91st PA: 3rd brigade at Gettysburg

Brigade report (91st PA at Gettysburg)

[source: Report of Col. Garrard Official Records series 1 volume 27 part 1 pages 651-652]
Report of Col. Kenner Garrard, One hundred and forty-sixth New York Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.

Camp near Berlin, Md., July 16, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Third Brigade in the late battle near Gettysburg:

On the 2d instant, after changing position several times in the early part of the morning, the brigade with the division remained idle, lying by their arms until about 4 p.m. At this time the brigade was moved rapidly forward (most of the time at double-quick) nearly 1-1/2 miles, when it came under the fire of the enemy's musketry.

At this point the leading regiment, under the direction of General Warren, chief engineer Army of the Potomac, was led to the left, up on what is known as Round Top ridge. Hazlett's battery ascended the ridge immediately in rear of this regiment (the One hundred and fortieth New York Volunteers, Col. P. H. O'Rorke commanding), and went into battle on the summit. The One hundred and fortieth was formed in line, and was immediately closely engaged with the enemy at short musket-range on the left slope of the ridge.

A portion of the First Division, Fifth Army Corps, was engaged to the left of the ridge, and this regiment and Hazlett's battery were brought up to assist the First Division in repelling a heavy assault of the enemy, with the evident design of gaining this ridge. Colonel O'Rorke was mortally wounded at the head of his regiment while leading it into action.

The other regiments--One hundred and forty-sixth New York Volunteers and the Ninety-first and One hundred and fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers--were led to the right and front some distance, and formed in line in a narrow valley to support a portion of the Third Corps and Watson's battery, then severely pressed by the [p.652] enemy. Before becoming engaged, however, orders were received for these regiments to return at double-quick to Round Top Ridge, and secure and hold that position. The Ninety-first was posted on the left of the battery, connecting with the One hundred and fortieth. The One hundred and forty-sixth and One hundred and fifty-fifth were posted on the right, extending from the battery on the summit, along the crest of the ridge, to the gorge on the right.

As soon as the regiments had their positions, men from each regiment were advanced down the slope to the front, in among the rocks, and, together with those in line on the crest, actively engaged the enemy during the rest of that day. At night this ridge, naturally strong, was strengthened by building a stone wall about half way down the slope, wherever the rocks offered no protection to the men.

The next day the brigade remained in the same position, and, though under the shells of the enemy and exposed to their sharpshooters, it was not engaged to any extent.

When the brigade and Hazlett's battery seized this ridge, it was done under a heavy musketry fire, and was entirely unoccupied, excepting by a part of the First Division, on the extreme left, and I am gratified to report to the general commanding the division that the order to secure and hold this ridge was faithfully executed. At no time during July 2, 3, and 4, after its position was assigned it, did any regiment of the brigade leave its place, excepting at the time of the heavy assault a portion of some of the regiments advanced to the front down the slope of the ridge, in order to have a better fire at the enemy.

A few moments after General Weed, the brigade commander, had placed his command in position on this ridge, he was mortally wounded on the summit, near the battery. Lieutenant Hazlett, commanding the battery, while offering his assistance to General Weed, fell, mortally wounded.

I am pleased to report that all the regiments performed their duty well, and that during the two days' battle the officers and men conducted themselves in the most praiseworthy manner.

A report of the casualties has already been furnished.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

K. GARRARD, Col. One hundred and forty-sixth N. Y. Vols., Comdg. Brig.

[To] Capt. GEORGE RYAN, A. A. A. G., Second Division, Fifth Army Corps.

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revised 3 Jun 02
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