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War On The Union!

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Special Dispatch to the N. Y. Times. The Battle of Thursday. Biittlèfield near Gettysburg, Penn., via Baltimore, July 3, We have had two dïiys' figLting. - Nearly the whole of Wednesday was thu employed by the Eirst and Eleventl Curps, with varying suGcess-, they fiually being obliged to fcill baek bcfore greatl' superior uuurbers. Thia morniug there wero strong pre monitions of an early. engagement witl the euemy in force, but as the day wore away,. and no positive exhibition wa made by the enemy, we bogan to thinl that perhapa there would be uo immedi ate battle after all. We were hardly in a condition give battle, all our dis positions had not bean made, Genera Meade not having arrived on the groun( until two o'clock in the morning. The position of our forcea after the battle o Wednesday was to the eastward anc southward of Gettysburgr covering the Baltimore Pike, the Taneytown and Em mettsburg roads, and still being nearly parallel with the latter. The formation of the ground on the right and centre was excellent for defensive purposes. Oo our extreme right the ground sloped of until the position was no higher than the enemy's. The ground in front of our line was a level, open country, inter sperscd hero and there with an orcharc or very small tract of timber, generally oak, with the underbrush cut away. During the day, a portion of the troops threw up temporary breastworks and an abattis. General Meade's headquarters were at an old house oo the Taneytown road, immediately in front of the centre. Our line was cot regular in shape. - Indeed the centre protruded out toward the enemy so as to form almost the two sides of a triangle. Before sundown Gen. Meade's headquartera proved to be the hottest place on the battlefield, so far as careless shelling was concerned. Gen. Howard occupied, with his corps, a beautiful cemetery on a hill to the south of Gettysburg. Cannons thundered, horses pranced, and men carelessly trampled over the remains of the dead. Frorn this hill a beautiful view could be obtained of the valley, and also a goodly portion of the enemy's line of battle Our forces had all been concentrated on Tuesday nigbt, save the Fifth and Sixth corps. The former arrived during the morning, and the latter soon after noon. They were all massed immediately behind our centre. Whether or no it was Gen. Meade's intention to attack, I cannot say, but he was hardly ready for it before the afternoon yesterdaj. The day had beeome almost dull. Skirmishiog was now and then brisk, and the sharpshooters in the steeples and belfrys of the churches pers8tently blazed away at artillery horses and officers. It was by a sharpshooter in a barn just oppoaite Wadswortn's División, that Capt, Stevens, of the 5th Maine battery, got hit. A bullet passed through both legs below tb e knee, in flicting a severe, but not a dangerous wound. At 3 12 o'clock, Gen. Meade had received sufficient assurances tojustify him in the belief that the rebels were concentratiug Ibeir forces on our left flank, which all feit to be secure under the pro tection of the invincible Third corps. Our line was immediately atrengthened on that flank, Gen. Sickles' corps beine sent to lts support, and several batteries from the reserve being brought out and placed in position. At about 5 1-2 o'clock p. m., the enemy sent his first compliments by a salvo of artillery, his first ehells falling unoon;fortably near Gen. Meade's Headquarters. From this hour forth to 8 1-2 o'clock, occurred by all odds the most sanguinary coüflict yet chronicled in the annals of the war, considering its short duration. The artííjery attack which was made by the enemy ot the left and centre was rapidly followed hy the advance of his infantry. The Third Porps received the attack with great coolne.''The rebels at once made for our flaDk, and kept moving heavy columns in that direction. This Decessitated support, which was quickly given by the Fifth porps, the división of General Barnes being sent to the right, and tbat of General Ayers, regulara, to the left, with Gen. Crawford in reserve. The battle now beeamo perfectly fearful. The armies engaged each other at very short range, and for three long hours the war of musketry was incessant. I have heard more noise, louder crashes, in other battles, but I neversaw or heard of such desperate, tenacious fighting as took place on this flank. The eneray would often bring up suddenly a heavy column of men, and'force our lino back only to be in turn forced back by our viiu ""o g"i.icriug steei. Uur gallant columns covered themselves with glory over and over again. They fought a superior force ín numbers. The dispositions of the enemy were very rapid,. for look where you would on that field, a body of rebels would be advancing. Our disppsitions were equally ranid, and the enemy found more than their equal in such gallant veterans as Sickles and Birney and Humphreys. At half past six Gen. Sickles ■was etruck in the right leg by a piece f shell, and borne froni the field. The injury was 80 great that amputation became necessary, and it was perfonnedsuccessfully- the lirab being taken off" belovr the knee. The strnggle grew hotter and hotter. The Second corps wascalled on foraid, and though its own position was strongly threatened, yet the First division, formerJy Gen. Hancock's, flung themselves nto the fight with despera. tion, and after a Jong and obstinate coniüct the enemy slovvly and sullenly gaveway. In this last chartre, the brjgade of General Onldwell, Second oorpg, and that of Colonel Switzer, f rom the Fifth corps, won great honors. Tho charges made by our men deserve jnention, but want of time forbids The rebele attempted to capture our artillery, and atone time bad Watoon's battery in tbeir possession, but it was retaken in a furious charge by Birney's división. The battle lasted lili fully 8 12 o'clock, when the enemy feil "back to his old posiiioD, and left our veterans the ensanguined victors of that field. - Our pickets were thrown out, and our linea covored most of the field, including a great number of the enemy's dead and wounded. I visited' eome portions of the line by moonlight, and can bear personal witness to the terrible ferocityof ihe battle. In front of some of our brigade3, who had good protection from stone vvalls or fences, the rebel dead laid in lines like winrows of hay. In iront of Gen. Webb's- the Philadelphia- brigade, they lay so thick as to literally cover the ground. Not far from here was found the body of Gen. Barksdale, that once haughty and violent rebel, who craved as a dying boon a cup of water and a stretcher from an ambulance body. - He is literally eut to pieces and must die. A great and magnificent feature of this fight is the pplendid use of artillery. Though our line of battle was only a müe and a half long, yet altnoat every battery belonging to the Army of the Potornac was more or lees engaged. Every one of the reserve batteries was brought into action, the positions for use being numerous. The enemy used artillery largely, but they suffered immeiisely, and especially on the left, where canister was largelv used. I believe we lost no artillery, unless it was two or three disabled pieces, though it was very wonderful we did not. From the New York World. THE GBEAT BATTLE ON FRIDAY. The position of Lee on the evening of July 2d was such that he was forced next day to reduce all his energies into one grand, desperate and centralized atteaipt to break through our array. His divisions were so much cut up as to render a pitchcd battle from wing to wiag one of awful hazard. Tbe dilemma was a terrible one, and that the rebel commander fully appreciated all its risks is evinced by the desperation of his ODset today. Friday morning found our army reinforced. The reserves of the Sixth corps, Gen. Sedgwick, and the Twelfth, Gen. Slooum, had arrived and taken up strong positions. At the last hour our troops were ranged in line along the Emmettsburg turnpike and the Taneytown road. The engagement began by an assault of our troops upon sorae rifle pits on the extreme right, whieh were left in the possession of the enemy last evening. Their firc was returned by the rebels and tbe fighting iramediately became general. Uutilnearly noon the battle raged without intermission, but with no loss to us, when we finally obtained possession of the rifle pits - the rebel force which had previously beid them retreating. Tbe firing then slackened, but at one o'clock was renewed at different points along the line ( with a ñerceness premonitory of the ter. rific engagement that ensued. Several charges wero made by the rebela as t feints, their troops falling back after the I first rush in every part of the field, except that held by their forces under Gen. ( Ewell, who was seen to concéntrate the infantry and artillery together, and who soon opened a murderous fire of cannon upon our left center. Tben the engagement began in earnest. The firing became a continuous roar; battery after battery was discharged with a swiftness amazing; yell on yell froni the rebels succeeded each gust of shot and shell, until the valley overhung with smoke, from whence these horrible sounds issued - seemed alive with demons. It appeared at tjmea as though not a foot of air was frèe from the hail of missiles that tore over and through our ranks, thinned but not Bhaken. Our men stood the shock with a courage sablime - an endurance so won derful as to dim even the record of the band that feil upon the aore of Tourney. The corps against which this deadly fire was mainly directed was the Second, the position being commanded by General Hayes. The artillery fire continued without iiitermission for three hours, when sudlenly, having been formed under cover ot the smoke of their own guns, the rebel trocps were hurled against our lines by their offlcers in masses, the very tread of whose feet shook the dechvity up which they carne, wíth cries that must have caused less dauuiless troops than those who awaited the ons?t, to break with terror. Not a man in the Federal ranks fliuched from bis position. JN'ot an eye turned to the right or left ín search of security, not a hand trembled as the long array of our héroes grasped their muskets at a charge, aud waited the order to fire. On and up came the . enemy, hootiug, crowding, showing their ' very tceth in the venom of their rage until within tliirty yards of our cannon. - ' As the turbulent mass of gray uniforma, ', lifted in a last kap forward almost to the very mouths of our guus, a volley of shot, shell, schrapnel and bullets went crashing through it, levelling it as a scytbe, lts overwhelmiug onward rush was in the next instant turned to the hesitating leap forward of a few soldiers more dare devil than the rest, the wild bounding upwards of more than a few mortally wounded héroes, and the succeeding bsckward surge of the disjointed remainder, which culminated in a scamper down tbe slope that was in some instances retarded by the pursuiDg bullets of our men. The carnage of this assault among the rebels was so fearful that even Federal soldiers who rested on their arms triumphant, after the foe had retreated beyond their fice, as tbey cast their e?es downward upon the panorama of death and wouuds, illuminated by the sun, that shone upon the slope before them, were seen to shudder and turn sickeniug away. Then the Third and Fifth corps joined in tbe fight. As the rebels rallied for an iostant and attempted to make a stand, tbey were met by such combined volleys as threatened to reduce their columns to fragmenta. Tho panio which snsuod is unparalleled in any battle in Phich the Army of the Potomac has evsr bcea eDgaged. Th enemy juailed liko ewes before a tempest. Thoir main line again receded, but numbers, palsied by tbe horror and tumult, feil upon their knee?, upon their broasts, upon their faces, shrieking and lifting Up clasped hands in toiien of surrender and appeal for mercy. Gen, Dick Garnett's brigada surrendered almost entire, but Garnett himself, by the aid of two of his men, succeeded, though wounded, in making his escape. Longstreet, who led the reinfórcementa whieh enabled the rebels to make a second brief stand, was wounded, captured, and is now a prisoner. - The musketry firing slowly ceased, and the diseharge of artillery continued for a brief poriod, but even these reverberations finally died away. Gen. Meade was not deceived in anticipating another onslaught. Lee's columns were collected and reformed with magical haste. Within an hour, what seemed to be his whole forcé was again massed directly in our front, where the contest once more opened. The assault this time was made with a füry ove-j surpassing that of the first. It would seem as if the entire rebel army had resolved itself into a gigantic ForJorn Hope, and boro in its collective bosom the consciousness that the effort now made was the last and the only one that could be made toward retrieving the fortunes of that army, or preventing the inevitable disgrace which hovered oversit. It is said by rebel prisoners taken in the later part of the engagement that this charge was led by Loe in porson. - The prestige oí h is name and presenee could certainly not have aclded to its power or enthusiasm. Yet the cool and gallant phalanx which, secure in its positicm and confident in its leader, with a silence only broken by the oecasional roar of artillery, awaited the ap proach oí the fi.e, and viewed it as calmly and met it as unfalteringly as before. Back, as easily au a girí htirls theshuttlecock, did the soldiers of our gallant army huil into chaotic retreat the hosts that carne on and on, over the stones and ditches, over the bodies of fallen comrades, piling its dead in heaps, and making the soil over which it trod ghastly and alive with struggling wounded. The firm array of Union soldiers ivhich, p-eviously remainingstatiooary, now pressed forward to a charge, and became a pursuing Nemesis to the hordes that in great numbers westward through the streets of Gettyaburg and bevond, as tbe brave troops of Keynold's corps went through them eaetward theprevious day but one. The victory was secure. It was a victory won not without saddening losses - sadder in their cotnparative extent perhaps than those which have chilled the nation's heart so often before to-day. Of our actual disasters in killed and wounded, it is now impossiblo to make a just estímate. The same is true of the rebels, though it is positively known from the appearanco of the field and from the acknowledgment of rebel prisoners themselves, (hat it ia f ar greater than our own. Thenumber of pnsoners taken bv us waa botween 10 000 and 12,000, " The rebel Gen Arnold WB8 killed. Amongour wounded vvere Gens. Gibbon and Webb, slightly, Gens. Cauldwell, Hancock and Doubleday, seriously, and many minor officei-8. The enemy's list of disabled is known to inelude an equal number of officers of high rank. As I write, onr cavalry are out on the flanks of the retiring foe, harraasing him with great success. A reconnoisanee has this instant returnéd frorn the front to ascertain the position of Lee's army, which is believed to bava begun proparations for ts final retreat.


Old News
Michigan Argus