Report of Col. Andrew H. Tippin,
Sixty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43] -- Gettysburg Campaign
HDQRS. SIXTY-EIGHTH REGT. PENNSYLVANIA VOLS.,
August 4, 1863.
Lieut. R. DALE BENSON,
A. A. G., First Brig., First Div., Third Corps.
LIEUTENANT: In compliance with orders from headquarters, of the 27th ultimo, I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of my regiment in the recent engagements at and near Gettysburg:
On the morning of July 2, I moved my regiment with the brigade to the position assigned us in a large open field in the rear of our line of skirmishers, then engaged with the enemy's skirmishers in front. The brigade was deployed in line of battle by battalions, doubled on the center, my regiment being on the left of the line.
After remaining in this position some time, the brigade was moved farther to the front, immediately in rear of Clark's battery, deployed in line of battle, and ordered to lie down. We remained in this position nearly two hours, suffering severely from the destructive fire of the enemy's batteries posted on our left and front. I was then ordered to move my regiment forward into a peach orchard, and fronting a road running parallel with the enemy's front. We had been in this position but a short time when significant movements on the part of the enemy made it evident we were about to be attacked. Soon he advanced. I ordered the men to reserve their fire until reaching a certain point, when a destructive fire was opened, the enemy halting and dropping behind a fence. Receiving re-enforcements, and heavy masses of his infantry coming down on our right, I ordered my command to fall back to the position in the rear of the batteries, which was done in good order. Here I met General Graham, who ordered me at once to engage the enemy coming down on our right flank, which was promptly done under his directions.
Here, too, the gallant general was severely wounded and subsequently made prisoner. He declined any assistance, and directed me to take command and fight on. I supposed him able to get to the rear, as, after dismounting, he walked with apparently little difficulty.
We held the position as long as it was possible to hold it. The artillery having retired, and the ranks very much decimated by the fire of the enemy, who was pushing forward in heavy masses, I ordered the command to retire in order, which was done.
I reported to General Ward, now in command of the division, who assigned me a position, with directions to bivouac for the night.
On the morning of the 3d, I was ordered with the brigade to proceed with the division to a field a short distance from the place where we bivouacked, and stack arms. Remaining but a short time, I was ordered to move with the division to the left, where we formed line of battle in the rear, supporting a part of the Fifth Army Corps.
In the afternoon, the brigade again moved with the division to the rear of the center and in support of a battery. We remained here until evening, when I was relieved of the command.
I regret the loss of a great many gallant officers and men of my regiment. The brave Captain McLearn and the no less conspicuous Lieutenants Black and Reynolds all fell close to the enemy while cheering on their men. Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds, Major Winslow, Captains Funston, Young, and Fulmer, and Lieutenants [John J.] Fenlin, jr., Ealer, Guest, Porter, and Heston, all wounded, bear evidence of their good conduct and gallant behavior. I can also bear testimony to the gallantry of the other officers of the command.
Of the non-commissioned officers and privates of the regiment I cannot speak with too much praise. Their obedience to command and the determined stand made against overwhelming odds, their thinned ranks fully prove. Animated by the glorious cause in which they were engaged, each vied with the other in deeds of gallant daring.
A list of the casualties has already been forwarded. A tabular statement of killed, wounded, and missing is herewith appended.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. TIPPIN,
Colonel Sixty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
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