Reports of Brig. Gen. Alexander Shaler,
U.S. Army, commanding First Brigade, Third Division.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43] -- Gettysburg Campaign

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., THIRD DIV., SIXTH CORPS,
July 27, 1863.

Capt. A. J. SMITH,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Division, Sixth Corps.

        CAPTAIN: I have the honor herewith to submit the following report of the movements and operations of this brigade during the battle of Gettysburg:
        At 7 p.m. on the 2d instant, by direction of Brigadier-General Wheaton, commanding the division, this brigade was formed in line of battle on the left of the position held by the army, in rear of the Second Brigade.
        At 8 a.m. of the 3d instant, under instructions from General Wheaton, I reported with my brigade to Brigadier-General Geary, commanding Second Division, Twelfth Corps, which held the right of the position the army occupied, and, by his direction, took a sheltered position in rear of a piece of woods, beyond which the action was then progressing. Accompanying this you will find a copy of a report made to General Geary of the operations of the brigade while under his command.
        At 3.30 o'clock, by direction of General Wheaton, the brigade was moved, under a terrific fire of artillery, to report to General Newton. A subsequent order, however, from General Meade, directed me to remain in rear of the position of the Third Corps, reporting to Major-General Newton for instructions.
        At 7 a.m. the brigade was moved, by direction of General Newton, about half a mile to the right, still in reserve, and remained in this position until 6 a.m. of the 4th instant, when the brigade rejoined the division, by an order received direct from General Meade.
        The regiments composing the brigade, without exception, acquitted themselves in a highly commendable manner. I append a revised list of casualties.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALEXANDER SHALER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.

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HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS,
November 20, 1863.

Capt. A. E. KING,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.

        SIR: My attention has been called to the report of the major-general commanding the army of the battle of Gettysburg, as published in the Washington Chronicle of the 13th instant, in which it is stated in substance that Wheaton's brigade, of the Third Division, was sent to the assistance of the Twelfth Corps.
        In justice to the officers and men of-my command, whose good services were acknowledged on the ground by General Geary, and as appears by the accompanying report, I beg to ask the major-general commanding the army, through the intermediate commanders, for a correction of the report in this particular.
        The First Brigade, and the First alone, was directed, and did report to General Geary, commanding Second Division of the Twelfth Corps, on the morning of July 3, and went into action under my command by direction of General Geary.
        I inclose a copy of my report to the assistant adjutant-general of the Second Division, Twelfth Corps, and also a copy of the report to the acting assistant adjutant-general of the Third Division, Sixth Corps, for the perusal of the major-general commanding.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,
ALEXANDER SHALER,

Brig. Gen., Comdg. First Brig., Third Div., Sixth Corps.

[Indorsements.]

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS,
November 21, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded, approved.

H. D. TERRY,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS SIXTH CORPS,
November 21, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded.

        In my report of the operations at Gettysburg, it is stated that "Shaler's brigade was also ordered first to the left and then to the right, and subsequently returned to the left center and held in reserve;" and it appears also that Wheaton's brigade remained in the position in which it was placed on the evening of July 2, i.e., on the left center.
        The mistake in regard to the position of the two brigades may have originated in the report of the commanding officer of the Twelfth Corps.

JOHN SEDGWICK,
Major-General, Commanding Sixth Corps.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
November 23, 1863.

        Respectfully forwarded, with the recommendation that the necessary correction in my report of the battle of Gettysburg, which was based upon that of the corps commanders, be made.

GEO. G. MEADE,
Major-General, Commanding.

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[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., THIRD DIV., SIXTH CORPS,
July 21, 1863.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
Second Division, Twelfth Corps.

        MAJOR: I have the honor to hand you the following report of the movements and operations of the several regiments of this brigade while under command of Brigadier-General Geary, during the action of the morning of July 3:
        At 9 a.m. the One hundred and twenty-second New York Volunteers, Col. Silas Titus commanding, was directed to relieve the One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, then occupying a position in the front line.
        Finding the breastworks had been hastily vacated by that regiment, they were immediately reoccupied by the One hundred and twenty-second, and held by them, under a severe fire of the enemy, until relieved by the Eighty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers at 11.30 a.m.
        At 9.20 a.m. the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieut. Col. John F. Glenn commanding, was placed in position as support to, and 150 yards in rear of, the front line. After about three hours, five companies were, by direction of General Geary, reported to the lieutenant-colonel commanding a regiment of the Second Division, Twelfth Corps.
        These companies, being deployed in rear of the works, were, under a galling fire of musketry, advanced into them. Owing to the heavy fire immediately opened by the enemy, the design of feeling them with skirmishers was found impracticable. Skirmishers were advanced, however, about 15 paces, but were shortly afterward withdrawn.
        At 11 a.m. the Sixty-seventh New York Volunteers, Col. Nelson Cross commanding, marched into the woods and forward to the breastworks, from which the enemy were then fleeing. They succeeded in capturing about 20 prisoners.
        At 11.15 o'clock the Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers, Col. Joseph E. Hamblin commanding, occupied a position as support to the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, of this brigade.
        At 11.30 a.m. the Eighty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, Col. I. C. Bassett commanding, advanced to the front line, relieving the One hundred and twenty-second New York, and occupying the position until relieved by a portion of General Geary's command at about 3 p.m. At this hour the brigade was reformed under my command.
        I annex a list of killed, wounded, and missing during the engagements.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALEXANDER SHALER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.

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