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Whittaker, Frederick, 1838-1889 / A complete life of Gen. George A. Custer: Major-General of Volunteers; Brevet Major-General, U.S. Army; and Lieutenant-Colonel, Seventh U.S. Calvery

Fourth book.--The Michigan brigade. Chapter I. The Gettysburg campaign,   pp. [167]-180

Page 180

   The charge of the First Michigan at Gettysburg is described
by an eye-witness as something magnificent, and yet the one
thing that gave it weight is not mentioned in Custer's report.
We have seen how, the previous day, the general had charged
at the head of a single company, solely for the purpose of en-
couraging his men and to win their respect and affection. At
Gettysburg he completed his victory over the brigade by the
manner in which he led the second charge in which he partici-
pated with his men. When that single regiment, in column of
squadrons, moved forward to the attack, every man knew that it
was the last reserve and.had started on an almost hopeless task.
Nothing but the sight of the young general. at their head
sharing their dangers could have inspired them to such an ef-
fort, and it was the magnificent spectacle of his gallant and
knightly figure, far in the van, that nerved every arm in that
column. Hating him at Hanover, they began to respect him
at iunterstown; after Gettysburg they adored him.
   The result of this attack was that Hampton's cavalry was
driven back, the infantry ordered up to support it, the whole
ammunition train of Lee threatened, and much of the vigor of
the assault on the Union right paralyzed. Meanwhile Buford,
on the other flank of the airmy, had prevented an equally dan-
gerous turning mnovement in that direction, and the battle ot
Gettysburg had been won.

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