Reports of Col. Andrew L. Harris,
Seventy-fifth Ohio Infantry, commanding regiment and Second Brigade.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43] -- Gettysburg Campaign
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTY-FIFTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS,
July 5, 1863.
Commanding Second Brigade, First Division.
SIR: In compliance with orders received at these headquarters, I beg leave to submit the following condensed report of the part taken by the Seventy-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the battle of July 1, 2, and 3:
Marched from Emmitsburg with about 160 officers and men on the morning of July 1, leaving 100 enlisted men and 3 commissioned officers to scout the country in the neighborhood of the Greencastle road.
-Arrived at Gettysburg at about 1 p.m., and was sent immediately to the northwest part of the city and placed in line of battle ready to meet the enemy on the right center of Second Brigade, First Division; was ordered forward in line of battle to receive the attack of the enemy. Advanced to the edge of the woods, when both flanks, being unsupported and exposed to an enfilading fire, were compelled to fall back with heavy loss in killed, wounded, and missing; rallied again the few men left, and fell back to the hill, which we now occupy. Here, by the return of a part of the scouting party before mentioned, the number increased to 91 officers and men.
July 2 was spent in skirmishing with the enemy's sharpshooters until about 4 p.m., when we were again ordered to prepare for action, and the Seventy-fifth was placed at the stone wall south of the hill, with the Seventeenth Connecticut immediately on our left. Just before the attack was made, the Seventeenth was thrown to the extreme right of the line, and the space at the wall where they had been was left unoccupied, excepting by a few of the Twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteers. About dusk the enemy attacked the regiment in front and on the flank and rear at nearly the same time, having come through the space which had been vacated by the removal of the Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteers. From this attack but few escaped, and those only in the darkness and smoke; the greater portion were no doubt made prisoners.
But little transpired on the 3d, excepting a heavy artillery fire, which we were exposed to during the day, and constant skirmishing with the enemy's sharpshooters in the buildings on the outskirts of the town, from which they fired with much effect, wounding quite a number of the regiment during the day.
Hoping this imperfect report will be sufficient for the present, I remain, colonel, your obedient servant,
A. L. HARRIS,
Colonel, Comdg. Seventy-fifth Ohio Volunteers.
- - - - -
April 7, 1864.
Capt. J. M. BROWN,
SIR: In compliance with your request, I lay before you the following facts in regard to the different positions and the part taken by the Second Brigade: First Division, Eleventh Corps, in the battle of Gettysburg:
I assumed command of the brigade late in the afternoon of the 1st of July, and took my position, by order of General Ames, at a stone wall on the right, and nearly at right angles with the Baltimore road, throwing a heavy line of skirmishers into the edge of the town.
During the night a few random shots were fired; but early in the morning of the 2d the enemy attacked my skirmishers, firing from behind the fences and a brick-kiln on the right, and from the houses on the left. This continued until near sundown, when the positions of the different regiments of the brigade were changed to that designated in the diagram yesterday.
In moving the Seventeenth Connecticut Volunteers to the extreme right and front of my line, their place at the wall was left vacant, thus endangering the left flank of the Seventy-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the right flank of the Twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Before I could make any arrangements to remedy this breach in the line, the attack of the enemy on Cemetery Hill was made, and I was forced back by superiority of numbers, with heavy loss.
After the repulse of the enemy, I took up a position at the stone wall in the rear of and parallel with the one occupied the previous day, my left resting on the Baltimore road.
Before day on the morning of the 3d, I was ordered to move to the right along the wall until I joined the First Brigade, and to throw a strong line of skirmishers to the front, which was done. At daylight my skirmishers commenced a heavy fire upon the skirmishers of the enemy, which they replied to with vigor. This was kept up the entire day, in which my command suffered severely.
Early on the morning of the 4th, I was ordered by General Ames to throw my brigade forward into the town, which I did, finding but few of the enemy remaining, who were easily made prisoners. I may safely add that the Second Brigade was the first to enter the town of Gettysburg after the battle. While in the town, Colonel Noble arrived, and assumed command of the brigade.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. L. HARRIS,
Colonel Seventy-fifth Ohio Volunteers.
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