The Civil War : The Battle Of The 15th Alabama War

Decent Essays

After several volleys, I received notice from Lieutenant James H. Nichols, commander of Company K of the 20th and Major Ellis Spears, commander of the left wing of the 20th Maine, and a messenger sent by Captain Orpheus S. Woodward, commanding officer of the 83rd Pennsylvania, of some suspicious flanking movement by the Confederate forces . I climbed up on a large boulder and saw that while three left companies of the enemy were keeping a steady rate of fire along the front, several were moving to the left end of our men. To avoid being flanked, I ordered my companies to side-step paces to the left and Companies A, H, C, G, and the F, the Colors Company to refuse to the left at a right angle, doubling the original regimental front . …show more content…

I had to order them to move back into line on the right wing. As the attacks and counter attacks of the 15th Alabama and 20th progressed, men became scrambled into smaller groups and attacks from the right wing eventually pushed the left wing of the 20th Maine to higher ground. Intervals of the struggle were seized to gather ammunition from the cartridge boxes of the disabled friend or foe on the field as ammunition ran low. Far to the rear of the 20th Maine, our men and those of the 83rd Pennsylvania and 44th New York Regiments began receiving fire from the right end of the 15th Alabama line at higher ground . It was then that Lieutenant Martin Van Buren Gifford who was sent by Captain Woodward of the 83rd to ask if we had been turned, but I denied and asked for a company to shore up our left wing . Captain Woodward couldn’t spare a company but fortunately, he would pull back the left wing of his regimental line and straighten it to the left, closing the gap between the 83rd, for me to move my right wing to the left. However, continued attacks by the left wing of the 15th Alabama forced companies E, I, K, and D of the 20th Maine to fall back up the slope of Little Round Top . Heavy fire opened from a scrub wood in the valley in two lines in rank by the right, taking us by surprise. By then, ammunition was soon exhausted and our men were

Get Access