A Walk Through the Wheatfield/Stony Hill Area

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
12,031
Location
East Texas
The Wheatfield
DSC05183.JPG


The past several times I've been at Gettysburg I've attempted to visit certain particular places I'd in the past just skimmed over or even missed altogether on the usual tours outlined in the various NPS folders. (As an example of what I'm talking about, unbelievable as it may seem, Devil's Den is no longer included as a stop on the current park brochure!) This year in the wake of finally actually reading Pfanz' Gettysburg - The Second Day, I decide I wanted to spend a little time exploring the Wheatfield and its neighbor, the Stony Hill to get a "feel" for a place I'd previously only driven past.

DSC05185.JPG


Of course this is the scene of what is possibly the most confused and confusing combat on the entire battlefield, and I made no attempt to try to follow any of the specific moves by Regis de Trobriand's or any other successive defending Federal commands, nor the many attacking Confederate ones. Although some of these maneuvers are briefly described on the NPS signage above, my main interest was in visiting the several monuments and observing the "lay of the land" here.

DSC05181.JPG


Above, the monument of the 27th Connecticut of Caldwell's Division of the Union Second Corps. My principal "discovery" was that the Wheatfield isn't FLAT, but rather on a sloping hill, a fact not readily discernible from the road; it's also larger than I expected it to be, though that wasn't particularly surprising.

DSC05182.JPG


My favorite subject was naturally the only marked position of a battery, Battery D of the 1st New York Light Artillery, attached to the artillery battalion of Sickles' Third Corps.

DSC05184.JPG


The Stony Hill
DSC05191.JPG


This area bordering the Wheatfield is possibly best-known as the location of the handsome monument to the Irish Brigade on the NPS drive known as The Loop, seen here above and below.

DSC05192.JPG


This bronze plaque on one of the many stone boulders here denotes the position of a Union Fifth Corps field hospital during the battle. according to the text, the hospital was in the woods behind the rock which provided at least a degree of cover for the assistant surgeon, his hospital steward, and their patients.

DSC05193.JPG
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

pamc153PA

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
7,475
Location
Pennsylvania
The reason why Devil's Den isn't on the park tour is because buses can no longer go through there. Tour or school buses can drive to the DD entrance, but then have to turn onto Warren Avenue. Some ambitious guides have the buses park in the BRT lot, and have the visitors (especially the school kids) walk down through the Slaughter Pen to DD.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

infomanpa

Sergeant Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
1,758
Location
Pennsylvania
Some ambitious guides have the buses park in the BRT lot, and have the visitors (especially the school kids) walk down through the Slaughter Pen to DD.
That's good, the kids have the stamina for that, not sure I do anymore,
That's what our bus driver did when we took our school group there. It really takes little stamina because it's a pretty short walk.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
12,031
Location
East Texas
I was out there Monday (I said Sunday). These 2 pictures hopefully show some of the size and the slope. I try to include the sign marker at the bottom of the photos as a point of reference.
It's obviously been harvested since my visit, and your shots provide a good contrast!
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
12,031
Location
East Texas
dsc05704-jpg.jpg


I thought I should add these few photos I took during my visit in April of this year to The Wheatfield (above) and Stony Hill area of the battlefield for today's anniversary of the fights here. The Wheatfield was clear of vegetation and its entirety plainly open to view, unlike my previous visit when trails had been cut through the tall grass and brush.

dsc05706-jpg.jpg


Above, the monument to the Irish Brigade shows the Stony Hill in the background; below, another view of the elevation sans foliage gives a better idea of the roughness of the terrain here where men of Regis De Trobriand's brigade of the Third Corps were posted.

dsc05707-jpg.jpg
 

scotth

Cadet
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Messages
24
James:
I know this originated a year and a half ago, but meandering through the Gettysburg topics, I was struck by how similar my visit of last June, and part of my goal, was similar to your initial post. I too had always 'driven past' that area in past visits, mostly because it confused me. But I made up my mind to actually study it. I read Pfanz's book twice in preparation, with maps before me (and covering 8 pages a day sometimes) aiding my study. Then, during my visit, I used 2 days to really study and walk the area, as you did. In addition to the 19th Indiana at McPherson's Ridge, Bigelow's Battery, and the 'Whirlwind in the Wheatfield' were my study targets. I must say, the Stony Hill makes a lot more sense to me now! it was great to review your photos, great memories. And hopefully i'll be able to make more of those memories in the months ahead
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top