Report of Brig. Gen. Junins Daniel, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.
JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.--The Gettysburg Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
HEADQUARTERS DANIEL'S BRIGADE,
August 20, 1863.
Maj. G. PEYTON,
MAJOR: In compliance with orders received from division headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my brigade from June 4 (the time the division left Grace Church) to July 20, when, in consequence of sickness, I turned over the command to Colonel Brabble:
The brigade, consisting of the Thirty-second, Forty-third, Forty-fifth, and Fifty-third Regiments, and Second Battalion North Carolina troops (in all about 2,200 men), left Grace Church with the division on June 4, and marched in the direction of Culpeper Court-House, which place we reached on the 7th without encountering the enemy, and encamped 3 miles beyond the town.
On the morning of the 9th, firing was heard in the direction of Brandy Station, and I received orders to proceed in that direction.
About 12 o'clock, I arrived near Brandy Station, and received orders from Lieutenant-General Ewell and General Lee to proceed to the station, and report to Brigadier-General Hampton. Upon arriving at the station, I reported to General Hampton, and was by him placed in line of battle about 1 mile in advance of the station, to support some cavalry that had fallen back before the enemy, their skirmishers being at this time a little in advance of their position, and their artillery firing upon the enemy at long range.
A short time after this, I received orders from the major-general commanding the division to throw out skirmishers to the front, and move my line some half mile to the rear. After remaining in this position a short time, the enemy began to retire, and I received orders to advance my skirmishers and retire my line still farther to the rear, keeping my troops concealed behind the hills during the movement. The enemy retired before my line of skirmishers. About 5 p.m. I received orders to call in my skirmishers, and move to a wood near the Botts House, and there go into camp.
On the following day, I left camp with the division, making a night march, and moving in the direction of Front Royal, which place we reached about 12 m. on the 12th, and crossed the Shenandoah on the same day, taking the road to Berryville, via Millwood. Near Millwood, my brigade being in advance of the division, my advance guard came in contact with a small party of the enemy's cavalry, which retired before them, and was not seen again until I reached Berryville, which place the enemy occupied in force.
Upon arriving near the town, I received orders to move to the left, and, in conjunction with General Jenkins, to prevent the escape of the enemy by the Winchester pike, and, upon the arrival of a battery of artillery, under command of Major Baxter [?], to attack and carry the enemy's works on Grindstone Hill, and after this to move upon the town, and form a junction with the troops that had moved to the right of the town.
In compliance with these orders, I moved some 3 miles to the left, and took a position under cover of some woods near the enemy's works, and in such manner as to prevent their escape by the Winchester pike.
Upon examination, I found that the enemy had abandoned their works and gone in the direction of the town. I immediately commenced moving in the same direction, when I received notice from Major-General Rodes that the enemy had retreated from the town, and was directed by him to move upon the Martinsburg pike. Upon reaching this pike, and reporting to the major-general commanding, a short rest was ordered, after which we commenced moving upon Martinsburg, which place the rear of the column did not reach until after dark the next day.
My command having been placed in charge of the train, and the enemy's cavalry having shown some activity during the march, I was ordered to place one of my regiments in front of the train and one in the rear, and to distribute the others equally along the train. The train being several miles in length, my command was much separated. When I had arrived within 3 miles of the town, an officer of Colonel Carter's artillery reported to me that he had a battery playing upon the enemy which was without infantry supports, and requested that I would give him a regiment to support it. In the absence of the major-general commanding, I immediately ordered the Fifty-third Regiment, Colonel Owens commanding, to the support of this battery, and then, having sent a staff officer to bring up such of my regiments as were still in the rear, I proceeded with the Forty-third Regiment along the road leading to the town. Having halted this regiment in the outskirts of the town, I rode forward, and learned that the enemy had fled, and received orders from the major-general commanding to return with my command, and go into camp at Big Springs.
The following day we marched upon Williamsport, which place we reached about dark, and went into camp just opposite the town.
On the 17th, we crossed the river, and encamped on the Sharpsburg road.
On the 19th, we marched upon Hagerstown, and remained in camp there until the 22d, when we marched upon Greencastle, Pa., and encamped a little south of the town, and remained until the 24th, when we marched upon Chambersburg, reaching that place about the middle of the day.
At 12 o'clock at night, I received orders to move with my brigade to Shippensburg, as General Jenkins was threatened by the enemy. I commenced the march about 1 o'clock, and arrived there about 5 a.m., and relieved General Jenkins in command.
On the 26th, the remainder of the division came up.
On the following day (June 27), we marched upon Carlisle, where we remained until the 30th, when we marched upon Gettysburg, by way of Heidlersburg, and arrived within 23 miles of the town about 12 m. At this time I received orders to turn to the right, and follow the trail of the troops that had preceded me. After moving some three-quarters of a mile, I received orders to form my brigade in line about 200 yards in rear of General Iverson, my left in rear of his right wing, with instructions to protect the right of the division, and to support Iverson's right. I was also informed that Colonel O'Neal, commanding Rodes' brigade, was on the same line with myself, and would support General Iverson on the left. After remaining in this position for some hour and a half, I was notified by General Iverson that he was about to advance. Immediately after commencing his advance, and when he had reached the open field a short distance in his front, he changed his line of direction considerably to the left, thus unmasking such of my regiments as were in his rear. After advancing a short distance, General Iverson became engaged with the enemy.
Having received no notification of his change of direction, I allowed my line to move on, and rode to the front to reconnoiter. Here I ascertained that General Iverson had changed his direction, and was engaging the enemy, strongly posted in some woods in his front, and also that the enemy was threatening his right. This change of General Iverson's caused me to execute a corresponding change to the left. In order to support his right, my entire line, excepting the Second Battalion and Forty-fifth Regiment, was moved some distance by the left flank.
I immediately moved the Second Battalion and the Forty-fifth Regiment forward, and engaged the enemy, very strongly posted along a railroad cut, and in the edge of the woods in rear of the cut, their line of battle being nearly at right angles with General Iverson's line, and supported by two batteries of artillery posted near a stone barn on the right of the railroad cut, and another on the hill to the left of the railroad. This line of the enemy brought a very strong fire both of artillery and musketry upon my own and a portion of the right of General Iverson's line. Seeing that the enemy was strong, and other troops coming up to their support, I ordered the Forty-third and Fifty-third Regiments from my center and right to the left, to support General Iverson and my left. The Forty-fifth Regiment and Second Battalion, under command of Lieutenant-Colonels [S. H.] Boyd and [H. L.] Andrews, moved forward under a murderous fire of artillery in the most gallant manner to a fence, under cover of a slight eminence, and engaged the enemy at short range, and by their steady and well-directed fire soon forced them to fall back.
After seeing the Forty-third and Fifty-third Regiments (which had been moved from the right) in position, I ordered the Second Battalion and Forty-fifth Regiment, supported on the left by the Forty-third and Fifty-third Regiments, to charge the enemy, at the same time ordering the Thirty-second Regiment, Colonel Brabble commanding, to move forward on the right, and get a position where he could reach the flank of the enemy, posted about the barn and in the woods in the rear of the barn.
The Forty-fifth Regiment and Second Battalion, gallantly led by their commanders and supported by the rest of the line, advanced at a charge, driving the enemy from the cut in confusion, killing and wounding many and taking some prisoners; also compelling their artillery to retire from the barn.
At the railroad cut, which had been partially concealed by the long grass growing around it, and which, in consequence of the abruptness of its sides, was impassable, the advance was stopped. Seeing that it was impossible to advance this part of the line, and the ground affording no cover, I ordered the Forty-fifth Regiment and Second Battalion to fall back some 40 paces to the crest of a hill, which afforded some shelter. From this position I kept up a heavy fire on the columns of the enemy that came down to the relief of the lines that had been broken, and in the meantime examined the cut from which the enemy had been driven. This 1 found could only be carried by moving a force across the cut to support the line advancing on the left of the cut, and that it could only be crossed by moving a regiment by the flank in rear and on the right of my position, and in front of some troops of General A. P. Hill's corps who were lying down in line of battle, and to whom I had sent an officer with a request that they would act in conjunction with me in my previous advance, and with which request they had for some cause failed to comply.
Seeing that the enemy was strengthening himself on my right, and was occupying the cut and the hill to the right and left of it in great force, that General Iverson's left had been broken, and that one of the enemy's flags had almost gotten in his rear, I saw the necessity of carrying the hill at all hazards, and ordered Colonel Brabble to advance across the cut, keeping his left on the cut and his line perpendicular to it, and to carry the battery at the barn, and drive in the line of infantry between the barn and the hill. This advance of Colonel Brabble took the enemy in flank. At the same time, I ordered Captain Hammond to proceed to the left, and order all my troops to advance with the center, of which portion I had the immediate command, and also to endeavor to get all the troops on my left to advance with me, as I intended to carry the hill.
About this time a body of troops, which I afterward learned belonged to Major-General Pender's division, commenced a most spirited advance on my right, leaving, however, an interval of some hundreds of yards between themselves and my right. My own troops advanced in fine order, under a heavy fire, the Twelfth North Carolina Regiment, of Iverson's brigade, keeping abreast with my left. After severe fighting, I succeeded in taking the hill, with a very heavy loss. Here a very large number of prisoners were captured, and in the advance my troops passed over several stand of colors that had been abandoned by the enemy. The Forty-fifth Regiment captured a stand of colors of the enemy, and recaptured the colors of the Twentieth North Carolina Regiment. My command continued to move forward until it reached the outskirts of the town, where, agreeably to instructions received through Major [H. A.] Whiting, I halted. Subsequently, having received orders from the major-general commanding to hold the railroad, I rested here during the night, under cover of an embankment.
I feel it my duty at this point to make mention of the gallant conduct of my troops during this action. Their loss in killed and wounded amounted to about one-third the number that entered the fight. All acted with courage and coolness, but it fell to the lot of the Forty-fifth, Lieutenant-Colonel Boyd; Second Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, and the Thirty-second, Colonel Brabble, to meet the heaviest efforts of the enemy. This they did in the most gallant manner, repulsing them at every advance, and finally driving them in confusion from the field.
On the morning of the 2d, I moved, under orders from the major-general commanding the division, to the right of the railroad cut, and occupied the crest of the hill, my left resting near the cut and my right connecting with the left of General Pender's division. Colonel O'Neal, commanding Rodes' old brigade, having been directed by Major-General Rodes to report to me for orders, I caused him to occupy the position under the railroad embankment which my own brigade had occupied during the night. My brigade held its position along the crest throughout the day.
About 3.30 p.m. the enemy's artillery opened in reply to our own, and from that time until nearly dark the portion of the line occupied by my troops was subjected to a heavy fire, from which, owing to their exposed situation, they suffered much. A little after sunset, I received orders to form in the open field in front of and below the hill, and to support Generals Doles, Iverson, and Ramseur in an advance upon Cemetery Hill. With Rodes' brigade on my left, I moved in the rear of General Ramseur for a distance of about three-quarters of a mile, when I was notified by General Ramseur that he had halted, and that it was impracticable at that time to advance farther. I therefore halted my line, and remained in that position until about 10 p.m., when I received orders to move back into the town, and occupy the position formerly occupied by General Ramseur, with O'Neal on my left.
Some two hours afterward, I received orders to move with my own and Rodes' brigade to the left of the town, a distance of about 4 miles, and report to General Johnson. In obedience to this order, I moved off at about 1.30 a.m., and reported to General Johnson at about 4 a.m., by whom I was immediately ordered into action, to the support of Jones' brigade, Colonel [R. H.] Dungan commanding. I was at the same time notified that Colonel O'Neal would receive his orders during the day from General Johnson. In taking the position assigned me, the Thirty-second Regiment was subjected to a heavy artillery fire in a much exposed situation, which, however, it bore with great courage and steadiness. On coming up with Jones' brigade, I found its skirmishers engaging the enemy at long range. The hill in front of this position was, in my opinion, so strong that it could not have been carried by any force. After remaining here some two or three hours. I was ordered to move by the left flank to the left, under the guidance of a staff officer, who hail been sent to conduct me to the position it was desired I should occupy. In executing this movement, my troops were much exposed, and many were killed and wounded.
On reaching the left, I received orders from General Johnson to charge the enemy's works, in conjunction with General Steuart. This charge was made in a most gallant manner, and the enemy driven from a portion of their works in front of my center and right, and near the works captured the evening before by Jones' brigade. Owing to the heavy fire brought upon General Steuart, he was unable to advance farther, and I was, therefore, unable to occupy the works of the enemy; but from a sheltered position, within less than 50 paces, I obtained through a gorge between their lines of intrenchments a most destructive fire with the whole of the Forty-fifth Regiment for five minutes upon a crowd of the enemy who were disorganized and fleeing in great confusion. And here, owing to the fact that the enemy were returning our fire at this time very feebly, and that our own aim was unobstructed, we succeeded in inflicting heavy loss upon them.
This position I held, bringing a heavy, though unequal, fire on the fresh columns that came down to the relief of those that had been broken and were leaving their works, until ordered by General Johnson to fall back with the rest of his line about three-quarters of a mile, and occupy the position along a run at the foot of the hill.
I remained in this position, with my skirmishers warmly engaged, and the enemy's fire reaching and doing some execution upon our line, from about 3 p.m. until nearly 12 p.m., when I received orders to follow General Smith's brigade with my own and Rodes' brigade back to the town, and there report to General Rodes. Having done this, my brigade was assigned a position on the left of the division. This I reached and occupied about daybreak on the morning of the 4th.
I cannot in justice to the officers and men of my command close this portion of my report without recording my earnest conviction that the conduct of none of the troops who participated in this engagement will furnish brighter examples of patient endurance than were exhibited by them. Entering the fight on the first day at about 1 p.m., and hotly engaged until 4 p.m., during which time they constantly drove before them a superior force of the enemy, losing nearly one-third of their number and many valuable officers; exposed during the afternoon of the second day to a galling fire of artillery, from which they suffered much, they moved at night in line of battle on the enemy's strong position, after which, with less than two hours' rest, and having made a fatiguing night march, they reported to General Johnson, and entered the fight again at 5 a.m. on the third day, and were not withdrawn until between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon, their skirmishers remaining engaged until nearly 12 o'clock at night, and the whole line being constantly exposed to and suffering from the enemy s fire. Shortly after 12 o'clock, they were required to repeat the march of the preceding night, and to reoccupy the position from which they had driven the enemy on the first day. Nor was there exhibited by any portion of the command during the three days in which they were engaged any disposition to shrink from the duties before them, or any indications of that despondency with which men similarly exposed are so often affected.
I desire here to make special mention of Capt. W. M. Hammond, assistant adjutant-general, First Lieut. W. R. Bond, aide-de-camp, and Lieut. Col. W. J. Green, aide-de-camp--Captain Hammond for his bravery and efficient services throughout the three days' fight; Lieutenant Bond and Colonel Green for their services on the first day. Both the latter were severely wounded on the first day--Lieu-tenant Bond through the body and Colonel Green through the head, each acting with most conspicuous coolness and bravery. To these officers I am indebted for most important services on that day.
Lieutenant-Colonel Boyd and Major [John R.] Winston, Forty-fifth North Carolina Regiment, were both wounded on the first day, the former severely and the latter painfully. Major Winston, however, notwithstanding the painful character of his wound, did not quit the field, but remained with his regiment until late in the engagement of July 3, when a second wound, more severe than the first, compelled him to retire. Both of these officers were wounded while leading their men in an advance upon the enemy.
Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, Second North Carolina Battalion, was killed July 1, while gallantly leading his men in a charge. Major [John M.] Hancock, of this battalion, at the same time received a wound through the breast. Major [Henry G.] Lewis, of the Thirty-second, severely wounded at the close of the first day's fight, and Colonel [T. S.] Kenan, of the Forty-third Regiment, severely wounded on July 3, while leading his men against the enemy's works. These officers, with the exception of Captain Hammond, are in the hands of the enemy.
I desire also to mention specially Col. E. C. Brabble, Thirty-second; Lieut. Col. W. G. Lewis, Forty-third Regiment; Lieut. Col. D. G. Cowand, Thirty-second Regiment; Capt. A. H. Gallaway, commanding Forty-fifth Regiment on July 3, after Major Winston had been disabled ;Captain [J. A.] Hopkins, of the same regiment; Captain [William L.] London, of the Thirty-second, commanding skirmishers; Captain [Carey] Whitaker, senior captain in the Forty-third, and Lieutenant [W. E.] Stitt, Forty-third Regiment, acting aide-de-camp after Lieutenant Bond was wounded. These officers all acted with bravery and coolness, as did all of my officers and men whose conduct came under my observation, but the above were more conspicuous than the rest.
I entered the engagement of July I with 2,100 men. The total loss up to the time my command reached Hagerstown amounted to 996 men, of which number 9 were lost in the skirmish at Fairfield.
About night on Saturday, the 4th, I received orders to hold myself in readiness to move. Between 12 and 1 o'clock, I received orders to commence the march, and moved off at the head of the division, taking the Fairfield road, which place we reached the middle of the afternoon the following day, and encamped some 1 miles beyond the town, upon the top of the mountain. The following morning, I was notified that the division would constitute the rear guard of the army, and that I would bring up the rear of the division, and was ordered to relieve the skirmishers of General Early, then coming up from the town, the enemy's skirmishers following them.
I threw out skirmishers on both sides of the road, and engaged those of the enemy, driving them back. The enemy's line having been ascertained to be a long one, extending nearly across the alley, General Doles was ordered by the commanding general to throw out skirmishers, and relieve a portion of mine on the right of the road.
The Forty-fifth Regiment, under command of Captain Hopkins, was ordered to occupy a hill some distance to the left and front, which it was thought from the movements of the enemy they had intended to occupy with artillery, and from which he could annoy us much in withdrawing. Upon reaching the hill, Captain Hopkins found it occupied by a regiment of the enemy, who demanded of him a surrender, and to which demand he replied handsomely by driving them beyond the hill, with slight loss to himself, and considerable, he thinks, to the enemy. This position I occupied until informed by the major-general that he had taken up a position some mile or more in the rear, and, under orders from him, withdrew my troops, and occupied this position, holding with skirmishers a branch some half mile in front of the last position.
I withdrew without loss and in good order, the enemy not pursuing with much vigor, but moved a small force around to the left, which came in contact with some skirmishers placed by Major-General Rodes to protect my rear. Having received orders to withdraw, I did so, without being pressed by the enemy, and encamped near Waynesborough that night.
The following day we marched upon Hagerstown, and encamped within 2 miles of the town.
On the 15th, the cavalry having reported the enemy as attempting to cross the Antietam by the dirt road that led to Boonsborough, I was ordered to strengthen my pickets on that road, and, in conjunction with Robertson's cavalry brigade, to prevent the crossing. It was afterward ascertained to be a small force of the enemy's cavalry, which was easily driven by cavalry skirmishers, supported by a line of infantry commanded by Captain London, Thirty-second Regiment.
About night we marched through town, taking the Clear Spring road, and went into line of battle the following morning on the left of the army, some 2 miles from town. This position we occupied until the night of the 13th, when we recrossed the Potomac, and I encamped some mile and a half beyond Falling Waters.
The next day we marched upon Martinsburg, which place we reached on the 15th.
The next morning we took up the line of march for Darkesville, near which place we remained until the 20th, when we returned to Martinsburg, where we rested during the night.
The next day we passed through the town, and commenced tearing up the railroad track some 2 miles from town. Here we received orders to return to Darkesville, at which place, in consequence of sickness, I turned over the command to Colonel Brabble.
Very respectfully, &c.,
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