|Capture of the Wheatfield|
Very soon we were under fire of musketry, but, nothing daunted, we pressed steadily forward through wheat-fields, woods, over rail fences 10 feet high, stone walls, ditches, deep ravines, rocks, and all sorts of obstructions, every one of which had served as cover for the enemy, and from which a murderous fire was poured upon us as we advanced, but without avail, as nothing could stop the impetuosity of our men, who, without waiting to lead or even fix bayonets, rushed eagerly forward at a run, their cry being constantly, Forward! Charge! ... Arrived at a rocky ridge about 300 yards from where we commenced our victorious advance, we halted, taking the movement from the right, and engaged the enemy at short range. ... By this time, owing to the distance we had advanced in line of battle at a run, and the irregularity of the ground we had advanced over, we were in a deplorable state of confusion; men from every regiment in the division were intermingled with ours in one confused mass. While personally engaged in endeavoring to reform the regiment, and obtain something like order, I perceived the right of the line retiring. On inquiring the cause, I earned that the enemy had turned our right flank; also that all the senior officers of the brigade were either killed or wounded. In accordance with instructions received previous to entering the engagement, to regulate our movement by the right, I gave orders to retire...As the sun was setting the Confederates were pushing through the Wheat Field after the retreating Federals. It appeared, on this portion of the field at least, that Lee might have won a victory in Pennsylvania.
|Confederate in the Wheatfield|