Thursday, February 13, 2014

Congratulations to Professor Guelzo

 Courtesy of the Three Days At Gettysburg Blog:

Our heartiest congratulations to Professor Allen C. Guelzo, on his award of the 2014 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize for his book, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion [see review here]. Professor Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, and the author of several books on Abraham Lincoln.

Professor Guelzo shares this year’s prize with Martin Johnson, of Miami University – Hamilton, Hamilton, Ohio, for his book, Writing the Gettysburg Address.

The Awards will be presented in New York City on April 24th.  Also being honored at that time will be Director Steven Spielberg with a first-time Special Achievement Award for his film Lincoln.

If you have not read Gettysburg: The Last Invasion yet, you are depriving yourself of one of the finest histories of the Battle of Gettysburg ever written.  The book was published in 2013 by Alfred A. Knopf [ISBN 978-0-307-59408-2].


We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 10th year!

Copyright © 2005-2014: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Is it time to save Camp Letterman?

While other Civil War battles were as bloody as Gettysburg, the three days spent in mutual butchery here was unmatched throughout the Civil War in sheer numbers.  After the killing,  both armies moved to the west, Lee in advance, desperately trying to get across the Potomac, and followed slowly, cautiously, by General George G. Meade.  Behind them lay a Battlefield which saw three days of fighting resulting in a combination of 51,000 dead, wounded, captured or missing from both sides. 

The wily General Lee had sent most of his wounded and his prisoners west the day before, over South Mountain along the Chambersburg Pike, the same road most of his army used to get to Gettysburg.

But several thousand Confederate wounded remained behind, prisoners of the victorious Union Army of the Potomac.  Some were found in barns and farm houses made into hospitals by the Confederates, others were still being found on the Battlefield, while others had been captured after being wounded in the many assaults made by the Army of Northern Virginia during the great battle fought here.  Still others had been taken in by the residents of the town, and the surrounding farms.

Treatment of the wounded during the Civil War was, put simply, horrible, brutal, and likely the inadvertent killer of many wounded who might have survived if their wounds had been treated more antiseptically.  

The Chief Medical Director for the Army of the Potomac, Major Jonathan Letterman, had been given a free hand in 1862 by General George B. McClellan, then commander of the Army of the Potomac, to reorganize the Medical Department.  Later, at Battle of Antietam and still later at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Letterman's innovative reorganizations were responsible for the ultimate recovery of many of the wounded who, without those changes, would have died.

Letterman organized regimental aid stations that would funnel the more seriously wounded back to Brigade, Division Field Hospitals and Corps Hospitals farther behind the lines.  He organized the Ambulance Corps after transferring control of it from the Quartermaster Corps, to augment his system which was later adopted by the US Army as standard field medical practice.  This was a new system of triage which is the basis for mass trauma treatment prioritization being used today on battlefields around the world. 

At Gettysburg, Letterman remained behind after the battle to supervise the treatment of the more than 20,000 wounded, more than 14,000 of which were Union soldiers.   Below is the location of the Letterman Army Hospital at Gettysburg:

Camp Letterman was located on the George Wolf farm on the south side of York Pike just east of Rock Creek.  It sits mostly vacant, though a Hotel and a Giant grocery store, on the south end and a shopping center on the north side are likely also sitting on the site, at least partially.  Across US 30 [York Pike], is a set of railroad tracks.  Bodies and wounded able to travel were sent east on this line to hospitals in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Baltimore and Washington.  Families came to  Camp Letterman to see their wounded loved ones, and sometimes to escort the wounded, or the dead back home. 

Camp Letterman was constructed of large tents.  Here is a Library of Congress image of one of the tents at Camp Letterman.

Note the decorative evergreen garland above the opening of the tent.  While the decoration was a nice touch, the smell of the evergreen was the main purpose of the garland.    Tents full of wounded men were not the sweetest smelling places.

It is time to include this place in the National Park System, as part of Gettysburg National Military Park.  Let's work on organizing an effort to raise the funds to purchase this very historic parcel.  Perhaps the Civil War Trust will take the reins of this effort.

Let's spread the word to add Camp Letterman to GNMP.


We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 10th year!

Copyright © 2005-2014: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Train Station Bill scheduled for vote!

News just in that Representative Scott Perry's bill, HR 1513, has been added to this weeks schedule in the House of Representatives.  The bill, which also adds some land in Cumberland Township along Plum Run, would clear the path for the National Park Service to acquire the wonderfully restored historic Train Station, located a few yards north of the Majestic Theater on Carlisle Street in Gettysburg. 

It was this station where President Lincoln arrived on November 18th, 1863 and departed from a day later after offering his 'few dedicatory remarks" at the new National Soldiers Cemetery. 

The small station has been carefully restored to a grand delight right out of 1863. 

Our thanks to Congressman Perry for his work in introducing this bill.  Hopefully the House will pass it, followed shortly by a similar action in the Senate.  We will keep you posted on the bill's progress. 


We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 10th year!

Copyright © 2005-2014: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Farewell, Scott Hartwig, and Thank You!

On a personal note, we would like to congratulate D. Scott Hartwig on his retirement from his position as Supervisory Ranger Historian at Gettysburg National Military Park. And we would add a huge Thank You for a job well done.

On several occasions we visited the research library where Scott's office was located in the old Cyclorama Building. Every time he was extremely helpful [as was John Heiser], always courteous, and eager to make the research path easier. In his presentations at Seminars, he would go out of his way to provide information about his sources, not because we were checking his veracity, but because we had not heard of those statistics, or that written document, or this book, and were eager to explore them to gain more familiarity with them. Scott would gladly provide that information.

Always a gentleman, always well prepared, always presenting himself professionally, Scott shared his knowledge and insights willingly. This is the mark of someone who has embraced his work.

Scott Hartwig, Ranger Historian, soon to be Historian, will be missed. We wish him well, and much success in the next phase of his life. If it is anything like the phase he is ending, he will be extremely successful.

Farewell, and thank you Scott Hartwig!


We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 10th year!

Copyright © 2005-2014: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

He Came to Gettysburg

He came to Gettysburg on the train, arriving in the afternoon of November 18th.  Greeted by local attorney David Wills, he walked the one block uphill to Wills’ home on the southeast corner of The Diamond, as the town square was called.  Stuffed in his stove-pipe hat was the working copy of the speech he planned to give at the ceremony the next day. 

After dinner at the Wills House with some of Wills friends, he retired to his bedroom on the second floor.  Later in the evening a crowd gathered on the Diamond, and it began to sing, serenading him with popular patriotic songs.  He threw open the window and waved to the group.  They broke into cheers and calls for a speech.  He thanked them for their warmth and hospitality, said a few words, and bid them good night. 

The next day, the parade formed on the Diamond, and he joined other dignitaries, including, Wills, Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, and the main speaker, famed orator Edward Everett. In the march to the new National Cemetery.  At the Cemetery, The Reverend Dr. Stockton delivered the opening prayer, followed by music performed by the United States Marine Corps Band. 

The principle speaker of the day, Edward Everett, then stood and spoke for two hours or so.   He spoke of the Battle, and war, other wars, as well as the one that brought its fight to Gettysburg.  Everett was followed by the Baltimore Glee Club, which sang an ode  written by Benjamin Brown French, the  Commissioner of Public Buildings in Washington, DC.   

The tall man in the stove pipe hat then rose and began to speak.  This is what he said…

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. 

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The ceremony continued after his two minute speech.  A dirge was sung, and the final benediction was presented by the Reverend Dr. H. L. Baugher.  

After the ceremony at the National Cemetery, he went to the Presbyterian Church, accompanying local resident John Burns to the ceremony there.  Burns was wounded on the first day of the Battle while fighting with a Pennsylvania Regiment.  He was the only civilian to have joined the Union ranks against the Confederates during the battle.   

He left by railroad shortly after that ceremony. 


We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2013: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Post-150th Commemoration

From the Fields of Gettysburg, the excellent blog put out by the Interpretive Rangers at the Gettysburg National Military Park, has a post-Commemoration post up now.
Here is the Link:



We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2013: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

About the Battle Anniversary Series

Presented here for the next several day will be a description of the people and events that made up the Battle of Gettysburg, and a final piece that deals with the Battlefield itself.

The essays are now posted in chronological order for ease of access and reading. Read them from the top, from 1-9.  At the bottom of the page, click "Older Posts" to continue the series. 

We hope they help you to grasp what happened here on those hot early summer days of 1863. We welcome questions. Please feel free to email us using the link that says "Email Me", just above the local weather near the top of the left sidebar.


We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2013: GettysBLOG.  All Rights Reserved.

Battle Anniversary 1: "Fight like the Devil" - June 30, 1863

June 30, 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The sight that greeted Sarah Broadhead as she looked out her window on the west side of Gettysburg on the morning of June 30th, 1863 caused her to draw a sharp breath. There had been rumors, but the view of the Seminary and the ridge on which it stands was complicated by a large group of men, and the Confederate flags they were carrying. She would later write, “We had a good view of them from our house, and every moment we expected to hear the booming of cannon, and thought they might shell the town. As it turned out they were only reconnoitering.” She was looking at three North Carolina Infantry Regiments, some 1,800 men constituting most of a brigade under the command of Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew. Pettigrew, the highly educated and well lettered graduate of the University of North Carolina was the pride of his state.

Ordered forward on a supply gathering expedition, Pettigrew and his staff were anxiously searching the town and its environs for signs of Union troops. Numerous civilians questioned as to the presence of Union troops in the area gave a variety of answers, most of them based on rumors, but one thing became evident: there were many Union troops close by. It did not take long for their field glasses and telescopes to find the body of blue moving towards town from the south on the Emmitsburg Road. Mistaking a column of cavalry for infantry, Pettigrew turned his column around, 3 regiments of infantry, an artillery battery, and 27 empty wagons that were to have hauled the shoes, hats, and food back to their divisional camp near Cashtown on South Mountain. Instead, they returned almost empty-handed.

On his return to Cashtown, Pettigrew reported to his superior, Henry J. Heth, that there were large bodies of troops in and around Gettysburg and more were arriving all the time. Heth took Pettigrew to see their Corps Commander, General Ambrose Powell Hill. Neither Hill, nor Heth believed the report. Both graduates of the United States Military Academy, they had a disdain for the civilian soldier’s abilities, and Pettigrew was just that. Even though he was a battle-tested, wounded veteran of many engagements who had fought his regiments well, he was, and always would be, a civilian soldier, and not “one of them”, an Academy graduate. Hill and Heth graduated from West Point in the same class, 1847. Hill was 15th in his class of 38, and Heth was dead last. It did not matter. Heth was the nephew of General Robert E. Lee.

[Heth’s Division was not the advanced element of the Army of Northern Virginia, as that honor belonged to Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell’s Second Corps, which passed through Gettysburg a week earlier on its way to York, and then north to Harrisburg. But Hill’s Third Corps was the lead of the main body of Lee’s army, which included Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s First Corps, still situated in the Cumberland Valley west of Hill’s advanced position at Cashtown.]

In a similar predicament to Pettigrew’s were his fellow brigade commanders in Heth’s Division. Brigadier General James J. Archer was a Mexican War veteran who joined the US Army before the war, and now commanded a brigade of Tennessee and Alabama troops. As such, he was a notch above Pettigrew professionally, as was Colonel John M. Brockenbrough, who was a graduate of Virginia Military Institute. Not so the fourth brigade commander under Heth, Brigadier General Joseph R. Davis, the nephew of Confederate General Jefferson Davis, and a pre-war politician in Mississippi.

[It was the same in the Union Army. Political and civilian officers were awarded commissions early in the war usually for raising a regiment, or at least a company. Major political figures such as Benjamin Butler, a Massachusetts Democrat, and his political and law student, Daniel Sickles, commander of the Third Corps, Army of the Potomac, and a key figure in the Battle of Gettysburg were exceptions to the rule. For the most part, the war was taken over by 1863 by the West Point graduates, and the civilian and political generals were relegated to side areas, or out of the army altogether. The West Point officers on both sides generally were much better all around officers, and had made the learning transition on maneuver and logistics concerning large armies, as the prewar US Army in which they served had, at most, 20,000 men…the size of a large sized Civil War corps.]

Pettigrew’s report was disbelieved. When forwarded to Lee, the report was also disbelieved based on the intelligence information Lee had at the time. Even so, the cautious Lee ordered Hill to advance on Gettysburg the next day and “feel” for the enemy. He was ordered not to bring on a general engagement. Hill ordered Heth to undertake the task and passed on Lee’s admonition to avoid spurring a large fight.

John Buford, Brigadier General, West Point ’48, commanding officer of the First Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, led his men up the Emmitsburg Road from Maryland into Pennsylvania and a few miles later, Gettysburg in the late morning of June 30. It was Buford’s command that Pettigrew had spotted from a long distance and mistaken them for infantry. At the time, the long column of blue-uniformed troopers may have been dismounted and marching by leading their horses, something cavalry did on the march to give both riders and horses a break while continuing to move.

Buford rode at the head of two of his three brigades. First Brigade, under Colonel William Gamble, comprised of the 8th and 12th Illinois Cavalry, and the 3rd Indiana, and 8th New York, was with him, as was the Second Brigade, under the feisty Colonel Thomas Devin. Devin commanded the 6th and 9th New York Cavalry, the 3rd West Virginia, and the 17th Pennsylvania. Buford’s Reserve Brigade, under newly promoted Brigadier General Wesley Merritt was left south of the area guarding the southwestern approaches to Gettysburg.

[Merritt, along with Elon J. Farnsworth, was promoted from Captain to Brigadier General (skipping Major, Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel!) two days earlier in a last minute reorganization of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac by Major General Alfred Pleasonton, Corps Commander. Along with Merritt and Farnsworth, a young First Lieutenant was also springboarded to Brigadier General, and given command of the Michigan Brigade in Judson Kilpatrick’s Third Division of the Cavalry Corps. His name was George Armstrong Custer, last in his West Point class of 1861 in everything but equitation.]
Riding through Gettysburg just before noon Buford’s troopers were serenaded by the people of the town, particularly the young ladies and children. Showered with patriotic songs, some stopped to have flowers pinned on their dusty coats.

[These men were no longer the laughingstock of the Army. In the first two years of the war, the Union Cavalry had been ill used, poorly commanded, and severely abused when they came in contact with Major General James Ewell Brown (JEB) Stuart’s Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. In fact, an early war sentiment among the infantry was that “nobody ever saw a dead cavalryman.” But recently, with better commanders of the Army of the Potomac, and with a Corps Commander who excelled at the administrative side of running a cavalry unit, the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps distinguished themselves in battles along the gaps and passes leading into the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and at such places as Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville. Finally, a surprise attack launched by Army Commander Joseph Hooker on June 9th caught Stuart at a very vulnerable moment. Attacking across the Rappahannock River while Stuart was conducting a grand review for General Lee and assorted visiting dignitaries, Pleasonton’s forces, backed up by a corps of infantry interrupted the review and fought a series of pitched battles around a place called Brandy Station. Eventually Pleasonton grew timid and withdrew his forces back across the river, but not before serving notice that his cavalry had matured into an outstanding fighting unit capable of standing toe-to-toe with the vaunted Stuart. It was a lesson that was ignored by Stuart and Lee, and thus to be repeated throughout the Gettysburg Campaign.]

Buford moved his men through town ordering Devin to bivouac his brigade north of the college in the open fields above town, and Gamble to set up his brigade camp west of the Seminary on the Chambersburg Pike.

Buford’s long years of experience as an Indian fighter out west before the war had taught him to be an excellent judge of terrain. Indeed, he was the man who initially decided the opening strategy of the Battle of Gettysburg, and how it would eventually play out. He reasoned that if he could hold the Confederates off west of town long enough for the Infantry to arrive and occupy the high ground southeast of town, he would have accomplished his goal and given the Infantry a large advantage in high ground, well suited for defensive positions, from Culp’s Hill, north around the upper reach of Cemetery Hill, and then south along the west side of Cemetery Hill and down Cemetery Ridge. He would need help, however, and later that evening he sat down near the Lutheran Seminary and wrote a letter to Union First Corps Commander Major General John Fulton Reynolds, telling him just that.

James Ewell Brown “JEB” Stuart, 13th of 46 in his West Point class of 1854, where he was first exposed to Robert E. Lee. Lee was superintendent of the Military Academy, and Stuart was one of his prize cadets. Later, in 1859, after a few years fighting Indians out west, and dealing with the unrest in ‘Bleeding Kansas’ Stuart acted as Colonel Robert E. Lee’s aide during the suppression of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.

At the start of the Civil War, Stuart, a young Virginian with piercing dark eyes and a large beard, was commissioned a Captain of Virginia Cavalry. In little more than a year he was promoted to Major General commanding the Confederate Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Stuart’s early war exploits after taking command are legendary. He led his entire command unhindered on rides around the Army of the Potomac – twice! He was a skilled commander, and a trusted officer serving under his old mentor, Lee. At the Battle of Chancellorsville, he temporarily took command of Stonewall Jackson’s Second Corps after Jackson was wounded by friendly fire. He fought Jackson’s men with skill the next day. By the time of the Gettysburg Campaign his reputation as a dashing and daring commander was encased in the lore of the South. It was about to come undone.

Ordered by Lee to screen the movement of the Army of Northern Virginia north into Pennsylvania, Stuart proceeded to go on an extensive raid through Maryland, capturing several large wagon trains full of food and supplies belonging to the Army of the Potomac. These wagon trains seriously slowed his movements north and he lost touch with the Infantry he was supposed to be screening.

Late in June, he found his route north into Pennsylvania at Littlestown blocked by Union Cavalry (Kilpatrick), which forced him to move east to Hanover, in southern York County, just above the Mason Dixon Line.

As Stuart was heading toward Hanover, intent on occupying the town, some of his units were skirmishing with Union Cavalry – elements of the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry, stationed on a line southwest of Hanover and northward, screening the town from any advance on it by Stuart. The 18th was struck by two regiments of Stuart’s cavalry in two separate places, sending them reeling back through Hanover. Stuart then entered the town along with his advanced units (Chambliss’ Brigade) and some of his Horse Artillery, which he quickly got into play by targeting the retreating 18th Pennsylvania.

As this was occurring, more Union Cavalry under newly promoted Brigadier General Elon J. Farnsworth appeared suddenly on a large farm at the south edge of Hanover, and Stuart moved to attack. Nearly surrounded, Stuart made his escape by riding his horse like a steeplechase, leaping the hedgerows that divided up the fields, and at one point leaping a 15 foot ditch. Regrouping in town, he awaited developments. Farnsworth moved his forces into town and forced Stuart to withdraw to the west and south.

Judson Kilpatrick heard the sounds of the fight and raced south to Hanover. Custer took up a position northwest of town, and in the late afternoon, began an advance on the Brigade of Fitzhugh Lee. Ordering 600 men from the 6th Michigan to dismount, Custer led them through the brush, part way on hands and knees, to get within three hundred yards of the Confederate line and its artillery that was shelling the town. Custer’s men opened up and drove off the cavalry support defending the guns. A second, similar attack followed on and convinced the Confederates that they must disengage and move out to York after darkness fell.


 Buford had laid out his plan well. He had Gamble’s Brigade astride the Chambersburg Pike just east of the steep defile through which Willoughby Run flowed. Gamble’s men were in position on the next high ground east of the stream, now called McPherson’s Ridge, so named for the farm that sat on the ridge along the south side of the road. The road itself was lined on both sides with stout five-rail fence, and almost parallel to the road on the north side, a sunken railroad bed, still under construction and without rails ran about one to two hundred yards from the road. Devin’s men were formed on Gamble’s right, and extended north to the Mummasburg Road.

When he visited Devin that evening, Devin was in a high mood, and began predicting how easily they would dispense with the Rebels the next day. Buford rounded on him and angrily exclaimed, “No you won’t! They will attack in the morning and they will come booming—skirmishers three deep. You will have to fight like the Devil to hold your own until supports arrive. The enemy must know the importance of this position and will strain every nerve to secure it, and if we are able to hold it we will do well.”


Copyright © 2005-2013: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Battle Anniversary 2: "Them Damned Black Hats Again!" - July 1, 1863, Morning

July 1, 1863. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Morning.

Major General Henry “Harry” Heth was anxious to get his men going in the pre-dawn hours of July 1. Camped along the Chambersburg Road near Cashtown, his force for the morning’s march to Gettysburg would use only two of his brigades, Archer’s and that of Joseph Davis, totaling about 3,000 men. Behind them would come an additional 3,500 men in Brockenborough’s and Pettigrew’s Brigades. At the head of Heth’s column was young Major Willie Pegram’s Artillery battalion, five batteries – twenty guns in all, and 400 men. This unusual line of march was through admitted carelessness on the part of Heth. The infantry should have been in the lead.

[In the Confederate Army, the standard artillery battery was four guns, in two sections of two guns. In the Union Army, the standard arrangement was six guns, in three sections of two guns. There were exceptions, and in many Confederate batteries, gun types were often mixed, Napoleons, Howitzers, etc. This was also true in the Union Artillery, though not nearly to the extent of the Confederates. Each gun would generally have a team of horses to pull the gun and a limber chest, and another team to pull linked caissons full of ammunition and powder.]

As the artillery followed by Archer’s and Davis’s infantry filed down the road toward Gettysburg, they passed the bivouac of Brigadier General J, Johnston Pettigrew about two miles west of Marsh Creek, where it had stopped the day before after turning back from Gettysburg. As the last of Davis’s Mississippians filed past, Pettigrew ordered his men to join the march. Back in Cashtown, Brockenbrough Brigade finally got on the road.

Just days ago Major General John Fulton Reynolds of nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania, had been offered command of the Army of the Potomac by President Lincoln. The popular and capable officer was the senior officer left after Hooker was relieved of the command. But Reynolds prevailed upon the President to allow him to remain in Field Command, to be with the troops. Lincoln then asked who Reynolds would recommend, and he replied that George Meade, of Philadelphia would be his choice. Steady, and a tough fighter, Meade, commanding the 5th Corps, had broken through Stonewall Jackson’s lines at the Battle of Fredericksburg the previous December. Lacking support on his flanks, and lacking a second wave of troops from reserves behind him, Meade was forced to fight his way back out of his salient.

And so it was that on this morning Reynolds was awakened early at his overnight Headquarters in Moritz Tavern by a messenger from the new Commander of the Army of the Potomac, Major General George G. Meade. The message contained marching orders for the entire army, all to proceed via various routes to eventually concentrate on Gettysburg.

Reynolds, commanding the 1st Corps, and in charge of the left wing of the army (his own 1st Corps and the 3rd and 11th Corps), would lead the way, marching straight up the Emmitsburg Pike.

Brigadier General John Buford had placed his vedettes (small units of cavalry posted in advance of their own lines) forward across Willoughby Run about a mile west of Herr’s Ridge. His two brigades of cavalry were dismounted and waiting behind a fence on McPherson’s Ridge, waiting for the Confederates to come marching down the Chambersburg Pike into their waiting lines. The stiff and sturdy five rail fences on either side of the road would force the Confederates to advance up the road in a tight column. Once under fire, it would take them a while to knock down the fences and spread out in any sort of line of battle to confront Buford’s men. During that whole time, the 2,000 men of Buford’s two brigades that were on the line would be pouring in a rapid fire using their breech-loading rifles.

[Cavalry generally carried carbines and the Sharps or other varieties were much easier to load and fire than the muzzle loading rifles of the infantry. They could put out as much as 3-5 times the rate of fire as a muzzle loaded weapon. The troopers, fighting in Dragoon style (ride to battle, fight dismounted) were reduced numbers because every fourth man, nearly 500 in Buford’s division, would be in the rear holding his own horse and those of three other men.]

It was not long before the vedettes began firing on the advancing Confederate skirmishers. The fight was soon on in earnest. Starting about 8:00 AM, the Confederate artillery under Major Pegram spread out along Herr’s Ridge just above Willoughby Run, and began firing on Buford’s men, and the four guns of Calef’s Battery located on either side of the Chambersburg Pike at the crest of McPherson’s Ridge, and the other two guns of his battery located at the corner of the McPherson barn.

Buford was at the front line, encouraging his men, and directing the defense. Heth sent Archer to his right, and Davis to his left, and ordered them to break through. The cavalry held them off. For the next hour and a half it was a slugfest of almost toe-to-toe combat, sometimes a mere fifteen yards separated the ranks of blue and gray. Several times, during a lull in the action, Buford went to the Seminary and climbed the stairs and ladders into the cupola on the roof, where he would first search the southwest for signs of Reynolds and his First Corps infantry.

About 10:30 Buford spotted the line of blue snaking its way cross country toward the Seminary, and the relief of his men.

Shortly thereafter, Reynolds rode up with his staff. He shouted up to Buford in the cupola, “What’s the matter John?”

Buford responded, “There’s the Devil to pay!”

“Let’s go take a look,” replied Reynolds. Buford began his climb to the ground, and the men then rode the quarter mile to where Gamble’s Brigade was having a tough time holding his ground. Returning to the Seminary after Reynolds was well satisfied at what Buford had mapped out and was carrying out, the two men greeted the First Brigade, First Division, First Corps of the Army of the Potomac, the fabled Iron Brigade. Hastening forward at the double quick, Reynolds directed them into Herbst’s woodlot south of the Chambersburg Pike, and south of the McPherson Farm, where Gamble’s boys were about to be outflanked by Archer’s Brigade.

Brigadier General James Archer lined his men up in a meadow on the west bank of Willoughby Run, and ordered them forward across the small stream and up into the woodlot belonging to the Herbst Farm. After climbing the steep east bank, the men from Tennessee and Alabama advanced through the woods. Suddenly, there was shouting all along the line, “Yanks!”, and after a minute, the word was passed down the line, “It’s them damned ‘Black Hats’ again!”. They were referring to the distinctive tall black hats worn by the Midwesterners of the Iron Brigade. Firing rippled up and down the line. Somewhere in the woods, a marksman took aim on a prominent target…

John Fulton Reynolds was urging his men on into the woods, moving with them as they began to engage Archer’s men. Suddenly, the shooting flared up as the two units became engaged. Riding along with the ranks of Black Hats, Reynolds shouted out, “Forward! For God’s Sake Forward!" Suddenly he lurched from the saddle, dead as he hit the ground, from a shot that struck him behind his ear. The men of the Iron Brigade pressed forward, driving the Tennessee regiments back through the woods and down the hill to the stream. Still they pressed forward, until the men of Archer’s Brigade fell exhausted in the field where they had formed up. The Iron Brigade members encircled them and took them prisoner, including James Archer.

Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Dawes was in temporary command of the Sixth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. At the moment, the Sixth was being held as the reserve of the Iron Brigade, and was idle along the south side of the Chambersburg pike. Suddenly, the regiment came under fire from somewhere on the north side of the road. A quick check revealed that the enemy had gotten into the sunken roadbed of an under construction railroad about 200 yards north of their position. Ahead of Dawes and the 6th Wisconsin were two regimens from the brigade of Brigadier General Lysander Cutler, the 14th Brooklyn (84th New York Regiment), and the 95th New York.

In concert with each other even though they were from two separate brigades, the three regiments turned to form a line of battle facing north on the south side of the road. They began to advance, climbing the five-rail fence on the south side. As they hovered at the top of the fence, swinging their legs to the other side, men began to fall, hit by fire from the enemy regiments in the railroad cut. They pressed on. Across the road, they climbed the fence, again hovering at the top, this time taking more hits, as the enemy kept up its fire. Once over the fence on the north side of the road, they men took a moment to dress their ranks, and then raced forward to the edge of the cut. In a wild melee, they poured fire down on the men in the railroad cut, most of whom were getting out on the other side and running for the trees three hundred yards to the northwest.

Suddenly it was over. Dawes received the colors of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment and the swords of six of their officers. When the survivors of the 2nd returned to Herr’s Ridge, they numbered about 18 men. [They were given a fresh set of colors the next day and continued to fight as the 2nd Mississippi.]

For the next two hours, there was little fighting. In the early afternoon that would change. But while the two sides regrouped and caught their breath, the Union still held the ground west and north of town [where the 11th Corps was formed in a line that stretched across the valley north of the town and the college.


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Battle Anniversary 3: "The Most Terrible Struggle of the War", July 1, 1863 - Early Afternoon

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. July 1, 1863 - Afternoon

Major General Oliver Otis Howard, 4th in his class of 46 cadets who graduated from West Point in 1854, commanded the 11th Corps in the Army of the Potomac. Howard was wounded severely in 1861 while leading a brigade in the Union 2nd Corps at the Battle of Fair Oaks. He lost his right arm there. Howard remained with the army after recuperation, and eventually was placed in command of the 11th Corps, succeeding Major General Franz Sigel. The 11th Corps had a reputation of being poor soldiers, especially in combat. Howard’s appointment was not popular with the men who favored Major General Carl Schurz. Sigel and Schurz were both German immigrants.

[The 11th Corps was comprised of about 50% German immigrants, which immediately made it a target of some scorn as there was a good bit of anti-immigrant sentiment in American Society at the time. Their record was not a particularly bad one, but because of their immigrant-heavy make-up, they were unfairly blamed for many of the negatives that occurred in the Army of the Potomac. Their last battle, at Chancellorsville, did not help. Stonewall Jackson’s incredible night march around the Army of the Potomac’s encampment led them to burst from the woods and right into the 11th Corps Camp while the men were cooking their meals. The whole Corps was routed, and the commanding General, Major General Joseph Hooker grew very timid and ordered a retreat, even after the Army had rallied and driven back Jackson. The resulting blame was attached quite unfairly to the Germans of the 11th Corps. At Gettysburg, they would fare even worse.]

On the arrival of the men of the 11th Corps, Howard posted two of his divisions, one under Brigadier General Francis Channing Barlow, and the other under Major General Carl Schurz, just north of town, and kept the third division, a small one under Brigadier General Adolph von Steinwehr on the north and western side of Cemetery Hill, located on the southeastern corner of town.

Major General Abner Doubleday, 24th in the class of 1842 at West Point, took over command of the 1st Corps on his arrival at the front lines shortly after the death of Major General John Fulton Reynolds. Doubleday proceeded to organize the resistance to the Confederate push as the early afternoon wore on.

Eventually, the remainder of the 1st Corps arrived on the field to join Wadsworth’s 1st Division: the Second Division under Brigadier General John C. Robinson filed to the right of Wadsworth, and the Third Division under Brigadier General Thomas A. Rowley would join on Wadsworth’s left.

Shortly after making these dispositions west of town, Doubleday was shocked to see Confederates coming out of the woods a mile away on his right flank. Suddenly, two brigades of Confederate Infantry begin to advance. The first one, under Colonel Edward A. O'Neal, was quickly repulsed by the Union Brigade under Brigadier General Henry Baxter, on the side of Oak Ridge [Oak Ridge is an extension of Seminary Ridge to the north, leading to Oak Hill, site of the Eternal Peace Light Memorial] leading down to the valley north of town. Within minutes, Baxter's brigade is forced to change fronts and turned toward the second Confederate brigade, Commanded by Brigadier General Alfred Iverson, opening fire on them in the middle of a field, whereupon most of them surrendered, and were soon gathered up as prisoners. It was the last Union victory of the day.

Two more brigades issued forth from the woods on the Union 1st Corps right, and the line begins to collapse. Additional pressure from Heth’s Division pushes the center and left of the Union 1st Corps back among the buildings of the Lutheran Seminary on Seminary Ridge, where a short, but sharp fight ensues.

Brigadier General Francis Channing Barlow stood on the small knoll just north of the Alms House complex, and turned to the west where Doles’ four regiments of Georgians held the focus of nearly everyone in the 11th Corps. Barlow’s brigade
was the extreme right flank of the 11th Corps, and was very exposed in its advanced position. It was while watching Doles do his cat-and-mouse moves that Barlow heard a sound that he was waiting for, but it was coming from the wrong direction. He had been watching Doles since the brigade came down off Oak Hill, to the right of the end of the Union 1st Corps line. He had watched while a second brigade had advanced across the slope of the ridge from right to left in an assault on the right end of the 1st Corps line. Now he suddenly turned to his right and saw the cannon rounds landing around his position. At the edge of the woods 200 yards north of his position, Barlow could make out several thousand Confederate soldiers, bayonets fixed, and starting to move right at him.

Within minutes, the right flank of the 11th Corps, was quickly overrun.

Thousands of Union troops from the retreating 11th Corps went tearing south through the streets of Gettysburg, and thousands more were streaking east from Seminary Ridge as the 1st Corps line collapsed. The Confederates were in hot pursuit, but they were flagged from the long march and hard fighting. Hundreds of Union troops were gathered up as prisoners, and others went into hiding in the basements and attics of Gettysburg. One union general from the 11th Corps, Alexander Schimmelfennig, hid out in the back yard of a house between the pig sty and the swill barrels, for three days.

Cemetery Hill
Those who made it to Cemetery Hill were greeted by officers who directed them to their new positions, “1st Corps to the left, 11th Corps go to hell!” The 11th Corps line had held for a very short time before being overrun.
Lutheran Theological SeminaryGeneral Robert E. Lee stood at the Lutheran Seminary and gazed across the low ground where the town of Gettysburg was situated at the high ground on the other side of the town. Occasionally, a Union artillery shell would come whizzing overhead. It angered the men of A. P. Hill’s Third Corps, because they were the very same artillery batteries that they had just chased off the ridge where they were now standing.

Except for some light skirmishing and some artillery shelling, the fight was over for the day. Lee and his men were exuberant, having taken on two Union corps, and dispatched them, though without a tough, day-long fight.

But the Union troops had achieved their tactical objective: to slow the advance of the Army of Northern Virginia in order to allow the rest of the Army of the Potomac to arrive in the area and occupy Culps Hill, Cemetery Hill, and Cemetery Ridge, all high ground southeast of town.

Northern newspapers would later announce this to be "The Most Terrible Struggle of the War.”


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Battle Anniversary 4: "He seemed So Full of Hope", July 2, 1863 - Afternoon

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. July 2, 1863. Morning and Afternoon.

Major General John Bell Hood, West Point class of 1853, 44th in his class of 52, was one of the true hard fighters of the war. Admired by all, he was an excellent leader, and one of the best division commanders in the Army of Northern Virginia.

About 5 AM on the morning of July 2 he stood near the Seminary observing General Robert E. Lee, who was anxiously awaiting the return of his Chief Topographical Engineer from the morning scouting mission Lee had ordered earlier. Hood remembered later, “He seemed full of hope, yet at times, buried in deep thought.”

During the 9 o’clock morning officer’s call, General Robert E. Lee’s Chief Topographical Engineer, Captain Samuel R. Johnston, had reported being on the hill just south of Cemetery Ridge, called Little Round Top, and had seen no sign of the enemy as of approximately 5:30 AM. He also reported being held up coming back by Union cavalry patrols on the Emmitsburg Road.

Lee quickly decided to go with the plan he had conceived the night before, an attack upon the right flank of the Army of the Potomac. He called Lieutenant Generals Longstreet and Hill to him, and ordered them to prepare for such an assault, with Longstreet sending two of his divisions as the main attack force. Lee’s plan was to have Longstreet move south to a position opposite the two elevations to the south of Cemetery Ridge, now known as Big and Little Round Top.

[The terrain at Gettysburg is such that two ridges proceed south from the south edge of town, one on the west side, Seminary Ridge, now in the hands of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, and one on the east side, Cemetery Ridge, now manned by the Union Army of the Potomac. Seminary Ridge actually stretched to the north just west of town, as far as the Lutheran Theological Seminary, scene of most of the previous day’s fighting. There it joined Oak Ridge, continuing north to Oak Hill, on which the decisive Confederate forces had emerged from the woods the previous day. Southward, Seminary Ridge ended and Warfield Ridge, named for the local Black family that had a blacksmith shop and home on the ridge, angled eastward as it stretched to the south. Seminary Ridge was about a mile from Cemetery Ridge at its farthest point. Cemetery Ridge was a higher elevation, meaning a walk from Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Ridge would generally be uphill all the way. At the southern end of Cemetery Ridge, was a hill with a boulder strewn crest, called little Round Top. On its south side was a connection with an even higher hill, Big Round Top, the connection being a saddle of ground perhaps fifty yards across at the crest. At the north end of Cemetery Ridge the ridge climbed directly to Cemetery Hill, located at the southeast corner of the town, so named because of the Evergreen Cemetery on its eastern flank. On the southern end of East Cemetery Hill was a knoll (Stevens’ Knoll as it is now known), connecting it to Culp’s Hill. The Union line extended from its right, on the south slope of Culp’s Hill, around the knoll and north along the east side of Cemetery Hill, which was heavy with artillery, and around to the western slope of Cemetery Hill where it joined with Cemetery Ridge. At that location was a large grove of trees known as Ziegler’s Grove. Finally, between the two ridges south of town running roughly halfway in between was the Emmitsburg Road, which angled closer to Cemetery Ridge as it entered the town. Between the road and Cemetery Ridge was a small stream that ran down from a gulch below the surrounding ground, where it bubbled up from the ground. It was called Plum Run, and it flowed south in the flat ground all the way past the Round Tops. As it flowed past the Round Tops, it entered a large field of boulders before making its way farther south, past a farm owned by the Slyder Family. As it entered this boulder field, it ran in a narrow defile between the foot of Big Round Top (the southernmost of the elevations, and the southern end of a 400 yard long low ridge called Houck’s Ridge. The jumble of boulders at that southern end of Houck’s Ridge would become known as Devil’s Den.]

Lee believed the Union left flank was located about 600 yards south of Ziegler’s Grove along Cemetery Ridge, making it about 1,000 yards north of Little Round Top. He ordered Longstreet to move his two divisions south behind Seminary Ridge and bringing them up to the crest of Warfield Ridge, then forward to form an oblique across the Emmitsburg Road. He wished to have the division of Major General Lafayette McLaws form with his right angled across the road about a third of the way, and the Division of Major General John Bell Hood to follow by about 500 yards, with his force angled across the road about two thirds of the way. They would march straight ahead on the oblique angle using the road as their guide, the right flanks of their divisions moving ever closer to Cemetery Ridge. They would strike the Union left flank where Lee Believed it to be, in a staggered formation, with the left of McLaws’ lead division engaging at Ziegler’s Grove, and with Hood poised to have his right come in below the end of the Union line to envelope that flank and “roll it up” from south to north. Lee then ordered Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill to have his division commanded by Major General Richard H. Anderson, advance by brigades under Brigadier Generals Cadmus Wilcox (Alabama), Ambrose R. Wright (Georgia), Carnot Posey (Mississippi), William “Fighting Billy” Mahone (Virginia), and Col. David Lang, commanding Perry’s Florida Brigade. They were to march forward and align on the same oblique angle as McLaws and Hood were on, and fill in “en echelon” just after Hood passed them. They would envelope the north end of the Cemetery Hill. The objective was to seize Cemetery Hill.

With that order given, Lee rode off to meet with Lieutenant General Richard Ewell, Commander of the Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, whose headquarters were located on the other side of town.

Lieutenant General James Longstreet, 54th out of 56 in his West Point class of 1842, was very upset. He was upset with his superior, General Robert E. Lee. Longstreet was considered to be Lee’s most capable commander, and part of the early-war team of two with Lieutenant General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Jackson, the hammer to Longstreet’s anvil on the battlefield, had been killed by friendly fire in May at the Battle of Chancellorsville, necessitating a reorganization of the Army. Lee re-arranged the brigades and divisions from two corps into three, giving command of the Second Corps to Richard Ewell, and the Third Corps to Ambrose Powell Hill. At Gettysburg, both men were untested in their roles as corps commanders. Lee was forced to rely upon them and based on what he had seen so far, Longstreet was not happy. Yesterday’s debacle west of the Seminary was a costly one, and one that was full of blunders. Heth should not have brought on the general engagement, that cost him the capture of General Archer and most of his brigade, and the near capture of General Davis and part of his brigade, both in morning engagements in which they were handily repulsed by the Union Infantry of the 1st Corps under Reynolds. A. P. Hill had done little more than point the way to Gettysburg for the advancing men of his Third Corps. He had done no ‘generalling” yesterday. Further, Major General Richard Ewell had exercised little control over his divisional commanders, allowing Major General Robert Rodes, usually a steady officer, to launch attacks piecemeal against the right flank of the Union First Corps, attacks that cost him part of Iverson’s Brigade, and part of O’Neal’s Brigade, when both those officers failed to lead their men. Further, Rodes had done no scouting. Later, Ewell had passed up an opportunity to take Culp’s Hill, which would have forced a Union withdrawal from Gettysburg.

The previous evening Longstreet and Lee had argued loudly about the conduct of operations. Longstreet’s scouts had reported that there was little Union presence behind the two Round Tops, and he argued that Lee should simply go around Meade’s army and proceed toward Baltimore and Washington, and pick a spot to invite an attack. Or, he argued, pull back to South Mountain and dig in, inviting Meade to attack him…in other words, fight a defensive battle, which is more advantageous that offering your troops up in costly attacks on an entrenched enemy. Maybe Lee was fooled into thinking he had won a great victory the previous day, but Longstreet was not. Maybe Lee thought all he had to do was administer the coup de grace to what was left of the Army of the Potomac after yesterday’s battles, but whatever the explanation, nothing Longstreet said was enough to convince Lee that his plan to attack Meade’s army on the heights across the way was a bad move.

Now, Longstreet was getting pressure from his two division commanders that were up with the Army, Hood and McLaws, that the way around the Union left was still open and relatively unopposed. (Major General George Pickett’s Division was still on the other side of South Mountain, 20 miles away. Longstreet had sent for him, but they were a day away.)

It was to no avail. He had to make the attack, even while knowing how much it would cost him, the army, and the Confederacy. Longstreet was a good soldier, and he reluctantly did his duty as ordered.

The march south was a minor catastrophe. The two divisions marched two miles west along the Hagerstown (Fairfield) Pike to Blackhorse Tavern, and then south along Blackhorse Tavern Road. At one point it was realized they could be seen from the Union Signal Station on Little Round Top. So the column was counter marched by turning the head and marching it back past the rest of the column, and on returning to Black Horse Tavern, turning east toward town. [Indeed, the Union observers there saw the movement and reported that the retreat of Lee’s army had begun.]

A mile back the Hagerstown Pike was Willoughby Run Road, and Hood’s Division turned onto it and headed south. Just east of that by 200 yards was the run itself, and McLaws men turned south along the stream. By 4:30 both Divisions were in position. But there was a problem.
Major General Daniel Sickles, one of President Abraham Lincoln’s political appointments (Sickles was a Democratic Congressman from New York) who had fared well as a leader of men. This day, however, his leadership would not fall into question, but his judgement would. Sickles was supposed to form his corps anchored on a large knoll just north of Little Round Top, and join his right with the left of the Union 2nd Corps (under Major General Winfield Scott Hancock) north along Cemetery Ridge.

Instead, he moved his two divisions almost a mile forward to the Emmitsburg Road. First Division, under command of Major General David Birney left a brigade under Brigadier General J. H. Hobart Ward on top of the rocks of Devil’s Den and then posting Brigadier General Charles K. Graham’s Brigade with its left in the Peach Orchard at the intersection of Emmitsburg Road and the Wheatfield Lane, and stretching up the Emmitsburg Road north toward town. In between those two brigades was a half-mile stretch of open ground. Sickles tried to cover the gap with the few artillery pieces he had left. He kept his Third Brigade in reserve north of Wheatfield Road across from the Wheatfield which gave the road its name. It was not nearly enough.

He then placed his other division, under command of Brigadier General Andrew A. Humphreys on the right of Graham’s Brigade, and further north towards town. They reached up as far as the farm of Nicholas Codori.

Leading his Division up the west slope of Warfield Ridge along Millerstown Road (which became the Wheatfield Lane on the east side of Emmitsburg Road), Major General Lafayette McLaws was concerned. Rumors of Union troops in advanced positions had him worried he would not be able to form his line as General Lee had insisted. As he rode forward he became alarmed, uttering an oath in dismay over the sight that greeted him: the Peach Orchard at the intersection was bristling with cannons and infantry. The line of blue stretched up along the Emmitsburg Road for nearly a quarter mile. He would be unable to form his men across the road at an oblique angle as General Lee had ordered. So, he began issuing orders to form a line across the Millerstown Road, with Brigadier General William Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade on the left, and then Brigadier General William Wofford’s Georgia Brigade. On the south side of the Millerstown Road he positioned Brigadier General Joseph Kershaw’s South Carolina Brigade, and on the right, the Georgia Brigade of Brigadier General Paul Semmes, brother of Confederate Naval Captain Raphael Semmes, Captain of the CSS Alabama. McLaws also ordered the artillery battalion under Colonel H. C. Cabell forward into the fields in front of the Brigade line, and ordered them to open fire on the enemy as soon as possible.

Major General Hood led his division cross country until he arrived at the top of Warfield Ridge approximately a half mile south of McLaws. He formed his brigades two in front, and two behind, staggered en echelon. And he proceeded to wait. While he was waiting he watched as McLaws spread his men in line of battle parallel to the Emmitsburg Road. He looked north along the road and saw the Peach Orchard with the guns arrayed there. He now understood that his men would not be proceeding up the Emmitsburg Road, but instead would turn in from it, and begin an assault that would take his right flank just west of the two Round Tops. He waited.

Major General Edward “Allegheny” Johnson, West Point class of 1838, where he was graduated 32nd in his class of 45, was an old campaigner. He was a veteran of the Seminole Wars, and the Mexican War. It is understandable that this very capable officer would advance rather quickly in rank and command a Division.

Earlier in the day, Robert E. Lee and Richard S. Ewell had ridden to Johnson’s headquarters at the Daniel Lady Farm on the east slope of Benner’s Hill, along the Hanover Road. There, Johnson had received orders to advance about a mile at 4:30 PM, and on hearing the firing of Longstreet’s men as they made their assault, Johnson was to order his brigades forward across Rock Creek and assault the Union positions on Culp’s Hill's eastern flank. In essence, he was to “demonstrate” an assault, and if there was any initial success, press the assault. At 4:30 he moved forward. But he was worried. His largest brigade, the fabled Stonewall Brigade once commanded by Stonewall Jackson, and later by A. P. Hill, and now commanded by Brigadier General James A. Walker, had been kept busy all day long by a pesky but serious fight with dismounted Union cavalry. Men of the 2nd Virginia Infantry, under the command of Colonel John Quincy Adams Nadenbousch, skirmished all day with elements of the 10th New York Cavalry and the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry on the slope of Brinkerhoff’s Ridge. The ridge was the next elevation east of Benner’s Hill over which the Hanover Pike ran. Walker’s Brigade was the left flank of the Army of Northern Virginia. The flank had to be protected at all costs, so nuisance that it was, Walker’s Brigade had to remain behind to protect it.

Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer could sense the enemy when they drew near. It was an innate ability to know in advance not only where the enemy was, but their avenue of approach. It was uncanny. Riding through Hunterstown, a small village about five miles northwest of Gettysburg, Custer and Farnsworth were searching for Confederate Cavalry. Custer turned his men south on the Hunterstown Road leading back to Gettysburg. He found his way blocked by skirmishers from Major General Wade Hampton’s Cavalry Brigade, specifically, Cobb’s Legion from Georgia. At the Felty Farm, perhaps a half-mile south of Hunterstown, Custer set his trap. He placed marksmen in the barn, and others across the road. His artillery was perhaps 300 yards to the rear in the edge of some woods on a ridge overlooking the farm. Custer then took his men down the road about a half mile until they spotted Cobb’s main body. The daring Custer led a charge right at them, losing his horse shot out from under him, and getting another, and at the last minute, wheeling around to dash back the way he came. His men were right behind him. So was Cobb’s Legion. Back towards Hunterstown Custer and his men raced, followed closely by the Georgia Troopers. As the last of Custer’s men cleared the Felty Farm, the troopers in the barn and across the road opened up a murderous fire on Cobb’s men. So did the artillery. Realizing the trap he had ridden into, Cobb wheeled his column around and fled south, leaving more than a few bodies behind.

It was a portent of what was yet to come on this day.


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Battle Anniversary 5: "My God! Are These All The Troops We Have here?" July 2, 1863 - Early Evening

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1863. Evening.

Major General George Meade had ridden south to check on the disposition of Sickles troops. Major General Daniel Sickles had moved his troops almost a mile out in front of the Union lines, and Meade was there to get him moved back. He was patiently explaining to Sickles the folly of his move when Sickles offered to move his two Divisions back to Cemetery Ridge. Suddenly, artillery opened up from Warfield Ridge, and Meade was forced to accept the situation. He said to Sickles, “I wish to God you could, but the enemy won’t let you.”

In the late afternoon of July 2nd, 1863, the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, of Brigadier General Charles K. Graham’s 1st Brigade, 1st Division (under Brigadier General David B. Birney) was in a line of battle in front of the Wentz House, at the intersection of Wheatfield Lane and the Emmitsburg Road. Collis’ Zouaves, as the 114th was known, was enduring a savage shelling by Confederate artillery located only a few hundred yards to the west on Warfield Ridge. For two hours they lay there under the barrage.

To their left, across the Wheatfield Lane, the 68th Pennsylvania stood in line of battle among the trees of the Peach Orchard, their right joined to the Zouaves left, in the road. To the right of the Zouaves, stood the 57th and 105th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiments, all forming a line north along the east side of the Emmitsburg Road. Behind them, down the slope toward the Trostle Farm, was Clark’s Battery B, First New Jersey Light Artillery, supported by the 141st Pennsylvania Infantry. Bucklyn’s Battery E, First Rhode Island Light Artillery (Randolph’s Battery) was placed at the edge of the Emmitsburg Road in front of the infantry, where the battery immediately engaged Confederate artillery on Warfield Ridge.

Major General Lafayette McLaws sent his four brigades forward in a staggered formation from right to left. Semmes, Kershaw, Wofford, Barksdale. Kershaw went straight across, reaching the Emmitsburg Road south of the Peach Orchard, and at the end of the lane entering the Rose Farm. Two of Kershaw’s regiments went south of the farm, one, with Kershaw, went through the farm yard, and two went north of the farm, coming under fire from the 68th Pennsylvania and the artillery from the Peach Orchard. Those two regiments then turned to the north and assaulted the artillery located along the Wheatfield Road east of the Peach Orchard. In one of the incidents of the “fog of war”, Kershaw sent a messenger to his two regiments south of the farm to hurry into the woods belonging to the Rose farm. Instead, the messenger went to the two regiments north of the farm and repeated the order from Kershaw. They immediately stopped their assault, just at the point where they had driven the gunners off their guns, and wheeled to the right to continue their advance into the woods west of the Wheatfield. The Union gunners re-manned their guns and took a heavy toll on the South Carolina regiments south of the Rose farm – the ones Kershaw intended to hurry forward into the woods for protection.

At about 5 PM, the enemy began his advance. Coming at them was the storied Mississippi brigade of Brigadier General William Barksdale, a white-haired man who, once engaged in combat, became a figure of fury, wading into the enemy with everything he had. Such abandon would cost him his life later in the day.

In response, the Zouaves moved forward across the Emmitsburg Road. They entered the farm yard of John and Mary Sherfy. Firing from between the house and the barn, the Zouaves repeatedly fired into the advancing Mississippians, who were also firing, advancing, firing, and advancing. Eventually, the weight of numbers began to tell. The Union line fell back east of the Emmitsburg Road and reformed. Barksdale maneuvered his large regiments to overlap and flank the men of Graham’s Brigade, concentrating on the location where the Zouaves and the 68th met.

There was nothing to do but fall back. In a magnificently executed fighting withdrawal, the 114th, in small groups, fired, and withdrew, first north along the Emmitsburg Road, and then east toward Cemetery Ridge, where General Hancock had ordered forward Willard’s New York brigade to cover the withdrawal. By this method, the surviving Zouaves finally reformed their line, and were able to come off the field with their colors. They were badly mauled. During their withdrawal, many of their wounded were left lying in the fields and the road. Confederates carried many of them to the Sherfy House and barn. Later, however, during the continued artillery shelling, both buildings were burned to the ground. The remains of those who perished in the fires, were surrounded by those who perished in the intense fighting around those buildings. About 100 of the Zouaves had been killed. Many more were taken prisoner by the rapidly advancing Confederates. However, they gave, perhaps, better even than they took. One Mississippi private from the 17th Mississippi, the unit that assaulted the junction of the 67th and 114th Pennsylvania on Wheatfield Lane, reported 223 men of his regiment killed or wounded, 29 in his own company.

5th New Jersey
The 221 men (206 enlisted, 15 officers) of the 5th New Jersey Infantry were stretched out on an angle in front of the rest of Humphreys’ Division stretched north along the Emmitsburg Road from Graham’s Brigade. The New Jersey troops were on perhaps the most hazardous duty of the civil war, skirmishers. Their left was nearly to the Sherfy farm houses, while their right was farther north at the Spangler farm. The regiment was spread pretty thin. Sometime before 5 PM they came under heavy fire from Confederate Artillery. Stationed as they were in the open fields, they had no choice but to hug the ground. There was nothing to hide behind. And after nearly an hour, the artillery eased. As the men stood up they saw a horrific sight: Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade had begun to move forward. While the right of Barksdale’s Brigade struck Collis’ Zouaves at the Sherfy Farm, Barksdale’s left struck the thin New Jersey line. All of Humphreys’ line began to fall back and as they did so, so did Graham’s Brigade. The withdrawal was not an orderly one. For the most part, the men made for the promise of safety on Cemetery Ridge. At muster that evening, the 5th New Jersey counted 99 of their 221 as killed, wounded or captured.

Major General John Bell Hood had a dilemma. All day he had been nagging at Longstreet to allow him to swing to the right and go around the south side of Big Round Top to surprise the Union reserves and supply wagon trains parked behind the hill. All day long Longstreet had replied that he had already had that discussion with General Lee and there was nothing to do but to get moving as ordered.

But if he did that, he would march right into the right flank of McLaws’ Division, which had abandoned any attempt to align and proceed as Lee had ordered, moving instead straight ahead and across the Emmitsburg Road.

Hood had no choice. He had to move, so he angled to the right, placing his right regiment on a track that would take it up and over Big Round Top. The rest of Law’s Brigade of Alabamans would swing across the western slope of the hill. Robertson’s Texans and the Arkansas troops would proceed up the low ground where Plum Run flowed. His left would move through the Slyder and Bushman Farms, and angle in toward the lower part of Houck’s Ridge. He really had nowhere else to go, and he had to support McLaws.
HancockFrom mid-afternoon on Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, 15th of 25 in his West Point class of 1844, was working hard, riding up and down his lines, shifting men from his 2nd Corps to the Wheatfield to help plug the gaping hole Sickles left in his line, and now Hancock had to deal with the hasty retreat of Humphreys and Graham’s men. He was forced to shift men from 5th Corps there as well. Now came news that General Sickles was down, losing his leg. Major General David Birney would succeed him as 3rd Corps Commander. Hancock was concerned that there simply would not be enough manpower to stop the two large divisions Longstreet had sent his way. He ordered a brigade of New Yorkers under Colonel George Willard forward to set up a line that would allow the fleeing men of Third Corps to pass through and then slow the advance of the Mississippi and Georgia brigades of Barksdale and Wofford. It worked.

Realizing that Longstreet’s men would not be coming past their position, Brigadier General Cadmus M. Wilcox, 54th out of 59 in the West Point class of 1846, ordered his Alabama Brigade forward from their position on the south end of Seminary Ridge. Along side of him was Perry’s Florida Brigade, under the command of Colonel David Lang. The two brigades marched forward up the rise to Emmitsburg Road in time to watch the collapse of Humphrey’s line as Barksdale sliced through one end and the other saw Wilcox coming. As the two brigades crested the higher ground, they began a slow, gradual descent into the defile where Plum Run begins. It was deep enough to hide both brigades from view.

Colonel William Colvill, Jr. commanded what was left of the 1st Minnesota Regiment. There were approximately 330 men left of the regiment, although about 15% were absent on different assignments. But at this hour, they were literally all that was standing between Cadmus Wilcox and the Taneytown Road just east of Cemetery Ridge. Seeing their advance, Major General Hancock rode quickly to the Minnesotans, and seeing their small number, exclaimed, “My God! Are these all the troops we have here?!”

Colonel Colvill replied, “Yes sir!”

Hancock then asked if the Colonel, “Do you see those colors?”, pointing to the advancing brigades of Wilcox and Lang.

Again the Colonel responded, “Yes sir!”

“Well, take them!” Hancock yelled over his shoulder as he spurred his horse away.

Colvill formed his men up and advanced them, 262 in number. They marched forward to the defile in which Wilcox and Perry paused their troops. As they advanced up the eastern slope, they came almost face to face with the 1st Minnesota. Colvill gave the order to fire. Artillery fired from behind the Minnesotans and to their left as Colonel Freeman McGilvery’s artillery Battalion fired into the Alabama and Florida Troops. Soon the fighting was hand-to-hand, and the Minnesotans were surrounded. McGilvery could no longer fire into the Confederates for fear of hitting the Minnesotans. Wilcox soon had enough of this fight and ordered his men, and those of Colonel Lang to withdraw. The surviving Minnesotans slowly walked back to Cemetery Ridge, carrying as many of their wounded as they could. They would fetch the rest, and the dead later. So many officers killed and wounded, including the gallant Colonel Colvill, shot through the shoulder and the foot [he would spend almost six months recuperating at the home of the Pierce family on Baltimore Street in Gettysburg]. Command devolved all the way down to Captain Henry. C. Coates, who wrote in his after action report, “Our loss of so many brave men is heartrending, and will carry mourning into all parts of the state. But they have fallen in a holy cause, and their memory will not soon perish. Our loss is 4 commissioned officers and 47 men killed; 13 officers and 162 men wounded, and 6 men missing, - total 232…”. Thirty men answered the roll call that evening.

The next brigade north of Lang and Wilcox was the Georgians of Ambrose Wright. They made their way unsupported across the fields from Seminary Ridge to the Emmitsburg Road and across, just above the Codori farm. They kept right on going, routing the skirmish line posted along the road, and rolling right over and capturing an artillery battery. As they approached the crest of Cemetery Ridge, merely three hundred yards from Taneytown Road, they were met by the Pennsylvania Brigade of Brigadier General Alexander Webb, 13th of 34 in his West Point class of 1855. The Pennsylvanians pushed the spent Georgians back over the crest of Cemetery Ridge and down the hill to Emmitsburg Road, retaking the artillery pieces the Georgians had captured on their advance. Webb halted his brigade on the west side of the road so they could take pot shots at the retreating Georgians.

Brigadier General Ambrose Wright was fit to be tied. His men had just fought their way across a mile of open ground and across Cemetery Ridge only to be driven all the way back by a brigade of Pennsylvanians. If he had had any support on either side, on his right from Wilcox and Lang, and on his left from Posey and Mahone, they’d be rolling up the flank of the Union troops on Cemetery Ridge right now, and maybe even digging in on Cemetery Hill! But Wilcox and Lang had been repulsed by a single regiment, and Posey got turned around in the peach orchard of the Bliss Farm! Even worse, “Fighting Billy” Mahone apparently didn’t have any “Fighting” in him this day – he never moved at all!

Early in the fight Major General John Bell Hood would be wounded severely, losing most of the use of his left arm. [It was the first of the catastrophic wounds the courageous fighter would receive in his career: he would lose his right leg while fighting at the Battle of Chickamauga just two months after Gettysburg. Late in the war he had to be strapped into his saddle, and the pain-killing drug of laudanum affected his judgement. He ordered a suicidal assault on the scale of Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Franklin, and wound up without an army to command. It was not the John Bell Hood who fought so courageously at Gettysburg.].

Brigadier General Evander M. Law was an 1856 graduate of the South Carolina Military Academy, and was a teacher in Alabama before the war, helping to establish a Military High School in Tuskegee. He was commanding a brigade of Alabama troops when General Hood went down. Law was unaware that he was now in Command of Hood’s Division. It was just as well, as he had his hands full with his own brigade.

Five regiments of Alabama troops were spread from Plum Run east to the summit of Big Round Top. The regiment on the crest of the high hill was the 15th Alabama commanded by Colonel William C. Oates. Stretching downward to the west, the Alabama line was broken by the presence of the 4th and 5th Texas Infantry Regiments from Brigadier General Jerome Robertson’s Brigade. They were separated from the remainder of that brigade by two of Law’s Alabama Regiments coming up the Plum Run gorge. The rest of Robertson’s men were assaulting Graham’s Brigade on the west side of Houck’s Ridge.

While the two Texas Brigades were successful in getting up into the position recently vacated by the 16th Michigan on Little Round Top, now other units were as successful.

The Alabama men from the 15th Infantry under Oates ran into the stubborn Down Easters in the 20th Maine, led by Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Shocked by a bayonet charge as they were preparing to withdraw back over Big Round Top, many of the 15th fell into the hands of the 20th Maine.

Colonel A. Van Horne Ellis commanded the 124th New York Infantry Regiment, raised in Orange County, New York, and fondly referred to by Colonel Ellis as “my Orange Blossoms”. They were facing west on the south end of Houck’s Ridge, with the lower west slope of Big Round Top in ther rear across the jumble of rocks called Devil’s Den, and the small brook called Plum Run. Over their right shoulders loomed the rocky west face of Little Round Top, where the 5th United States Light Artillery, Battery D, commanded by Lieutenant Charles Hazlett was booming away at the approaching enemy, and at the Confederate troops in the Wheatfield two hundred yards through the woods on the right. It was a comforting sound. On the left of the 124th were four guns of the Captain James E. Smith’s 4th New York Light Artillery, with the other section of two guns on the floor of the Plum Run Valley firing downstream. Ellis had his men manning the rock wall which was the base of a triangular shaped field, with the base at the top of the field and the point at the bottom where a small rise was located. Suddenly, the 1st Texas Infantry appeared on the rise at the bottom of the field and proceeded to march up the hill toward the “Orange Blossoms”. About half way up the fire of the New Yorkers stopped the Texans who did an about face, and proceeded to march back down toward the bottom.

Major Cromwell, one of the regiment’s officers, rode to Colonel Ellis, exclaiming, “We have them on the run, Colonel, let’s go get ‘em!”. Cromwell then jumped his horse over the wall, and called for his men to join him. Ellis jumped his horse over the wall as well. The regiment quickly formed a line inside the wall and started to advance down the hill after the Texans.

The Texans were just finishing reloading on the march. They did another about face, and because they were cramped on both sides, bunched up in the middle. They presented arms and fired into the New Yorkers. The concentrated fire hit the regiment like a wide steel bar, cutting men in half on a broad front, decimating the regiment. Ellis and Cromwell were among the dead. The regiment was shattered, the life driven from it. They gathered their dead and wounded, and withdrew from the battle.

The first unit across the Wheatfield was the Reserve Brigade of Colonel P. Regis de Trobriand, of Birney’s Division. They went forward to stop Kershaw’s men from entering the field from the western side by way of the Rose Woods. What they were not aware of was the presence of Brigadier General G. T. Anderson’s Brigade, behind a low stone wall hidden in the edge of the woods at the southwest corner of the Wheatfield. De Trobriand’s regiments were marching through the waist-high wheat when Anderson’s men opened on them with a fearful fire.

Over the next two hours, all the brigades sent by Hancock from his 2nd Corps, the entire 1st Division of Brigadier General John C. Caldwell went through that Wheatfield. The brigades of Colonels Edward Cross, Patrick Kelly, John Brooke, and Brigadier General Samuel Zook were spent on those fields.

Some estimates of the fighting in the Wheatfield describe it as being “in the whirlwind”, and the casualties were as high, if not higher than those of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble assault of the next day – somewhere over seven thousand men went down there.

Finally, Brigadier General Samuel Wiley Crawford, commanding the two brigades of the Pennsylvania Reserves Division swept down the northwest face of Little Round Top, and pushed across Plum Run, forcing the exhausted Confederates of Kershaw’s and Wofford’s brigades back over the north end of Houck’s Ridge, through the tree line on the east side of the Wheatfield, and across into the trees on the west side of the field. From then on, an uneasy truce existed.


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The Wheatfield
“The Orange Blossoms”

Battle Anniversary 6: "My Poor Boys. My Poor Boys.", July 2, 1863 - Night

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. July 2, 1863. Evening and night.

Johnson’s Division of Ewell’s Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia was ready. They were on the east side of Rock Creek waiting to hear Longstreet’s assault commence. Johnson was uncomfortable, however, in that he was lacking his largest brigade, the fabled Stonewall Brigade, under Brigadier General James A. Walker. Walker’s Brigade had been occupied since that morning by the pesky dismounted cavalry troopers of the 10th New York and 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiments. Because their presence on the left flank of the Army of Virginia likely signaled the presence of an even larger force behind it, Johnson took no chances and left the Stonewall Brigade behind when he advanced, with orders to the effect that when he felt the situation had eased, and he could safely move up to the rest of the Division without endangering the army, Walker was to do so.

Suddenly there was a roar from a distance slightly left of directly ahead. That was Longstreet’s men going into action on the other end of the line, and the signal for Johnson to order his men forward.

But Johnson waited while details of his men cleared the fences along Rock Creek out of the way for his Division to cross and begin their assault. He was also waiting for Walker to come up with the Stonewall Brigade.

[Culp’s Hill is actually two hills, a high crest on the north and a much lower one, more of a short ridge, to the south, with a saddle in between of even lower ground.]

Brigadier General George Sears Greene, 2nd of 35 in his West Point class of 1823 – forty years earlier, commanded a Brigade of New York troops on the upper crest of Culp’s Hill. At 62 years of age, he was arguably the oldest officer in the Army of the Potomac. Perhaps Brigadier General Isaac Trimble, West Point class of 1822 was the oldest on the Confederate side.

Greene commanded five New York regiments. Earlier in the day, Greene had prevailed upon his Division Commander, Brigadier General John Geary to allow defensive works, something Geary was unwilling to do initially.

Greene’s men built trenches three feet deep, with header logs over the rims, providing maximum protection for his men. They were ready.

GearyBrigadier General John W. Geary commanded the Second Division of the 12th Corps, Army of the Potomac. He had been ordered to remove two brigades earlier in the day to help stem the tide on Cemetery Ridge.

It was growing dark when Johnson began to move. To his surprise, Johnson’s men began the climb up the lower slope of Culp’s Hill virtually unopposed. Finding the Union works empty, they slipped in and waited. After midnight, Geary’s brigades began to filter back into their lines, only to be fired upon. It took a while to get their tired minds straight on who was shooting at them as they initially thought they were being fired upon by friendly forces in the darkness. Once the realization set in that the Confederate were in their works, a concerted effort was made to move them out.

Meanwhile, Jones’ Brigade of Virginians, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Dungan, and Williams’ Brigade of Louisiana Troops, and Steuart’s Brigade (Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland) began the climb up the face of Culp’s Hill, in an effort to take it by frontal assault.

It began in the wee hours of the morning of July 3.

Greene’s regiments took turns in the trenches with the header logs, firing for almost an hour, then being replaced by a rested regiment. As the rested men went forward to enter the works, they would cheer. The regiments being replaced would hurry down to a hollow in the ground and rest, get water, clean their weapons, and draw fresh ammunition. After s short rest, they would cycle back into the works, cheering.

This tactic enabled Greene to keep a steady fire up around the clock, and to keep his men fresh, and their weapons working. The result was several regimens of Louisiana troops, and some Virginia regiments from Johnson’s Division pinned down on the hill unable to move forward, or back, doing their best to make themselves small, or to find a rock or tree to hide behind.

Toward sunrise Geary sent four fresh regiments to Greene, who simply added them to the rotation. It was a tactic that was perfect for the defenders, and it worked exceptionally well under Greene’s direction. The old campaigner was a tough commander, but his men respected him. They respected him even more for giving them cover from which to fight.

There were losses, however. As the regiments swapped in and out, they were briefly targets for the Confederates laying below the works. And more than one Confederate miniƩ ball found its way into the gap between the header logs inflicting a head or shoulder wound.

Brigadier General George H. Steuart, West Point class of 1848, where he graduated 37th out of 38, commanded the last of the attacks on Culp’s Hill in mid-morning of July 3. It was an absolute blood bath, and Steuart was in tears when the survivors returned from the effort. As he watched them, Steuart tearfully repeated “My poor boys. My poor boys.”


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