, had his horse shot on the night of the 3d.
The Eighth Ohio took 3 stand of colors and the Fourteenth Indiana 1.
The brigade captured 252 prisoners, among them several field and general officers; also cared for 113 wounded, most of them rebels, and buried 37 rebel dead. The pioneer corps gathered from the field 349 stand of arms and accouterments. All our wounded were moved from the field to the hospital and our own dead buried.
I append herewith a summary of casualties in this brigade, and inclose reports of commanders of regiments and detachments.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. S. CARROLL,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
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