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Colors of Archer's Brigade lost at Gettysburg

No. 552. Report of Lieutenant Colonel S. G. Shepard, Seventh Tennessee Infantry, of operations of Archer's brigade.

AUGUST 10, 1863.

SIR: In compliance with General Orders, No. -(to report the part that Archer's brigade took in the recent engagements in Pennsylvania and Maryland),

. . . In the engagement of the 3d, the brigade was on the right of out division, in the following order: First Tennessee on the right; on its left, Thirteenth Alabama; next Fourteenth Tennessee; on its left Seventh Tennessee, and, on the left, Fifth Alabama Battalion. There was a space of a few hundred yards. between the right of Archer's brigade and the left of General Pickett's division when we advanced, but, owing to the position of the lines (they not being an exact continuation of each other), as we, advanced, the right of our brigade and the left of General Pickett's division gradually approached each other, so that by the time we had advanced a little over half of the way, the right of Archer's touched and connected with Pickett's left. The command was then passed down the line by the officers, "Guide right; " and we advanced our right, guiding by General Pickett's left. The enemy held their fire until we were in fine range, and opened upon us a terrible and well-directed fire. Within 180 or 200 yards of his works, we came to a lane inclosed by two stout post and plank fences. This was a very great obstruction to us, but the men rushed over rapidly as they could, and advanced directly upon the enemy's works, the first line of which was composed of rough stones. The enemy abandoned this, but just in rear wa massed a heavy force. By the time we had reached this work, our lines all along, as far as I could see, had become very much weakened; indeed, the line both right and left, as far as I could observe, seemed to melt away until there was but little of it left. Those who remained at the works was that it was a hopeless case, and fell back. Archer's brigade remained at the works fighting as long as any other troops either on their right or left, so far as I could observe. Every flag in the brigade excepting one was captured at or within the works of the enemy. The First Tennessee had 3 color-bearers shot down, the last of whom was at the works, and the flag captured. The Thirteenth Alabama lost 3 in the same way, the last of whom was shot down at the works. The Fourteenth Tennessee had 4 shot down, the last of whom was at the enemy's works. The Seventh Tennessee lost 3 color-bearers, the last of whom was at the enemy's works, and the flag was only saved by Captain [A. D.] Norris tearing it away from the staff and bringing it out beneath his coat. The Fifth Alabama Battalion also lost their flag at the enemy's works.. . .

I respectfully beg leave to submit.
Lieutenant-Colonel Seventh Tennessee Regiment.
OR Vol.27, Pt. 2, p. 647

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