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THE THREE DAYS' BATTLES.
UNOFFICIAL DETAILS. THE ENEItll DEFEATED, AND Ills DEAD AND WOUNDED LEFT ON THE FIELD ABOUT FIVE THOUSAND PRISONERS TAKEN. Several of the corrcepondents of the New York press with the Army of the Potomac have fur nished accounts, more or lees at large, of the en gagements on Wednesday and Thursday last. Though all of them are highly interesting, we se lect the following account from the pen of Mr. G. W. Hosmer aa being the fullest and most particu lar in ita statements. His letters are dated "In the Field/' near Gettysburg, on the nights of the 1st and 2d instant. THE BATTLE OF WEDNESDAY. Gen. Buford'a cavalry bad previously driven the rebels to the weat of Gettysburg, beyond the seminary, and be tween nine and tea o'clock A. M. the rebel. gave his pick eta a pretty sharp bruah and drove them in. Gen. Reynolda, with the Firat Corp., w?. on the road from Emmettaburg to Gettyaburg, en route to the latter place, w hich the road approaches through the scene nf the oonfliet. HECINNINU OF THE FlGirr. General Reynolds at one* threw forward the firat divuion, under Gen. Wadaworth, which began to drive the enemy from the .tart. Very .oon afterward, the second division of the same corps went ou the right of the firat division, the third diviaion on the left of the first, and the whole Hue begin to adv&oce. Nearly weat of the town, ju.t in the outskirts, near the seminary, ia a large brick edifice. Southward from this runs a piece of wooda, and the aeminary stands on a ridge Which slopes to the west into a little open valley of ploughed fields and meadows, rich with grass and grain. Beyond the valley is a ridge of higher land, thrckly wooded. Ihe valley runs in a southwesterly direction, and at its ower extremity is a large farmhouse, near which the Eighth Illinois Cavalry was drawn up in the field, and formed our extreme left. Several farmhouses dot^.l this aame rich little valley. Across this valley Gen. Reynolds' line advanced some what hastily, almost before it waa well formed, and in that condition did not go far until against it a heavy force of the robel infantry was thrown, and Gen. Reynolds was in turn ?riven. But his troop* retired step by step, and in excel lent order. HA PTC RE OF A SWA 1.1. REHEL llRUiADE. forward with the utmost enthusiasm pressed the rebel hoe, eagi*r now to turn Reynolds' retirement into a rout. Some of the rebels had too much energy and got too far: for, while they pre?.ed too closely on the right of the cen tre division, the left of the sani* division was suddenly ?wept around, and then enclosed in the handsomest man ner an entire rebel brigade under Gen. Archer. Gen Archer and bis whole staff were taken. About fifteen hun dred of the enemy's men thus fell into our hands, and went to the rear. Small regiment* were the order in this bri gade. The regiment* which made this capture were the Sixth Wiacouain, !h* Brooklyn fourteenth. and the Ninefr fifth New York ANOTHER ADVANl'E AN1) MiVEIlE I h.HTINt. I hough the l irst Corps still coatiuued to retire, tlio re bel advance was broken soou after this, and Gen. Key. nolds now prepared to go forward in earnest, apparently forgetful that he bad at first only gone in to support cav alry, and was likely to bring on a general engagement with only ooo corp.. Formed as before, hi. line went for ward and drove the enemy across ihe valley and over the ridg# at tbe further .ide; but it waa at great expense to ?a, a. the fire with which they received our force, wa. terribly severe. From the bill the line of .kirmishers was thrown out some distance, and Gen. Reynold, went out to tbe line to reconnoitre, when be was hit by n musket ball in the bead and instantly killed. ARRIVAL OF THE ELEVENTH (ORFN. ?In rather less than an hour after the fight began the Eleventh Corps came op tbe same road by which the First had approached, and Gen. Howard at once aaaumed com mand of the whole field, while Geo. Schurt assumed com mand of the Eleventh Corps. Gen. Doubleday bad already assumed command of ihe First Corps. Across th?? north aide of the town runa a creek, on which shortly after noon it was reported the rebels were massing troops, apparently to take the First Corp. in its rear To guard againat an advance from that direction, Gen How ard sent forward the first and third diviaion. of the Ele ventk Corp., which moved acroas the rear of the Firat Corp. and through tbe town, and took up position with tbe first division on the right. Gen. Steinwehr's division?the second?was held a. a reserve. Meantime two or three of our batteries held a sharp parley with the rebel batteries posted on the hills that en circle tbe town, and their balls overshot our batteries some what and threw several shot in among the solid people of Gettysburg. Whether it frightened them or not I can hardly aay RRPri.SE OF THE RRREI.S. At about half-put two o'clock, while the batteries ex chauged a heavy fire and aome aharp muaketry woke up the ecboea on the right, tbe rebel* advanced in heavy force againat the First Corps, which (lowly retreated from the hill* beyond tb? valley to high ground near the seminary, where it prepared to make all the resistance it wax capa ble of It waa reinforced there by aome dismounted dra goons, and fought in the open field ; for, though aome rail fences were thrown down across the front of our line, they afforded no cover From the woods beyond the farm houaea, and across the open space, a rebel force of per hapa three large brigades advanced handsomely in line of battle, while the rebel batteries near the general centre shelled our position hotly to cover the advance. On came the line, right lip within short range of our poaition. wheu it was opened upon with a lire ao sharp ?nd well served a< to stagger and then completely repulse it. Backward went the lwe that came forward in such good order, a mere mass of stragglers, each of whom made the best of his way across tbe plain. While the musketry was very hot in front of General DoubMay, a party of about one hundred rebels stole through the woods well up on Doublcday'a left fltnk, and fired a larg? barn, one of tln>?e immense magazines of breadstuffi that in Pennsylvania so overpeer the compara tively small farmhouses. An immense black column of smoke aoon tw?gan to ascend from the roof, breaking nut presently into a white, sulphurous cloud, and tlien info a fierce red bl*xe. Under co\er of this fire the rebel nkir mishers exchanged'numerons shots with a lin* of *kir mishers from the rivalry on our extreme left ?K<JON0 RKt'ti.SE or TIIB KKIibl.S. Repulsed, but not vanquishel, the rebel line wm re formed and reinforced : and now, for a second time, came on a force neatly twice as great as at. first. Once more, alao, the batteries threw shells, answered by our batteries on the left, and als > by batteries of ours on the extreme right, which at this time threw abell at the position on the enemy's centre. Once more the packed, rapid rattle of our file fire broke out, and once more the rebel line w?s broken and went the right shout in rout AKUTIIER OHHKT ? OI'R FOR ('KM FALL HACK. There i? a mysterious fatslity connected with the third time , and *>, after a lull and period of comparat ve quiet of twenty minutes, onward for a third time came the re bel*, quite as orderly as before, their line of skirmishers firing as they came on In ao great force waa this line that it completely Overlapped the line of the First Corps on both flaoka. Two brigades on the right were quite ?at of ammunition, and the order waa given to retreat on the town; and our boya accordingly retrea'ed in ROod order, while tbe rebela rushed forward with yell* to our position On came the enemy'a fourth line, further to the right of I tiit> thud, .u good order, skirmishers ahead uutil the por tion of the seminary was reached, when they came lof ward with a ru*h, and occupied a hill we bail not deemed it worthwhile t?? hold after the other was taken. On also came another lute in support behind thi", ??d our cawdry on the extreme lelt began to retire. THE FIELD AFTER Tilt 14 ATT I.E. At this moment the field presented ? true war picture. Across the fields to the right came the rebel line, with colors which fluttered in the pleasant breeze; in the cen tre were two farmhouses, outhouses, and burns in (lames, and on the left the column of cavalry in retreat, while beyond all the rays of the sun beat down through the showery clouds and gilded every object with a peculiarly golden light, and over the heavens to the eastward stretched a maguificeut raiubow. The new position of the Third Corps was at a line ol stone wall southwest of the town, along the slope of a bill on which is a cemetery. When the First Corps retired to the town the left of the Eleventh was uncovered, and a heavy advance completely on its right flank at the Barne time compelled it to retire. It affords me pleasure to say that this corps is reported to have fought well aud lost rnaoy men. As I was on our extreme left I did not Bee the fight of the Eleventh Corps. After our retirement on the town the rebel udvance was uot pressed further. And so ended a battle that was brought on in the most rash manner, yet which was well fought against a largely superior force, and gotteu out of at last much better than we could have expected. The rebel force fought by us was the corps of Gen. Ewell and that of A. P. Hill. South of the town is a high hill, on which is a cemetery, and this became the headquarters. Its slope to the west was held by the 1* irst Corps, and a continuation of hills from it toward the east was held by the Eleventh, whilo the Twelfth Corps was placed so a* to hold both flanks, the first division, under Gen. Williams, being on the extreme right, and the second division, under Gen. Geary, on the extreme lelt. The Third Corps, which came on the field just at nightfall, was massed in the centre, ready to be used whenever occasion might require. Gen. Slocum, of the Twelfth Cerps, had assumed the command upou his arrival. SOME OF ot'lt I.OSSES. Major Geu. Reynolds was placing his men when he was fatally wounded, and urging them on to the support of Gen. Buford. He cried out in his enthusiasm, " For God's sake' forward, my brave boys?forward!" And forward they went?that iron brigade of old Col. Mere dith which has never failed since the war began. Just then Gon. Reynolds received his fatal wound, and falling over upon Capt. Wilcox, his aid, who was riding beside him, he exclaimed, "Good God, Wilcox, I am killed! Capt. Wilcox had his horse shot under him at about the same time, and was severely bruised by the fall. Brig. Gen. Meredith was badly bruised by the fall of his horse, which was killed. His son, Lieut. Meredith, was wounded in the leg by a shell. Lieut. Woodward, aid-de camp to Gen. Meredith, was wounded by a musket ball in the right arm. Gen. Meredith's brigade went into the fight 1,830 strong, and came out with only GIB. Among the killed, wounded, and missing are sixty-seven officers. The light brigades of Tennessee and Mississippi, under Gen. Archer, were captured by Gen. Meredith's brigade. The Twenty-eighth Mississippi, Col. Root, was surrender e<i to Col. Dawes, of the Sixth Wisconsin. The second division of the First Cerps, couiinsnded by Gen. Robinsou, suffered badly. The first brigade was com manded by Brig. Gen. Paul, who was killed, when Col. Lennard, of the Thirteenth Massachusetts, assumed corn maud, but was shortly wounded, and the command de volved up?>n Col. Robert, of the Ninety-fourth New York. Gen. Baxter, of the second brigade, lost nearly all his stall in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Geu. Robiusou, com manding this division, lost most of hi* stall He took '2,500 officers and men into the fight and can report only eight hundred and ninety-six left. They captured Gen. Evans, from ten to fifteen hundred prisoners, ami three flags, j Lieut. Thomas, of Geu. Baxter's staff, was killed. TIIE NEW rOKITION AT GETTYSBURG. Gen. Reynolds, it seems more and more clear, fought rashly on Wednesday, and very probably against the wishes of the commander of the army; yet his battle, which lost us many men, gave us full information of the whereabouts of the enemy's main body, and committed the enemy to the position noith of Gettysburg, or perhaps led him to believe that we hsd a greater force in his front than we then had, and so made him fear to make any such con siderable movement as would be necessary to take up a new position in presence of this army. At Gettysburg all the good roads in this ^art of the country converge. All the other roads, except those that meet here, ara mere byways for the use of the neighborhood, narrow aud soon cut up, and thus rendered unfit for the movement of an army. Northward from Gettysburg run roads to Harris burg. and southward from it run three good roads, the principal and best of which is the Baltimore turnpike. For any movement towards its own border, therefore, the possession of these roads which run to the south was ne cessary to the Southern army, and these roads once in our possession the position of the Southern army became criti cal ; for should Lee attempt to retire by any other roads than these we should have a shorter line to any point on his route, aud could consequent^ bit him wherever we might choose; while, if he should fight us without these roads and win, he would win but little more than a way to get out, and if decisively beaten his defeat would be very disastrous. PREPARATIONS BV UEN. MLADK. Gen. Meade (who ariived in the night of Wednesday) began from the first to mats his force* in such a manner as would enable him to hold these road* to the best advan tage. South of the town the country it generally hilly; but there are three hill* that deserve especial mention, aa they form the points on which our line is drawn?Cemetery Hill, in the southern edge of the town ; a nameless hill half a mile to the enst of Cemetery Hill, nnd Sugar Loaf Hill, directly south of Cemetery Hill and about two miles distant from it. Between Cemetery Hill and Sugar Loaf Hill the country is open and level, nnd our men in that position faced directly west from Cemetery Hill to the nameless one ; we faced to the north, and between the latter and Sugnr Loaf Hill you looked to the southeast Our position was therefore a somewhat irregular triangle, and its peculiarity was that, practically, it had no flanks ; for in caae of necessity the line could have swept around so that the extreme right and left would meet on the turnpike. Our line from Cemetery Hill to the right was a rocky ridge, very thickly wooded; and here, during tb? early part of the day, some defences were constructed under the direction of Oens. Williams and Geary, of the TweHh Corps, which waa p.isted at this place. Though mauy of those who helped to construct these defences thought that they would, like countless others, amount to very little when the fight rame, they proved eventna'ly to be of the utmost value I'OMIIOHM op <M II POIU'KH. (Jen. Steinwehr occupied Cemetery Mill, which com maud* the town, while the fight raged on Wednesday, and at the close of th?t day's battle the remnants of the First and Eleventh Corps were posted th^ro and a little down the line t<> the right-and left, and there they remained on Thursday at the commencement of the second battle. On the open country to our left lay the Second and Third Corps, and the Filth was so masked ss to fill up the third lino. The Sixth was put pear to the Fifth when it came up. On Cemetery Hill we had several batteries, and, indeed, every point that could possibly command a fire wns crowned with a battery ; for, in addition to the guns regularly at tached to the corps, we had np the reserve artillery. Throughout the wide extent of the fields enclosed within our lines ambulances and ammunition trains were packed every where, and it proved that they were all under fire, on Thursday, for the fi Id of fire of the rebel gun* opposite our right met that of the rebel guns opposite our left in thia enclosed space, and ahells exploded every where, and round shot hurtled through the air in every direction. THE BATTLE OF THURSDAY. After what had taken place on Wedneaday, and with the knowledge of the force that had come op. there waa good reason to b?lieve, and all in camp did believe, that Thursday woiHd be uahered in with the noiae of battle. Day broke iu quiet, however, and breakfast WM taken at ease. Now aud then there were little dispute# bbtween the enemy's picket* ami our* in the street* of the town, for we held part and tbey part, and *'?u*etiuies a gnu ouc ui our battened would *eud en experimental shell to ward* the enemy's linns. The eiisuiy through nil tlui kept marvellously shy with hi?i artillery, and did not fire a shot, which it was thought indicated thit' heavy ainmunitioii wm scarce in the rebel camp During all the earlier |>art of cbe d.iy very little was known in respect to the enemy's movement#, but it win thought to be clearly male out that he was massing hi* force* ou our extreme light. Iu view of tbi? additional preparation* were mada to meet whatever might come in that direction. Hut there were some who thought that the movements of the enemy toward* our right were made only for Bbow and to distract at'enlion from more impor tant points; for such waa the nature of the couutry that, had the enemy really wishe.1 to mass hi* forces there, be could have done it without ranking a man visible. AN AKTILLEUY KIGUT. All day more or less picket filing had taken place on our left, and it became pretly sharp between two and three P. M Some movement* were in progress behind this fire, rind to develop these Gen. Sickles was ordered to advance with the whole Third Corps. This advance brought on the general engagement Under cover of a fire from the eight bras* pieces iu bat tery on the open field, the corps went forward in line of battle, corps and division and brigade colors all In the air, and the men in excellent spirits. Then the enemy's artil lery, so long silent, began on our left at the pieces in the field. In turn our piece* on Cemetery Hill opened on those of the enemy in the field; other batteries of the enemy neurer our centre oponed on those on Cemetery Hill, and so it went around until our guns on the northern face of the hill engaged the enemy's batteries two miles across the couutry, on our right. The whole valley in which Gettynburg lies was one immense network, with the trace of shell* from battery to battery. Such a concentration of fire on our position naturally necessitated some movement of ambulances and ammuni tion wagons, and in ten minutes after this extensive duel began the Baltimore turnpike was lined with vehicles in motion towards safer places. All soi ts of shaky fellows also improved this opportunity to effect a slight " skedad dle," aud soon the column of men in motion towards the rear became more considerable than tbe column of vehi cles. When men once begin to go each additional shell that explode* in the air above them makes tbem want to go faster, and, owing to this peculiar constitution of the hu man animal, a stampede down the Baltimore road waa im minent, when a line of men was established and every fellow disposed to retire was forced to the front. By this shelling the Cemetery Hill was cleared. All day it had been occupied by lines of men, and there groupa of officers gathered together, inspected tbe position, and canvassed the possibilities. Many men sat upon the graves, leaned agaiust tbe tombstones, and recounted their va rious mischances. Orderlies came and went incessantly, for there Gens Howard and Kteiuwehr had their head quarters. Altogether the city of the dead was a very lively place, but very soon after tbe artillery fire became warm, it was deserted by all but the General* whose headquar ter* were there, and the men necessary to hold ihe place. THE JHFANTKV ENOAUEII. Meantime the musketry (ire on our left seemed to be come every moment more and more fierce. Already the Third Corps had once been driven in disorder from ground it had won, but, rallied by Gen. Sickles in person, it hnd again gone forward, and now held its place with desperate tenacity again*t a very heavy force, for tbi* advance on our left hat! developed that the enemy's forces were in reality masaed here ; aud when the Third Corps took the initiative, it only precipitated an attempt on the part of tbe enemy which might otherwise have come when we were not so well prepared to receive it. Hard pressed on its whole line, the Third Corps called for support, aud at five P. M. the Fifth Corps was marched from its position ou the Baltimore turnpike, by a little cross road, right across to the little hill just north of Sugar Loaf Hill, and went into action on the left of the Third Corps. This advance developed still further the intention of the enemy, which was to get around our left flank, and so to get at the Emmettsburg road, and perhaps at our ammunition wagons near it. As the division of regular* and Griffiu'* division of the Fifth Corps went forward, and before the fire bad opened on their front, some fire swept from their left down tbe line, and the right brigade of the division of regulars was wheeled so as to faoe that way. No sooner had it done so than tbe fire in front opened, which then came in tbe rear of tbe right brigade, and threw it into some confusion ; but it was rallied and went on again, and the line of the two divisions drove the enemy before it until it bad taken the position previously occupied by one of the enemy's batteries. Here a fire was concentrated on these two division! from batteries further to the rear, and at the same time the enemy was reported ou their left. At once the liue was ordered to retire, and went back steadily to tbe crest of the hill. This hill wa* not particularly precipitous, but on tbe front it was very rough and rocky, and the crest wn* covered with a growth of scrub oaks. DISASTROUS REPULSE OF THE ENEMY. It was half an hour before sunset, and now came the final great attempt with which the rebel* usually endeavor to clove up great engagement*?the attempt which cer tainly ha* in the larger number of instance! been crowned with success. Here, however, it met a different fate. Two divisions, which proved to be Anderson's and Mc Law's, of Longstreet's corps, were formed for this great attempt, and came forward in their usual magnificent style". They had difficult ground to come over, bat on they came, over rock* and through the low wood, until within a fair distance, when -they made a rush with all prsjible yell* roared out in one. They did not keep their line very even, but they were scarcely leg* impetuous a* a mass than they would have been in line. They killed men on the cre?t of the hill, ov*r the crest, and men were even driven well down on the other aide; but these rallied on those that held their place*, and bullet* were poured into the rebel ma*s by volleys. Checked, broken, beaten back by this one Titanic effort of the Fifth Corps, the attacking column was scattered down the hill, and the battle wu over on the left, with the enemy completely beaten. A NIGHT ATTACK AND KEPLLME. In twenty minute* alter the heavy fight waa over on our left, the last vestige of daylight was gone, and the moon was so much enveloped in clouds that it was scarcely 'possibly to nee at all. Just in this impenetrable darkness the fire of pickets began acrosx on our right, and in a lit tle while swelled into a heavy continuous fire. This waa at the post where the Twelfth Corps had been placed early in the day, but when the buttle became doubtful on our left all of the Twelfth Corps but one brigade had been *ent over there. The brigade thus left wa* the Third, of Gen. Geary'a division, made up of five New York regi mentt?the Sixtieth. Seventy-eighth. One Hundred and .Second, One Hundred and Thirty-seventh, and One Hun dred and Forty-ninth, and was commanded by Brig. Gen. George S. Greone. Though the force was *o slight the command wa* in worthy hands, and thus our brigade was enabled to hold a line which had previou*ly been occupied by a corp*. Gen. Wad*worth *ent down a few men from the First Corps, and Col David Ireland, of the One Hun dred and Thirty-seventh New York, gathered together Hume Ioohc men on the road, and compelled them to take their places behind the field works against Gen. Greene'a position. The enemy advanced in two lines. Our men held their place* well, and repulsed at this point four charge*, when the enemy gave np all further efforts. Though I reconnt Gen. Greene's victory thus briefly, the fire on his front was continuous for thirty minutes. For seven hours without cessation the Army of-the Po tomac has been tried by the fire. It has suffered terribly, but ha* beaten the enemy in the hardest fight it has yet *een. ANOTHER ACCOUNT. Mr.M. L. ( it"i nsk. another New York correspondent, ihus graphically describes the battle of Thursday t \*t shout o'clock P. M , the enemy sent his first com pli\pnts by a salvo of artillery, bis first shells fslllng nn coiulormbly ueur Gen. Meade t headquarter*. From this hour forth to o'clock, ocottTred by ail odd* the most xniiguiiiHry engagement yet chronicled in the aotuila of (he wnf, considoi ing its short duration. < Tho nrtiilery attack, which was umJe by Ihe euctoy ou the !*?(t and sentre, was rapidly f< flowed by the advance of hi* infantry. Tfce Third Corps received the attack with great coolness. The r? beta at once made for our llaok, and kept moving heavy column* in that direction. This ne cessitated support, which was quickly given by the Filth Corpi?the division ol Gen. Baruea being aent to the right, and that of Ut>n. Ayr**, regular*, tr? the left, with Gen. Crawford iu reserve. The battle now became perfectly fearful. The armies engaged each other at very short rauge, and for three long hour* the war of muaketry was incessant. I have heard more noise, louder crashea, in other battles, but I never taw < r heard of auch desperate, tenacious fighting aa took place i n this flank. The enemy would often bring up suddenly a heavy column of men, and force our line back, only to be io turn forced back by our own line of glittering steel. Our g ill tnt c< luiuiu covered themselves with glory over and over again. They fought a superior force in 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,dispositions were equally rapid, and the enemy found more than their equal in such gallant vete rans as tickles and Birney and Humphreys. At half-past six Gen. Sickles was struck in the right leg by a piece of shell, and borne from the field. The injury was so great that amputation became necessary, and it was performed aucceasfully. The struggle grew hotter and hotter. The Second Corpa waa called on for aid, and though its own position was strongly threatened, yet the first division, formerly Gen. Hancock's, flung themselves into the fight with desperation, and after a long and obstinate conflict the enemy slowly and sullenly gave way. In this last charge the brigade of Gen. CaldweH, Second Corps, and that of Col. Switzer, from the Fifth Corps, won great honors. The charges made by our men deserve mention, but want of time forbids. The battle lasted till fully o'clock, when the enemy fell back to bis old position, and left our veterans the en sanguined victors of that field. Our pickets were thrown out, and our lines covered most of the field, including a great many of the enemy's dead and wounded. I visited some portions of the line by moonlight, and can bear per sonal witness to the terrible ferocity of the battle. In front of some of our brigades, who had good protection from stone walls or fences, the rebel dead lay piled in lines like winrows of hay. A great and magnificent feature of this fight is the splen did use of artillery. Though our line of battle was only a mile and a half long, yet almost every battery belonging to the Army of the Potomac was more or less engaged. Every one of the reserve batteries waa brought into ac tion, the positions for use being numerous. The enemy also used artillery largely, but not to near so great an ex tent as we did. From this they suffered immensely, and specially on the left, where canister was largely used. I believe we lost no artillery, unless it was two or three disabled pieces, though it was very wonderful we did not. THE DECISIVE BATTLE OF FRIDAY. All tho various reports agree in stating that the battle of Fridsy was decisive in favor of the national arms. This attack, like thoso of the two preceding days, was com menced by Gen Lee. The field of the conflict was on the south side of Gettysburg?most of the musketry fighting in the forenoon being within the woods, while the artillery was posted on eminences, from which the timber bad been cut. The following account of this sanguinary engagement is from the reporter of the Associated Press, under date of the evening of the 3d instant: The battle began at daylight in the morning, at whioh time the batteries of the enemy's right wing opened on our left, and shortly after those of his centre followed. After half an hour's cannonading, doing but little damage to us, the fire slackened and only occasional shots were ex changed. Shortly afterwards the enemy's left, composed entirely of infantry and sharpshooters, made an attack on our right wirg. So suddenly and impetuously was it accomplished . hat our skirmishers and front line were driven back from their entrenchments, but by the aid of the batteries in the rear, and the indomitable bravery of the Twelfth Corps, we regained the first position, and captured a considerable number of prisoners. Several hours of ominous silence followed the repulse. A GREAT ARTILLERY F.G1IT. At one o'clock the enemy fired two shots, apparently ?? signals for the grandest artillery fight ever witnessed on this continent. It is estimated that before a moment elapsed eighty guns opened upon us. Our batteries re turned the compliment with interest. The air seemed literally thick with iron, and for more than an hour it seemed impossible that man or beast could live through it. 8trange to say, the enemy's accuracy of range exhibited on the two previous days was wantiog on this occasion. Most of their shells exploded far in the rear of our front, and generally missed our batteries. Under cover of this feu i'enftr Lee advanced his co lumns of infantry from their cover, and made several des perate attempts to carry the line by assault, but each suc cessive attempt was repulsed with terrible havoc to their ranks. THE FIHAt. STRUGGLE?TERRIFIC SLAUGHTER. After an hour's incessant cannonading the fire grew lets intense for a brief period, but was again renewed for a abort time witb equal spirit. During this period some of our batteries, whose ammunition was expended and the men exhausted, ceased to fire, and on the approach of the reserve batteries withdrew to the rear. The enemy, only seeing the batteries withdrawn and mistaking this for a retreat, made a rapid infantry charge up the bill and at tained a position in one line, cutting to pieces acd almost annihilating the Maine infantry supports; but, before they had time to rejoice at their imaginary success, the fresh batteries poured in a deadly fire of canister and case shot The infantry reserves on either flank of the gap charged them and added greatly to their destruction. They were completely surprised, and hundreds threw down their arms and a*ked for quarter. Nearly the entire brigade of Oen. Dick Garnett was surrounded, andOarnett himself, wound ed, barely made bis escape. Longstreet wss reported mortally wounded and a prisoner. He is reported to have died au hour afterwards. PRISONERS TAKER?THEIR REPORTS. About 4.30 P. M. the artillery of the enemy slackened, and bad entirely ceased at five. The last shot whioh they fired was far beyond their original position, and the in fantry columns bad withdrawn to their covers. We took upwards of tbree thousand prisoners. The enemy captured but few if any of our men. The rebel prisoners report that Qen. A. P. Hill waa killed outright upon the field, and that their officers suffered far greater casualties than in any previous engagement. SOME OF OUR LOSSES IN OFFICERS. So terrific was the fire of the enemy that the small house where Oen. Meade and stafT were quartered was perforated by several shots. Many of the staff horses were killed around the house. Qen. Butterfield was struck in the breast, and it is feared internally injured, by a piece of shell which exploded in the building. Qen. Joseph Dicken son, of the staff, had his left arm perforated by a flying fiagment of a shell, and it seemed a miracle tbat no greater damage waa done to life or limb. Several of our general officers were wounded in the engagement. Gen. Hucoek was Wounded in the leg; Gens. Gibbons, War ren, and Hunt, were wounded. In consequence of the excitement and difficulty in ascertaining their locatioa, the names of maoy prominent officers reported as killed could net be ascertained by the reporter. THE RRAVERV OF THE SOLDIERS. Too much credit cannot be given to the men at our bat teries, who for hours stood to their gam under a broiling sua end surrounded by the missiles of death, retiring only to give their positions to others when their eaisaeos and limbers were exhausted of ammunitioo. The infantry en gaged also nobly did their duty, and the eae my to-day at their baud* reamed the greuteat disaster ever admiikU* tered by the Union forcer CKMKAL MEADE. All otticora nward the liinbeat honor* to Major Geueral Meade for the abie generaUhip he haa displayed ainee be aaauuied command, and particularly for the ooolneaa, deci aion, and energy of thia memorable Third of July. Laat night, believing it to be hia duty to the eauae, and to learn how far he would be aupported in the approach ing conflict, be aummoned hia eorpi and difiaion com mandcira for conaultation. CONGRATULATORY ORDER OF GEN. MEADE. Tbe correapondeut of the Aaaooiated Preaa at the Haad quartern of tbe Army of the Potomao forwarda the follow ing congratulatory order, istued by Gen. Meade on the Fourth of July: General Order No. 68. Tbe Commanding General, in bebalf of the country, thanka the Army of tho Potomac for the glorioua reault ot the recent operationa. Our enemy, auperior in numbera and flushed with tbe pride of a aucceoaful invasion, attempted to overcome or deatroy thia army. Utterly baffled and defeated, he haa now withdrawn from the conteat. The privationa and fatiguea tbe army haa endured^ and the heroic courage and gallantry it baa diaplayed, will be mattera of hiatory to be ever remembered. Our taak ia not yet accomplished, and the Commanding General looha to the army for greater efforts to drive from our aoil every veatige of tbe preaence of the invader. It ia right and proper tbat we ahould on suitable occa aiona leturn our grateful thanka to the Almighty Diapoaer of Eveuta that, in the goodneaa of Hia providence, he has thought fit to give victory to tbe cauae of the just By command of Major General Meade: S Williams, A. A. General. GEN. FAKNSWORTH KILLED. Headquarters Army of the Potomac, July 5. The rebel General Pender ia wounded. Generals John aton and Kemper (rebels) are killed. Gen. Farasworth, of our cavalry, ia killed. The rebel loaaea are eatimated at 20,000. Our troopa are in excellent apirita. Gen, But terfield's wound ia more severe tban suppoaed, but not ae rious at all. Tbe rebels abandon their wounded and killcM. MOVEMENTS TO INTERCEPr THE ENEMY. Near Gettysburg, July 5.?The eoemy have re treated towarda the Potomac. Their akirmiahers wers drawn in last night, and a amall cavalry force, probably the rear guard, paaaed through Emmittaburg thia morning about daylight Our troopa have been engaged all day in burying the dead, relieving the wounded, and collecting arms, many thouaanda of which belonged to the rebela. The rebel pontoon bridge at Dam No. 4 haa been de stroyed by our cavalry, almoat unopposed, and the caval ry, at last advices, had gone up to Williamaport to deatroy two bridgea there. Other preparations are in progress to intercept Lee'a passage of the Potomac, and our army ia already in mo tion. So much time, however, has elapaed ainoe Lee com menced to withdraw from our front tbat hia advance may have reached Williamaport to croas before we c&n pre vent it. Lee yesterday piroled about two thouaand Union pri sonera. They were reeeived by Gen. Couch. It ia not true, as atated, that Longatreet was captured and died. Gen. Hunt, chief of artillery, waa not wounded. Both of theae reports were apparently well authenticated and freely believed. MOVEMENTS OF GEN. COUCH. Harrisburg, July 6.?Gen. Couch hM pushed for ward all hit effective force to co-operate and join with the Army of the Potomac, and ia, by order of Qeo. Meade, puahing the troopi forward a* rapidly aa they are organ ised. The oountry may reat aaaured that he ia doing all in hia power to advance the internet of our cauae. Hit ad vance it already in contact with the enemy, and aiding in the glorious reanlta. The troop# under Gen. Pierce, formerly Milroy'a com mand, arrived yesterday at Chambersbnrg, and puahed on to Greencastle, where they cap'ured five hundred pris oners, two wagons loaded with plunder, and three pieeea of artillery. The prisoners were stragglers, making their way to the Potomac in company with wagon trains. PCR8UIT OF THE FLYING ENEMY. Baltimore, July 7, P. M.?Advices from the army up to two o'clock P. M. on 8unday, July 5, state that General Meade's headquarters were at Creagerstown last night, and were to be in Frederick to-day. Gen. Meade has telegraphed that Lee's army is retreat ing in wild confusion. Every available man in Baltimore and Waahington ia being hurried to Frederick to intercept Lee's flying and demoralized troops. We learn that the rebel retreat is towards Williamsport, through Hagerstown, by several roads, and that Frederick and the South Mountain are held by a large Federal foree. There is a probability of another battle at or near Antietam. FLIGHT OF GEN. LEE'S ARMY. LOSS OF PRI80NER8, CANNON, WAGONS, Ac. DESERTION OF THEIR WOUNDED. Gettysburg, July 6.?The reports from the front are very cheering. Our cavalry, supported by infantry, are cloae upon the heela of the enemy, and important results are likely to occur before night. A despatch from Gen. Gregg thia morning reports that the rebels, instead of going to Cbambersburg, are pushing to Greencastle. The roads are very heavy in consequenoe of recent rains, and trains upon trains are stuck in the mud. The enemy are abandoning all their wounded on the retreat. Every house and barn for fifteen miles ia an hos pital. They are leaving all, Generals and Colonels, as well aa privatea. All their wounded will fall into our hands. We have tahen thus far six thousand prisoners, besides wounded. Another despatch atates that the head of the rebel re treating column passed through Greenwood, twelve miles northwest of Hagerstown, on Sunday forenoon. On Sua day night Longstreet'a headquarters were at Jack'a Moun tain, ten milea from Gettyabnrg. Ewell's headquarters were at Fairfield, eight milea distant. When the rebala paaaed through Fairfield they were moving rapidly in three columns abreast. The slaughter among the rebel General Officers haa been very greet. Major Gen. Trimble is a prisoner within oar lines with his left foot gone. Brig Gen. Kemper ia a pri soner and in a dying eondition. Gen. Armistead, who was captured on Thursday, ia dead. Major Gea. Hood wae wounded in the arm. Gens. Beth, Pender, aad Picket are also known to be wounded. Gens. Barksdale and Garnett were killed. The enemy are reported to have a trestle bridge )aet built across the Potomac, above Williiwaeport; if ao, it ia feared their main foree may eacape. MORE CAVALRY OPERATIONS. Hanover, July 0.?Oar cavalry continue to harass the enemy's rear. The rebels bare abandoned their wound ad, and tbey are now moatly in our hands. We have buried large numbers of their dead. Gea. Farnsworth's body waa recovered to-day. Oar ?eouta report that Lee ia making every effort to gain a strong position on South Mountain Gap. He ia, however, oa country roada, whieh are almost impaaaable, and hia men and animala are report: ed to be almoat exhausted with grest fatigue. THE PURSUIT OF GKN. LEE. The subjoined extracts from the Fredericktowa eonre apondeooe of the Baltimore American ahow that the tale giaphie reports published yeeterday of a battle being ia progress on the line oT the Potomae were the am tavaa tions of some ambition reporter or the eaiaaaWea of a too credulous correspondent. No general battle had takea place np to yeeterday afternoon. By oar latest foepateh from Frederick, given ia another column, it would seem that Qettt Lee hai choseu the old held of Autietam as hia uext battle ground. Frederick, July 7?A. M. Frederick baa agaiu become the aceae of activity that belongs to the preaeuce of u great army in pursuit of a flying eueiuy. lly the time that thia reaches you the whole Army of the Potomac, travel worn aud battle scarred, yet buoyant and enthusiastic as I have uot s?eu it aince it leid before Yotktown, will bo Lere, and a large portion of it gone forward perhaps to seek a uew battle field. The avant couriers of the army have been passing through the streets of Frederick all day. Throngs of cav alrymen, long lines of wagons, and galloping staff officers have made the streets resound with noiae and excitement. KETRKAT Or HiK REBELS. Parties who left Hagerstown to-day report that the bead of the rebel army had already commenced coming there, and that there seemed to be indications that it was to be maased there, perhaps to try conclusions again with ^ke Army of the Potomac. This is, however, very doubtful. The greater probability is that Lee will push as rapidly on to the river as possible, and try to regain for his army on the soil of Virginia the confidence and prestige they have lost on this side of the lino. If, with his aimy buoyant and assured of victory, he could not win at Gettysburg, how can he expect to do so now, when the conditions are so greatly changed ? If be fights again this aide of the Poto mac it will be with the Army of tbe Potomac infinitely atronger in morale and reinforced up to its full strength before the three glorious dsys of July, whilst he himself is at least twenty-five thousand weaker -in men, and wilh hia panoply of supposed invincibility shattered to fraguieuts. WHAT WE ARE DOING. Though the rebels may reach the other aide of the Po tomac without further puniahment, it will still not be for want of effort on our part to inflict it on tbem. Our cav alry, under Pleasonton, is on their flank, and will not fail to strike hard. Buford, Gregg, and Kilpatrick are miles in front of here, and the advance of our infantry columns ia also where it ought to b?. The South Mountain pa&ses are ours, and with these evidences of further possible suc cess we must await results. OUR CAPTURES. Comparing the various estimates which reach me I think that our captures of prisoners will reaeh nine or ten thousand. To this number is to be added the badly wound ed, who will be gathered up all along the line of Lee's re treat, and the stragglers and deserters our cavalry are already gathering up. The rebel loss in killed and slightly wounded can hardly fall below twelve or thirteen thou sand, which will swell their total loaa up to twenty-five thou sand, about thirty-three per cent of the total of aeventy five thousand men Lee brought over thi Potomac with him. OUR LOSSES. I put down our losses in killed and wounded at twelve thousand, and believe that will fully cover tbem. This is tbe whole extent of our losses. Of prisoners we lost none exeept the few officers whom Lee was able to carry off. Three thousand of our men who fell into his hands be pa roled. but this parole, under the terms of tbe cartel, is of no effeet, because Gen. Meade positively refused to agree to it. Frederick, Tuesday, noon. There is no intelligence of the movements of the rebel army beyond the statement that they are in considerable foree at Hagerstown. Our cavalry are operating actively on the flank and rear, and are picking up hundreds of prisoners. QEN. K1LPATRICK'S CAPTURES. The prisoners who arrived here yesterday and still are encamped outside the town, except the wounded, who have been sent to the hospitals, were captured by Gen. Kilpatrick's cavalry between Greenoastle and Smithburg, and are to be added to the sum total of prisonera captured at Gettysburg. They were with a long wagon train of aiok, wounded, and stragglers, and were captured without much opposition. They number about one thousand. Moat of tbem are North Carolinians, with a sprinkling of Mary landera, severil of the latter being from this city. REINFORCEMENTS. Considerable reinforoements have reached here, iuclud ing among the regiments the Ninth Maryland. The rapidity with which this regiment has been recruited and put iu the field is very creditable to officers and men. It will proba bly join the Maryland brigade. Gen. Kenly, it is under stood, it to have command of a division of Gen. French's Army Corps. The New York Seventh also arrived this afternoon. Frederick, July 7?P. M. It is hardly permissible to refer in more than general terms to the enormous military activity and preparation' of whieh Frederick is at present the theatre. Of what exactly is doing, where the troops are going, and other points of information which the public might like to hear, it would not be right te speak. It, however, may be said that the War Department seems at last in earnest in backing the Army of the Potomac, and if Lee only can be caught any where short of the fortifications of Richmond h s chance will be a slim one. OPERATIONS Or OUR CAVALRV. We have reports, as yet without any of the particulars, of the wholesale and successful operations of onr cavalry. Buford has had a fight and captured wagons and prisoners; Gregg is operating successfully, and Kilpatriek is dashing to and fro, gobbling up and burning trains, and sending prisoners to the rear by hundreds. The heavy rains have so cut up the roads that the rebels are abandoning much of the trains, snd leaving the wounded tbey at tempted to carry off in wagons taken from the fanners all along the line of their retreat. , ARRIVAL OF GEN. MEADE. Gen. Meade and Staff arrived at noon to-day and estab lished their headquarters at the United States Hotel. Gen. Meade was received with much enthusiasm by the people of Frederick and the soldiers. Soon after his arrival a deputation of ladies waited upon him attd presented him with bouquets, wreaths, Ac. THE POTOMAC. A ride to Monocacy Junction this afternoon enabled me to obtain from the railroad men correct information in re ference to the condition of the Potomac river. A military train went up to Harper's Ferry to-day. There are four feet of water over the rocks at Sandy Hook. The river is therefore entirely unfordable, as there mast he from six to seven feet of water at the beat fords. It ie still rising. THE REBEL PONTOON TRAINS. There seems to be some doubt whether the rebels had any pontoon bridge across the Potomac except that de stroyed by our forces at Falling Waters. Reports received here from Williamsport say that the rebels have no bridge there, but are working desperately to improvise means of croesiag. A number of the men are reported to have been drowned in attempting to crow. If these report* are tree, aad Lee is detained on this side until the Army ef the Po tomac reaches him. hie army is done for. With the spirit that now prevails among our army, and the added strength given to it by the large reinforcements it is now reoelving, " bagging " will become a possibility. Wednesday Morning, July 8. The rain has been pouring down all night It is no longer a question whether the Potomac is fordahie, bat whether the rebels can maintain poatoon bridges across it, if they have them. Of course the rain will interfere with the movements of our army, but to the rebels it may be fatal. IMPORTANT FROM NORTH CAROLINA. Newbern, June 30.?An elaborate article appeared in the Raleigh Standard of the 23d instant, supposed to be from the Hon. Wm. A. Graham, denying the right of se oeesioa from the Federal Unioo, affirming the right of Federal coercion, disclaiming the propriety and justios of the pending assaults against the Union, and strongly assert ing the right of any State to withdraw at will from the Confederate States. The Raleigh Standard of the 93d favors a Convention of all the States te procure peaee, either by a reconstruction ef the Union or by a peaceable separation. The Rev. R J. Graves, of HUlsboro, North Carolina, who was arrested last autumn on the charge of treason to the Confederacy, has jnst been discharged, through the efforts of the Hon. Wm. A. Graham.