When the entire Union
XI Corps appeared in front of the brigade, the situation became grim. The
enemy occupied Oak Hill in front of the Georgians, and immediately began
a guns at Gettysburg, going into line on the extreme left. flanking movement
to the left. Doles' men fought on the defensive for an hour until Brig.
Gen. John B. Gordon's brigade of Maj. Gen. Jubal Early's division came
up on the left, linked up with Doles' regiments and attacked.
The Federals fought valiantly but soon were flanked and had to retreat. With Doles and Gordon pressing home their assault, the retreat became a rout and compelled the entire Federal defense north of Gettysburg to give way. During the pursuit of the routed enemy, Doles' men came under fire from an unexpected source. Doles reported later, "My line was subjected to and did receive a severe fire from one of our own batteries, from which fire I lost several men killed and wounded." The offending battery was not identified.
The brigade was drawn up in line of battle on July 2 to support Early's attack on Cemetery Hill. For whatever reason, Rodes did not order the advance, and the men, except for heavy skirmishing, remained where they were until the 5th, when the Confederate army retreated. In the action at Gettysburg, the 44th Georgia lost 10 killed, 49 wounded and 9 missing. A survivor summed up the matter: "There was an awful fight for three days. I don't think we gained anything there."
The 44th Georgia Regiment Volunteers were mustered on March 10, 1862. They continued through Spotsylvania to Appomattox.
By Gerald J. Smith