July 27, 1863.
Capt. JOHN M. COONEY,
A. A. G., Second Brig., First Div., Third Army Corps.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the operations of the Second U.S. Sharpshooters at Gettysburg, Pa., as follows:
On the morning of July. 2,. I was placed in line on the extreme left of the Third Corps, remaining there for nearly one hour, when the colonel commanding instructed me to place my command in a position to cover a ravine near Sugar Loaf hill, which I did by putting Company H on the brow of the hill, with vedettes overlooking the ravine, and Company D in the ravine near the woods, to watch the enemy's movements in that direction. Companies A, E, G, and C formed a line perpendicular to the cross-road that intersects with the Emmitsburg pike. Companies B and F, I held in reserve.
I remained in this position until about 2 p.m., when General Ward directed that I should deploy my regiment across the ravine and through the woods on the right, and advance. I moved forward to a brook some 200 yards beyond a second cross-road running perpendicular to the Emmitsburg pike, and intersecting with it in front of Sugar Loaf hill. I sent forward scouts to reconnoiter the ground. I then rode out perhaps the distance of half a mile, and discovered the enemy's skirmishers advancing on my right, which, being unsupported by any connection with skirmishers on my right, I was compelled to withdraw to protect my flank. In this position we had but little time to wait. The enemy's skirmishers advanced to the top of the hill in our front, and immediately after they placed a battery directly in our front, and being too far for our range, I sent forward a few men under cover of woods on the left, and silenced one piece nearest us.
The enemy then advanced a line of battle covering our entire front and flank. While they were advancing, the Second Regiment did splendid execution, killing and wounding a great many. One regiment broke three times, and rallied, before it would advance. I held my position until their line of battle was within 100 yards of me and their skirmishers were pushing my right flank, when I ordered my men to fall back, firing as they retired. My left wing retreated-up the hill and allowed the enemy to pass up the ravine, when they poured a destructive fire into his flank and rear.
Here Adjutant Norton, with about a dozen men, captured and sent to the rear 22 prisoners. Special mention should be made of this officer for his coolness and bravery during this day's engagement.
The right wing fell back gradually until they mingled with the regiments composing the Second Brigade, and remained till night, when the brigade was relieved.
In this day's action were wounded Capts. E. T. Rowell (acting major), J. McClure, and A. Buxton. Our loss was 28 killed, wounded, and missing. Among the missing was Lieut. D. B. Pettijohn, Company A.
On the 3d instant, the Second Regiment was not engaged, with the exception of about a dozen volunteers, who went out to the front of the breastworks of the First Army Corps, to silence one of the enemy's guns, which was accomplished, losing I killed and 1 wounded.
On the 4th instant, I was ordered to move forward to the Emmitsburg pike, a few hundred yards to the left of the cemetery, and to deploy four companies to skirmish through the field to the woods in front. The enemy was driven back to his earthworks, about 150 or 200 yards from his first position. We held this position through the day, under a sharp fire from his sharpshooters.
The regiment sustained a loss this day of 3 killed and 8 wounded. Among the wounded was Lieutenant Law, Company E.
At 7.30 p.m. I was relieved by a New Jersey regiment, of the Sixth Corps, and rejoined the brigade.
I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
HOMER R. STOUGHTON,
Major, Commanding Second U.S. Sharpshooters.