It is my great honor to report on our victory on the
fields of Gettysburg, PA on the 6th of July. It is my belief that this victory shall be a turning point in this,
the war that will restore our Great Union.
Our arrival on the 4th was marked by great commotion.
Several companies, that had arrived prior to us, were drilling and streets were being set up all around us. Mounted cavalry
were running about the Union camp as we assembled on our street. It was our hope that we would be able to rest shortly after
our arrival, but it was not to be. A Confederate force arrived shortly before we did and mounted an assault. Our first battle
was a delaying action near Willoughby Run. The Confederates had greater numbers and proceeded to push us back to a rock wall.
We had assumed defensive positions in defensive positions in an effort to hold off the rebel advance until our boys could
We fell back to Cemetery Ridge. Our reinforcements had
arrived in great number the following day and we were now in a position to overpower the advancing Confederate Army. Our boys
showered the Rebs with cannon and musket fire. “My God!” it was a sight. The smoke was so thick you at times,
lose sight of the infantry. After a sort time of fierce combat, we had halted the Confederate advance.
We managed to hold the Confederates at bay until the
second day. Our left flank had been left woefully exposed and the Rebs sought to exploit it. Colonel Vincent, seeing the exposure,
dispatched several regiments including the 20th Maine to hold Little Round Top. We spread out thinly along the hill and waited
for a Confederate advance. We did not wait long. They stormed the hill and we fired a rain of hell upon them. As they reeled
and fell back, Company B of the 20th Maine charged out from below the hill and threw the Confederate line into utter disarray.
The Confederate regiment, which we later learned was the 15th Alabama, had suffered greatly. Many were captured. Many more
The final day of battle saw a great charge by the Confederate
forces under General Pickett. We had not expected such an assault, not after the beating they received the day before. Confederate
artillery fired shot after shot across the field for what seemed like an eternity. Our return of their barrages was met with
a great rise in the boys’ spirits as we faced the enemy. As the barrage abated, the Confederate infantry began to march
across the field. I found myself taken aback at the apparent futility of the maneuver. From my position in the Union line,
I could see our cannon shot creating great holes in the sea of grey that was advancing. Two regiments from Ohio had inflicted
so much damage on the advancing Rebs that they fled in terror. I admit freely that, although these men were in secession that
they are still Americans. It was indeed a sorrowful sight to see wave after wave of them falling to cannon and musket fire.
Lee’s forces retreated and we are now holding the
field. I and the rest of my regiment are now at rest and are happy of it.
In kind regards, I remain, your most obdt.
Pvt. Jos. Audette
20th Maine Regt. Co, B