Report of Brig. Gen. A. M. Scales, C. S. Army, commanding brigade
JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.--The Gettysburg Campaign
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
HEADQUARTERS SCALES' BRIGADE,
Camp near Orange Court-House, August 14, 1863.
Maj. JOSEPH A. ENGELHARD,
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this brigade on Wednesday, July 1, at the battle of Gettysburg:
In the first arrangement of the troops of Pender's light division, Lane's brigade was on the extreme left, and my brigade on his immediate right, with my left resting upon the turnpike leading from Cashtown to Gettysburg. McGowan's (South Carolina) brigade was on my right. A few minutes after the line of battle was thus formed, we received orders to advance.
After marching about a quarter of a mile without any casualty, we were halted, and put in rear of the artillery belonging to A. P. Hill's corps. Here General Lane's brigade was changed to the extreme right of the division, leaving my brigade on the extreme left, without any change of position. After the lapse of some thirty minutes, we were again ordered to advance, which I did in good order, and under a pretty severe artillery fire from the enemy in my front. While thus advancing, I observed a regiment or two of the enemy about half a mile in our front, marching in line of battle parallel to the turnpike, and directly toward the road. They very soon engaged a regiment of our men (supposed to be a part of General Davis' brigade), who were advancing on the opposite side of the road. A heavy fight ensued, in which our friends, overpowered by numbers, gave way. Seeing this, the brigade quickened their step, and pressed on with a shout to their assistance. The enemy, with their flank thus exposed to our charge, immediately gave way, and fled in great confusion to the rear.
We pressed on until coming up with the line in our front, which was at a halt and lying down. I received orders to halt, and wait for this line to advance. This they soon did, and pressed forward in quick time. That I might keep in supporting distance, I again ordered an advance, and, after marching one-fourth of a mile or more, again came upon the front line, halted and lying down. The officers on this part of the line informed me that they were without ammunition, and would not advance farther. I immediately ordered my brigade to advance. We passed over them, up the ascent, crossed the ridge, and commenced the descent just opposite the theological seminary. Here the brigade encountered a most terrific fire of grape and shell on our flank, and grape and musketry in our front. Every discharge made sad havoc in our line, but still we pressed on at a double-quick until we reached the bottom, a distance of about 75 yards from the ridge we had just crossed, and about the same distance front the college, in our front. Here I received a painful wound from a piece of shell, and was disabled. Our line had been broken up, and now only a squad here and there marked the place where regiments had rested.
Every field officer of the brigade save one had been disabled, and the following list of casualties will attest sufficiently the terrible ordeal through which the brigade passed:
Officers and men Killed Wounded Missing Total Officers 9 45 1 55 Enlisted men 39 336 115 490 Total 48 381 116 545
Some few of the missing have returned. Others, no doubt, straggled and were made prisoners, while not a few, I have no doubt, were left dead or wounded on the field.
I must be permitted to express here my highest admiration of the conduct of both officers and men in this charge. No body of men could have done better. When all did so well, it would be unjust to make distinctions. I must, however, be allowed to acknowledge my indebtedness to Lieutenant [J. D.] Young, of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, and Adjutant [J. W.] Riddick, of the same regiment, both acting on my staff during the day, for the services they rendered me. Cool, calm, and intelligent, they acted throughout the day with a gallantry that deserves this notice.
In less than ten minutes after I was disabled and left the field, the enemy, as I learn, gave way, and the brigade, with the balance of the division, pursued them to the town of Gettysburg.
For the operations of the brigade for the balance of the evening and during the two days' fight which followed, together with the falling back and the recrossing of the Potomac at Falling Waters, I respectfully refer you to the accompanying report of Colonel Low-rance, who was in command of the brigade.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
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