Report of Lieut. Col. L. H. Scruggs, Fourth Alabama Infantry.
AUGUST 8, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with orders of the 6th instant, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the regiment during the engagement of July 2 and 3, at Gettysburg, Pa.:
On the morning of the 2d, we took up the line of march from New Guilford in the direction of Gettysburg. After a rapid and fatiguing march of about 24 miles, arrived at the scene of action at 3.30 p.m., immediately taking our assigned position on the left of the brigade.
The order was then given to move forward, which we did at a double-quick across a plowed field for half a mile, the enemy’s batteries playing upon us with great effect until we arrived at a stone fence, behind which the enemy’s first line of infantry was posted, which position we soon succeeded in carrying with the bayonet. Then, having reached the foot of the mountain, the command halted a few minutes to reform the line. We advanced up the mountain under a galling fire, driving the enemy before us until we arrived at a second line, where a strong force was posted behind another stone fence. Owing to the exhausted condition of the men and the roughness of the mountain side, we found it impossible to carry this position. We retired in good order, though not until we had expended our ammunition. Having received a fresh supply of cartridges about dark, we remained in the enemy’s front, some 200 yards distant, during the night.
Early on the next morning, we threw up a line of breastworks composed of rock, and assumed the defensive, which position we held during the day until late in the afternoon, when the regiment was ordered some distance to the right, to meet the enemy’s cavalry, which we soon dispersed. There we remained in position until dark, when the remainder of the brigade moved to our rear, and were ordered to connect with it on the right, where we remained until the morning of the 4th.
Both officers and men behaved with much coolness and gallantry, and many brave and good soldiers fell, a noble sacrifice to their country’s cause. The official list of casualties handed in will show the total of our casualties to be 87.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,
L. H. SCRUGGS,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Fourth Alabama Infantry.
Colonel [JAMES L.] SHEFFIELD,
Commanding Law’s Brigade.