Our collection of 500 letters from the Civil War has one glaring omission. Ario Pardee Jr.’s letters from Gettysburg are missing, and prolonged efforts to locate them (both nationally through Civil War collection experts and through present-day Pardee family members) have proved unsuccessful.
We recently received, however, a copy of Ario Pardee Jr.’s report to his commander on the pivotal events of July 2nd and 3rd July. It was loaned to Blithewold by the estate of James M. Earle II, direct descendant of Alice Pardee Earle, Ario Jr.’s younger sister.
Head Quars. 147th Reg’t P.V.I.
Near Gettysburg Penna.
July 4th 1863
Lieut A.H.W. Creigh
In compliance with circular of this day, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the 147th Regt. Penna. Vols in actions of July 2nd and 3rd 1863.
My regiment was relieved from picket duty early on the morning of the 2nd and with the Brigade marched to the position on the right of the line occupied by the First Army Corps. In this position we remained until evening when with the Brigade we marched to a position near and east of the turnpike leading from Gettysburg to Baltimore. On the morning of the 3d we marched to a point near the line of the previous day and toward the right of the line of the Brigade, having on our right the 7th Regt. O.V. and on our left the 5th Regt. O.V.
Soon after the line was formed I was ordered by Gen’l Geary Commd. Divis. To move forward with my regiment to a point which commanded the right of the line of entrenchments, and from which a view could be had of the movements of the enemy.
My regiment soon after reaching its assigned position became engaged with the skirmishes of the enemy who were soon driven from their positon.
Skirmishes were sent to the front and right flank, into the woods, from which they greatly harassed the Enemy.
At about 8 am an attempt was made by the enemy to turn the right of the line of the entrenchments.
They boldly advanced to within about a hundred yards, without discovering my regiment. I then ordered the regiment to fire, and broke their line. They re-formed again as a body and advanced. Their advance was checked by the heavy fire they received when they broke said rank. I would have charged them but had no support, and would not have been able to have held this position against the column in their rear.
I have the honor to report that I held the position assigned me until late in the afternoon when I was ordered to report to General Wadsworth of the 1st Corps.
My loss has been, I am happy to say, slight, when my exposed position is taken into consideration.
The casualties are one Com. Off killed, Lieut William Tennison Co “E”, four enlisted men killed and sixteen wounded. A list of the casualties has already been furnished you.
I am Sir
Ario Pardee Jr.
Lt. Col 147th P.V.
This was the greatest battle of Ario Jr.’s military career. The site of this crucial battle is commemorated at Gettysburg in honor of Ario’s brilliant charge and the bravery of his men. A large stone monument in the middle of the open field is engraved “Pardee Field,” and includes an account of the battle.