Trying to find a weak spot the Confederates kept moving to their right and noticing that the two rounded mountains that anchored the Federal Army were not defended. They began to move that way.
Brigadier General Gouverneur K. Warren, sent by Commanding General Meade to survey the left flank of the Union Army at Gettysburg, was aghast to see General Sickles had move of his corps into the Wheat Field left the two small hills unprotected and Confederate General Longstreet had moved his entire corps around threatening the Union flank.
Hit almost immediately by the 15th Alabama and then also by the 47th Alabama by repeated attacks the 20th Maine fired volley after volley, holding stubbornly to the hilltop. Stretched by continued flanking attacks, the Union line thinned and then showed great gaps as the severe fighting went on for an hour.
The call for ammunition was sounding up and down the line, Chamberlain knew that the next attack would break his thin line. In desperation he ordered, “Fix BAYONETS!” And then, “CHARGE!” Immediately, the Union troops sprang forward from behind the stone wall at the Confederates who were only thirty yards away. The exhausted Alabamans were caught off guard by this audacious move and scattered. Those who ran eastward were caught in a hail of bullets from the 20th's detached Company B, lying behind a stone wall 100 yards away.
The dead literally covered the ground; blood stood in puddles on the rocks. Chamberlain's men rounded up 400 prisoners from the 15th and 47th Alabama regiments.
Other parts of the field sharpshooters on both sides, working in teams, picking off soldiers in the open, especially officers.
The 1st U.S.S.S. wore green coats, hats and trousers. Instead of the bright shiny brass buttons they used black rubber to help hide from the enemy.They usually fought in pairs skirmishing with Rebel skirmishers. The average shot was 400-600 yards, with one report of 800 yards. They usually shot at the artillery and officers. At times they worked in teams of a shooter, a spotter with a telescope or binoculars, and a guard to watch for the enemy. They used a primitive range finder called a statiasite. They would hold one end of measured string in their mouth and hold out a gauge in which the spotter would measure the target’s head. It would read the distance and then the shooter would have a better idea of the distance. These Sharpshooters were rarely captured; they were always shot on sight by the Rebels.
On the other end of the “fish hook” General Green had ordered his men to use logs and whatever else they could find to build up their defensive position. Much of the hill was thick foliage. So thick that they could only see a few yards. The men built the breastworks with one log above their shooting position to protect their head. Late in the afternoon the Confederates attacked again and again through the evening and in to the late night.
In the morning the soldiers were amazed at the sight. All the bark from the large trees had been shot away to the height of a man, and the small foliage had all been shot away form the fighting.
General Sickles was later removed to a hospital in Washington and on 5th, President Abraham Lincoln went to visit him. Another officer wrote down what the President said:
"…oppressed by the gravity of our affairs, I went to my room one day and locked the door and got down on my knees before almighty God and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this war was His, and our cause His cause, but we could not stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. Then and there I made a solemn vow to almighty God that if He would stand by our boys at Gettysburg, I would stand by Him. And after that, I don't know how it was, and I cannot explain it, soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul. The feeling came that God had taken the whole business into His own hands, and that things would go right at Gettysburg…"