Report of Maj. Gen. John
Sedgwick, U.S. Army, Commanding Sixth Army Corps.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43]
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS,
Warrenton, Va., August 8, 1863.
Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac.
GENERAL: I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of the Sixth Corps in the engagements near Gettysburg and since:
This command arrived on the field of Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 2, after a march of more than 30 miles.
Wheaton's and Eustis' brigades, of the third Division, temporarily commanded by Brigadier-General Wheaton, and Bartlett's brigade, of Wright's division, went into action about 5 p.m. on the left center, between divisions of the Fifth Corps, and assisted in repulsing the assault of the enemy. Russell's and Torbert's brigades, of Wright's division, were held in reserve that night. Neill's brigade, of Howe's division, was sent to the right of the line, reporting 'to Major-General Slocum, and Grant's brigade, of the same division, was posted on the extreme left of the general line. Shaler's brigade, of Wheaton's division, was held in reserve near the left center. The artillery of the corps was placed under the orders of the chief of artillery of the Army of the Potomac.
On the next morning and subsequently the following changes were made in the positions stated above: Russell's brigade was sent to the extreme left of the line, General Wright taking command of the troops of this corps there stationed. Subsequently it was returned to the left center, and on the following day it was placed in position, relieving a brigade of the Fifth Corps. Torbert's brigade was sent to the center, reporting to Major-General Newton, and remained in position until the morning of the 5th. Eustis' brigade was sent to the right center, also reporting to Major-General Newton. Shaler's brigade was also ordered to the left, and then to the right, and subsequently returned to the left center, and held in reserve.
During these movements the troops were more or less exposed to the fire of the enemy's artillery, but, with the exception of the evening of July 2, they were at no time seriously engaged.
On July 5, Wright's division, supported by the rest of my command, was sent forward to determine the position of the enemy, who was discovered to be in retreat through Fairfield in the direction of Hagerstown. The rear of the column was shelled for a short time in the morning, and in the evening a brisk artillery fire was opened upon his wagon trains in the vicinity of Fairfield, while the infantry pursued the rear guard, which was posted to protect the passage of the trains; 250 prisoners were captured during the day.
On the following day the enemy continued his retreat through the mountain pass, with a strong rear guard well posted, with artillery in position.
During the night the corps marched to Emmitsburg, with the exception of Neill's brigade, which was detached and sent in pursuit of the retreating column. From Emmitsburg I marched by way of Hamburg to Middletown, and thence to Boonsborough, Md.
On July 11, the enemy was posted near Funkstown, Md., and the corps moved up and took position, after crossing Beaver Creek. The Vermont Brigade (Grant's, of the Second Division) were deployed as skirmishers, covering a front of over 2 miles, and during the afternoon repulsed three successive attacks made in line of battle. The remarkable conduct of the brigade on this occasion deserves high praise.
On July 13, my command was placed in the general line of battle in the vicinity of Hagerstown, connecting with the Eleventh Corps on the right and the Fifth Corps on the left, and continued in this position, with occasional sharp skirmishing, until the enemy retired from the front and during the night recrossed the Potomac. He was closely followed to the river by Wright's division and the rest of the command.
On the day following the retreat of the enemy, I moved by way of Boonsborough and Middletown to Berlin, and crossed the river in rear of the army, and continued my march by way of Union, Rector-town, and Barbee's Cross-Roads to Manassas Gap, and thence by way of Barbee's Cross-Roads to Warrenton.
During the operations herein reported, the conduct of the troops was admirable. The marches were very severe, and the hardships undergone were greater than in any previous campaign.
The casualties of the corps were as follows. A nominal list has been already forwarded.
Major-General, Commanding Sixth Army Corps.
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