No. 305. — Report of Capt. Frederick L. Gimber, 109th Pennsylvania Infantry.
NEAR GETTYSBURG, PA.,
July 4, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report in reference to the part taken by my regiment during the late engagement near Gettysburg, Pa., on July 2 and 3 instant:
On the morning of the 2d, the regiment assisted in erecting breastworks in the woods 1 mile from Gettysburg, Pa., and took position behind them, remaining there until evening, then changing our position with the brigade to a field along the Gettysburg pike half a mile distant, being subjected to an artillery fire from the enemy. Arriving here, we were immediately ordered back to our breastworks, and, upon entering the woods, were suddenly fired upon, causing some surprise and temporary confusion. The fire was supposed to come from our own troops, the darkness causing the mistake. The regiment was quickly reformed, withdrawn, and taken by another route near the position we previously occupied, viz, the breastworks. Finding that during our brief absence the enemy had moved to the right, occupying the breastworks, we moved our position to the open ground between the stone fence and breastworks, our right resting near the former. We remained in this position all night, exchanging occasional shots with the enemy, our front being protected by a line of skirmishers.
Toward morning we retired some 25 paces behind rocks, being an admirable protection from the enemy’s fire and at the same time a very advantageous position to do execution.
At 4 o’clock on the morning of the 3d, the firing commenced immediately in our front, we occupying the right of the brigade. From occasional shots the firing soon became regular, being handsomely replied to by us. A constant fire of musketry was kept up. We assisted in successfully repelling a charge of the enemy, causing terrible slaughter, throwing them into confusion, and putting them to flight.
At 10.30 a.m. we were relieved by a regiment of the First Division, Sixth Corps, having been in action six consecutive hours. We merely retired to the rear some 300 yards.
We remained here until 2.30 p.m., when we were ordered again to the woods to hold the fortifications–those that the enemy held in the morning– our original position. While here we were exposed to an artillery fire with occasional musketry in our front, which lasted at intervals during the night, ceasing as the morning dawned.
Both officers and men did their duty. Our conduct we prefer others to speak and judge of rather than ourselves.
Our loss was small, owing to our strong defensive position. Enlisted men killed, 3; wounded, 6, and missing, 10; total, 19.(*) Of those missing some have turned up, reducing the loss fully one-third.
Twice during the engagement our color-bearers were shot down, killing 1 instantly and wounding the other.
We took into action 142 enlisted men and 1 staff and 6 line officers, including myself; total, 149.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FREDERICK L. GIMBER,
Capt., Comdg. One hundred and ninth Pennsylvania Vols.
Lieut. THOMAS J. LEIPER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
from Official Records, Series 1, Volume 27, Part 1