Report of Brig. Gen. J. M. Jones, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.
JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.--The Gettysburg Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
HEADQUARTERS JONES' BRIGADE,
September 25, 1863.
Maj. R. W. HUNTER,
A. A. G., Johnson's Division, Ewell's Corps.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the brigade under my command during a portion of the battle of Gettysburg:
The brigade--consisting of the Twenty-first, Twenty-fifth, Forty-second, Forty-fourth, Forty-eighth, and Fiftieth Virginia Regiments, commanded, respectively, by Capt. W. P. Moseley, Col. J. C. Higginbotham, Lieut. Col. R. W. Withers, Maj. N. Cobb, Lieut. Col. R. H. Dungan, and Lieut. Col. L. H. N. Salyer--left camp at 7 a.m. on July 1, the second brigade in the division column, and on reaching Gettysburg, late in the afternoon, passed by the railroad depot to the left of the town, and, under the direction of the major-general commanding division, formed line of battle about dark on the left of Nicholls' brigade, in a ravine in an open field northeast of the town, and to the left and front of the enemy's artillery on Cemetery Hill. As soon as the line was formed, pickets were thrown well to the front, and the brigade lay upon their arms during the night. Nothing of importance so far as my brigade was concerned occurred during the night.
Soon after daylight on July 2, the skirmishers, taken from the Twenty-fifth Virginia, and commanded by Maj. R. D. Lilley, were pushed farther to the front, to watch the motions of the enemy. The brigade in line of battle remained in the position occupied by it the night before until about 4 p.m., when, by a verbal order from the major-general commanding, it moved to the front to support Andrews' battalion of artillery (Major Latimer), which was moving into position on a hill opposite to Cemetery Hill.
The brigade was halted under cover of a range of low hills, about 300 yards in rear and to the left of the battalion of artillery, the Fiftieth Virginia Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Salyer, being moved up to the immediate support of the artillery, and formed near its left.
To meet a strong demonstration made by the enemy on our right, the remainder of the Twenty-fifth Virginia, under Colonel Higginbotham, was thrown to the right and front, and the Fiftieth Virginia, Lieutenant-Colonel Salyer, moved to the right, and the remainder of the brigade moved up near the crest of the hill.
At this time, the major-general commanding arrived upon the hill occupied by the artillery, and after a short time directed me to form my brigade in line, to move forward where Nicholls' brigade had formed on my left, and to attack the enemy in his position on the opposite hill. The brigade advanced in good order, moving down the slope of the hill, across the bottom (Gettysburg Creek), and up the hill occupied by the enemy. The hill was steep, heavily timbered, rocky, and difficult of ascent. As the brigade advanced, a few shells were thrown from the batteries on the right, though but little damage resulted from them. My men gained ground steadily to the front, under a heavy fire of musketry from the enemy, protected by intrenchments. There was at one time some confusion toward the left, which I corrected as rapidly as possible. This confusion consisted in the mixing up of the files and the derangement of the general line, and was, perhaps, unavoidable from the lateness of the hour at which the advance was made, the darkness in the woods, and the nature of the hill. When near the first line of intrenchments, moving with my troops, I received a flesh wound through the thigh, the excessive hemorrhage from which rendered it necessary for me to be borne from the field, and the command of the brigade devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Dungan, Col. J. C. Higginbotham having been previously wounded. The brigade acted with efficiency while I was with it.
To the regimental commanders enumerated above, I am indebted for the prompt movements of their respective regiments whenever called upon.
The command of the Twenty-fifth Regiment during the action devolved upon Lieut. Col. J. A. Robinson, Colonel Higginbotham being wounded; the command of the Forty-fourth Regiment upon Capt. T. R. Buckner, Major Cobb being wounded.
The skirmishers, commanded during the greater part of the day by Maj. R. D. Lilley, rendered most valuable services, and the energy and skill with which they were handled by that officer received my highest admiration.
My chief medical officer, Surg. Bushrod Taylor, brought to the performance of the difficult task devolved upon him the same ability, zeal, untiring industry, and conscientious devotion to duty which have always marked his official connection with the brigade.
To Capt. R. Cleary, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. V. Dabney, volunteer aide-de-camp; Lieut. F. Pendleton Jones, aide-de-camp (badly wounded, and since dead), who were with me on the field, I am under obligation for the gallant and intelligent manner in which their duties were performed.
Lieuts. E. H. Boyd, ordnance officer, and Mann Page, brigade inspector, discharged their respective duties with promptness and ability.
My absence from the brigade, and its movements since I resumed command, have caused a delay in this report.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. JONES,
RETURN TO BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG CONFEDERATE ORDER OF BATTLE PAGE