In an early morning encounter between Heth and Buford, a fierce battle developed with
numerous casualties on both sides. Some Confederates had found themselves trapped in
a deep cut of an unfinished railroad bed when Reynold's Federal infantry troops arrived.
Although Reynolds was killed soon after his arrival by a Confederate sharpshooter, the
Rebels were outnumbered by the Army of the Potomac and had to pull back.
|General Lee arrived in the afternoon. Concerned at encountering an unknown number of Federal infantry, he assessed the situation and considered pulling back. However, upon hearing that Ewell's Corps had successfully attacked the Federal's right flank, Lee ordered a general advance. The Federals, no match for Ewell's Corps at this time, pulled back through the town taking up positions on a field of higher ground known as Cemetery Hill. Had Ewell continued the attack at this time, with the Federal forces in disarray, the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg would have likely been much different. However, General Lee had cautioned his commanders against coming to full battle before Gen. Longstreet, who was heading towards Gettysburg by the Chambersburg Pike, was able to join the Confederate forces. In hindsight, this was a mistake in strategy, as by the end of the day, Federal Major General Winfield Scott Hancock arrived at Cemetery Hill and managed to end the Federal's chaos, hardening their hold on this high ground|
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