The Pennsylvania Reserves at Gettysburg: What A Bucktail Has To Say About It

 By N. Y. Jones1
Comdr. Post 264, Montgomery, Pa.
Late of the Old Bucktails.

 For the benefit of W. A. S. who would like to hear some of the Bucktails’ views as to the correctness of his account of the battle of Gettysburg. The comrade says “that the Bucktails did not arrive until we had become engaged.” referring to his command, 3d Brigade, 2d Division, of the 6th Corps. Now what I have to say is just the reverse (I belonged to the “Old Bucktails,” 1st -Pa. Rifles, P. R. V. C., or the 42d Pa.).
      The 6th Corps did not  arrive at Gettysburg until after the 5th Corps bad been engaged. The 2d Division of the 5th Corps, composed of the two brigades of Regulars, was engaged and held the ground between Little Round Top and the wheat�field, and when Caldwell’s Division of the 2d Corps, uncovered the right flank of the Regulars.
      They were soon overpowered by the two divisions of Hood and McLaws, and were being rapidly forced back on Little Round Top. Then our brigade of Pennsylvania Reserves, 1st 2d, 6th, 11th and Bucktail regiments, led by McCandless, was ordered up on double quick, and we dashed forward to the rescue of the Regulars and the batteries near Little Round Top, just as the enemy were about to take possession of them. We forced them back across the marshy ground and over the knoll, and from that across the stone-fence and Woods to the wheat-field beyond.
        Our Colonel, Charles F. Taylor, was killed about one-fourth of the way from the top of the knoll to the stone-fence, I claim we that I saved the day at Little Round Top, and not the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 6th Corps, for if my memory serves me right, and I think it does, they came in to the right and rear of us after we had got over the stone-fence.
        He also said that we lost our colors, but I am happy to say that he is mistaken in that also. He is correct though about us capturing a stand of colors from the Johnnies.

October 22, 1883.2

  1. Nicolas Y. Jones, Private, Company B, 1st Pennsylvania Rifles
  2. Grand Army Scout and Soldiers Mail, November 3, 1883