Barksdale’s Brigade Reaches and Crosses the Emmitsburg Road

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Barksdale’s center crosses the Emmitsburg road, forcing back the 141st Pennsylvania and rolling up the 114th Pennsylvania, only to face the 73rd New York. Some Confederates temporarily capture a cannon of Thompson’s battery and threaten Clark’s battery. The 21st Mississippi confronts the 2nd New Hampshire. Two 12-pounder Napoleons deduced to come from Patterson’s battery advance to the Emmitsburg road to deliver close support. Map reflects the situation as of 6:34 p.m., July 2.

The rebels [Brigadier General William Barksdale’s brigade] advanced in two lines and in good order, until they reached the barn, when our boys met them. … The rebels gained the Emmitsburg road on our left … bringing up … 12 pounders, planting [them] in the middle of road opened up with double grape and canister” – Acting Sergeant Major Alexander W. Given, 114th Pennsylvania.

The enemy … pouring a murderous fire on our flank, threw the left wing of the regiment on to the right in much confusion. /// Soon it became apparent that it was impossible that we should be able to hold our ground against such overwhelming numbers. … Only one avenue of escape was open to us, and that was up the Emmitsburg road” – Captain Edward R. Bowen, 114th Pennsylvania.

We are at the barn and scaling the fences at the lane and right across and in among the enemy, literally running over them”– Private Joseph C. Lloyd, Company C, 13th Mississippi.

I walked up to the Colonel [Peter Sides] and … said, ‘It looks as though we will soon have to move out of here or be captured’ … [he] said, ‘Yes, I think we will go now.’ … [To warn those posted in the buildings I] started on a run from one building to another … take hold of and shake a man to get his attention … when I … looked out … enemy was in the yard with a large force not fifty feet away” – Captain Alanson H. Nelson, Company E, 57th Pennsylvania.

Captain [A. H.] Nelson … tried to notify those in the house, and order them to fall back, but amid the noise and confusion it was impossible to make them understand the situation, and they kept on firing from the windows after the rest of the men fell back, and they were summoned to surrender by the rebels who came up the stairs in their rear” – Private Ellis C. Strouss, Company K, 57th Pennsylvania.

Farther to the left … the enemy broke through, and flanking the position, caused [Brigadier General Charles K.] Graham to fall back. A considerable number of the men had taken cover in an old cellar [at Sherfy’s house], and amidst the noise and confusion, did not receive the order to retire, nor notice the withdrawal of the rest of the regiment, but still kept up a rapid and most destructive fire. When too late, they discovered their isolated position, and were nearly all taken prisoners” – Member of the 57th Pennsylvania.

“[Major M. W.] Burns [of the 73rd New York told] me that just as he got up to the ground where Gen. Graham’s troops were, those troops gave way and left him” – Brigadier General Andrew A. Humphreys.

At last, the 114th [Pennsylvania], with a parting volley in the faces of the Mississippians, made room for us and our regiment sent a volley at the enemy who fell in scores among the dead and wounded Pennsylvanians. They staggered under our fresh fire, but waved their flags, cheered and returned our volley, seeing their supports close at hand. Their advance, however, was checked at the barn, as our men continued to load and fire with rapidity and coolness, but our thin line on the left could be seen melting away through the smoke /// [Major M. W.] Burns, mounted on his conspicuous old white horse [named] (A. P. Hill), escaped the bullets … an excited and bareheaded officer dashed up to us and implored us to drag away a couple of imperiled guns, the horses having all been killed and the gunners shot. … I called to the men of my company and those nearest me to follow with the officer and drag away the imperiled guns” – Lieutenant Frank E. Moran, Company H, 73rd New York.

The writer of this article, like the fool that he was, sprang on one of the guns and was shot off of it” – Private William M. Abernathy, Company B, 17th Mississippi.

The enemy … [captured] one of the guns facing to the west. The Union infantry, however, soon after rallied, and the gun was saved” – Member of Battery C-F, Pennsylvania Artillery.

When the blue coats saw us swarming over the fences and across the Emmitsburg road, without pausing, they began to ‘back out.’ Though they fought back bravely, retiring slowly until the firing was at close quarters, when the retreat became a rout in which our men took heavy toll for the losses inflicted on them” – Member of Brigadier General William Barksdale’s Brigade.

Lieutenant [Joseph] Atkinson [of Company G], pointing to the rear, said, ‘Colonel, I’m afraid we are being surrounded; hadn’t we better fall back?’ ‘Fall back, **** no!’ replied Colonel [Henry J.] Madill. ‘I was ordered to hold this position.’” – Member of the 141st Pennsylvania.

Our colors went down but were again raised to the breeze. Again they fell, when they were seized by the firm hand of Colonel Madill and again they floated in the air. They were riddled by rebel bullets and torn by rebel shells, but they did not fall again” – Sergeant J. D. Bloodgood, Company I, 141st Pennsylvania.

The regiment was about-faced and retired, making a change of front to the rear while marching. Halfway through the peach orchard, it halted and maintained a sharp fire” – Private Martin A. Haynes, Company I, 2nd New Hampshire.

I moved to the rear 140 yards and halted my line under the brow of the hill, halting also on the brow to give a volley to the enemy /// the 3d Maine regt. being twenty paces or so in rear of my left flank and the 68th regt. [Pennsylvania] charging on my right flank to get up to the crest of the hill; but it did not succeed, though most gallantly endeavoring, and was twenty paces or more behind the parallel of my line” – Colonel Edward L. Bailey, 2nd New Hampshire.

A large force marching round to cut me off, and ordered my regiment to retire, and while doing so we received a most distressing fire, which threw my command into much confusion” – Colonel Moses B. Lakeman, 3rd Maine.

The vents in our 10 pdr. Parrotts were burned out … about one half inch” – Private George W. Bonnell, Battery B, 1st New Jersey.

The Captain [A. Judson Clark] gave the orders to limber up and go to the rear. … The enemy (Barksdale’s Brigade) were halfway through the Peach Orchard on our right flank … the lead team was hit … and the gun drove off with four horses. A Rebel yelled, ‘Halt, you Yankee sons of *******; we want those guns!’ Ennis yelled back, ‘Go to ****! We want to use them yet awhile.’ … Just as we started a single gun of the enemy came into position in Wentz’s yard and fired a round of canister. It killed six horses on No. 4 caisson and four on No. 3, wounding [four men]. This obliged us to leave one caisson and one caisson body on the field. … In passing to the rear we passed the left flank of Seventh New Jersey, 200 yards to the rear” – Member of Battery B, 1st New Jersey.

The artillery [Battery B, 1st New Jersey] broke through our regiment in going into [Trostle] lane, on their way to the rear; they forced the four right companies to the other side of the [lane]” – Captain William R. Hillyer, Company K, 7th New Jersey.

In falling back, the battery [B, 1st New Jersey] broke through our ranks, creating considerable confusion” – Major Frederick Cooper, 7th New Jersey.

At the same time that our right fell back, the rebels [Kershaw’s men] had gotten so far into the woods on our left that their musketry became very annoying. … I ordered Lieut. [Frederic A.] Lull with the right section to retire 200 yards and come into position again. At this moment Major [Freeman] McGilvery ordered us all to retire … /// The right section being all ready got off ahead and the rest of the battery followed” – Captain Charles A. Phillips, 5th Massachusetts Battery.

The order was given to ‘Limber up’ the guns,’ as the enemy was almost upon us” – 1st Lieutenant Henry D. Scott, 5th Massachusetts Battery.

With the aid of C. [Casper] Carlisle [of Battery F], I unhitched the dead leaders and got the gun off the field” – Captain James Thompson, Battery C-F, Pennsylvania Artillery.

Gen’l [William T.] Wofford was beside himself with fury, chafing at not being ordered in, as he understood his task, to support Barksdale. He rode back and forth on his horse, sending courier after courier to [Major General Lafayette] McLaws, asking to be advanced. Our men busied themselves, as veterans are wont before a fight … Some wrote letters, or in diaries. Many, I noted, read favorite psalms or passages from their Testaments, while a few rascals, heedless of the possibility of facing their eternal fate, played cards or rolled dice and played ‘chuck-a-luck’” – Captain James L. Lemon, Company A, 18th Georgia.

Sources:
-Memoirs of Alexander Wallace Given, http://www.bivouacbooks.com/bbv4ils7.htm, 08/06/2015.
-Official Report of Capt. Edward R. Bowen; Address of Lt. Col. E. R. Bowen, Dedication of the Monument to the 114th Regiment Infantry, November 11, 1888, Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, II:616.
-Official Reports of Col. Moses B. Lakeman, Maj. Frederick Cooper.
-Lloyd quoted in, Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade at Gettysburg, by J.S. McNeily, Mississippi Historical Society; reprint, Gaithersburg, MD: Olde Soldier Books, 1987, p. 239; Lloyd’s account appeared in the Meridian Dispatch, August 3 (year not given).
-The Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, by Capt. A. H. Nelson, Minneapolis, MN: 1899.
-E. C. Strouss account, History of the Fifty-Seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry, by James M. Martin.
-57th Pennsylvania, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, by Samuel P. Bates, II:251.
-November 14, 1865 letter of Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 1:225.
-January 24, 1882 letter of Capt. Frank E. Moran to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 2:773; H*** in a Peach Orchard, by Eric A. Campbell, America’s Civil War, July 2003, p. 42 [writings of Frank E. Moran].
-Gettysburg Incidents, Journal of William Meshack Abernathy, provided by John Hoopes, University of Kansas.
-Independent Battery C – Thompson’s, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, by Samuel P. Bates, V:868.
-Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade at Gettysburg, by J.S. McNeily, Mississippi Historical Society; reprint, Gaithersburg, MD: Olde Soldier Books, 1987, p. 237.
-Our Boys in Blue, Heroic Deeds, Sketches and Reminiscences of Bradford County Soldiers in the Civil War, by Clement F. Heverly, Towanda, PA: The Bradford Star Print, 1898, vol. 1, p. 42.
-Personal Reminiscences of the War, by Rev. J. D. Bloodgood, NY: Hunt & Eaton, 1893, pp. 140-141.
-A History of the Second Regiment New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, by Martin A. Haynes, Lakeport, NH: 1896, p. 179.
-Official Report of Col. Ed. L. Bailey; Letter of Colonel Edward L. Bailey to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 2:847.
-March 24, 1882 letter of George W. Bonnell to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 2:844.
-History of Battery B, First New Jersey Artillery, by Michael Hanifen, Ottawa, IL: Republican-Times, Printers, 1905, p. 76.
-November 2, 1887 letter of W. R. Hillyer, Seventh Regiment, Final Report of the Gettysburg Battlefield, Commission of New Jersey, p. 104.
-History of the Fifth Massachusetts Battery, Boston: Luther E. Cowles, Publisher, 1902, pp. 624, 627, 631; Letter of Capt. Charles A. Phillips to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 1:168 and 3:1633.
-Account by Captain James Thompson, October 3, 1898, provided by Robert J. Brown of Spring Mills, Pennsylvania.
-Feed Them the Steel,” Being, the Wartime Recollections of Capt. James Lile Lemon, Co. A, 18th Georgia Infantry, Mark H. Lemon, 2016.
 

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NDR5thNY

Private
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Location
Lumberton, NC
Barksdale’s center crosses the Emmitsburg road, forcing back the 141st Pennsylvania and rolling up the 114th Pennsylvania, only to face the 73rd New York. Some Confederates temporarily capture a cannon of Thompson’s battery and threaten Clark’s battery. The 21st Mississippi confronts the 2nd New Hampshire. Two 12-pounder Napoleons deduced to come from Patterson’s battery advance to the Emmitsburg road to deliver close support. Map reflects the situation as of 6:34 p.m., July 2.

The rebels [Brigadier General William Barksdale’s brigade] advanced in two lines and in good order, until they reached the barn, when our boys met them. … The rebels gained the Emmitsburg road on our left … bringing up … 12 pounders, planting [them] in the middle of road opened up with double grape and canister” – Acting Sergeant Major Alexander W. Given, 114th Pennsylvania.

The enemy … pouring a murderous fire on our flank, threw the left wing of the regiment on to the right in much confusion. /// Soon it became apparent that it was impossible that we should be able to hold our ground against such overwhelming numbers. … Only one avenue of escape was open to us, and that was up the Emmitsburg road” – Captain Edward R. Bowen, 114th Pennsylvania.

We are at the barn and scaling the fences at the lane and right across and in among the enemy, literally running over them”– Private Joseph C. Lloyd, Company C, 13th Mississippi.

I walked up to the Colonel [Peter Sides] and … said, ‘It looks as though we will soon have to move out of here or be captured’ … [he] said, ‘Yes, I think we will go now.’ … [To warn those posted in the buildings I] started on a run from one building to another … take hold of and shake a man to get his attention … when I … looked out … enemy was in the yard with a large force not fifty feet away” – Captain Alanson H. Nelson, Company E, 57th Pennsylvania.

Captain [A. H.] Nelson … tried to notify those in the house, and order them to fall back, but amid the noise and confusion it was impossible to make them understand the situation, and they kept on firing from the windows after the rest of the men fell back, and they were summoned to surrender by the rebels who came up the stairs in their rear” – Private Ellis C. Strouss, Company K, 57th Pennsylvania.

Farther to the left … the enemy broke through, and flanking the position, caused [Brigadier General Charles K.] Graham to fall back. A considerable number of the men had taken cover in an old cellar [at Sherfy’s house], and amidst the noise and confusion, did not receive the order to retire, nor notice the withdrawal of the rest of the regiment, but still kept up a rapid and most destructive fire. When too late, they discovered their isolated position, and were nearly all taken prisoners” – Member of the 57th Pennsylvania.

“[Major M. W.] Burns [of the 73rd New York told] me that just as he got up to the ground where Gen. Graham’s troops were, those troops gave way and left him” – Brigadier General Andrew A. Humphreys.

At last, the 114th [Pennsylvania], with a parting volley in the faces of the Mississippians, made room for us and our regiment sent a volley at the enemy who fell in scores among the dead and wounded Pennsylvanians. They staggered under our fresh fire, but waved their flags, cheered and returned our volley, seeing their supports close at hand. Their advance, however, was checked at the barn, as our men continued to load and fire with rapidity and coolness, but our thin line on the left could be seen melting away through the smoke /// [Major M. W.] Burns, mounted on his conspicuous old white horse [named] (A. P. Hill), escaped the bullets … an excited and bareheaded officer dashed up to us and implored us to drag away a couple of imperiled guns, the horses having all been killed and the gunners shot. … I called to the men of my company and those nearest me to follow with the officer and drag away the imperiled guns” – Lieutenant Frank E. Moran, Company H, 73rd New York.

The writer of this article, like the fool that he was, sprang on one of the guns and was shot off of it” – Private William M. Abernathy, Company B, 17th Mississippi.

The enemy … [captured] one of the guns facing to the west. The Union infantry, however, soon after rallied, and the gun was saved” – Member of Battery C-F, Pennsylvania Artillery.

When the blue coats saw us swarming over the fences and across the Emmitsburg road, without pausing, they began to ‘back out.’ Though they fought back bravely, retiring slowly until the firing was at close quarters, when the retreat became a rout in which our men took heavy toll for the losses inflicted on them” – Member of Brigadier General William Barksdale’s Brigade.

Lieutenant [Joseph] Atkinson [of Company G], pointing to the rear, said, ‘Colonel, I’m afraid we are being surrounded; hadn’t we better fall back?’ ‘Fall back, **** no!’ replied Colonel [Henry J.] Madill. ‘I was ordered to hold this position.’” – Member of the 141st Pennsylvania.

Our colors went down but were again raised to the breeze. Again they fell, when they were seized by the firm hand of Colonel Madill and again they floated in the air. They were riddled by rebel bullets and torn by rebel shells, but they did not fall again” – Sergeant J. D. Bloodgood, Company I, 141st Pennsylvania.

The regiment was about-faced and retired, making a change of front to the rear while marching. Halfway through the peach orchard, it halted and maintained a sharp fire” – Private Martin A. Haynes, Company I, 2nd New Hampshire.

I moved to the rear 140 yards and halted my line under the brow of the hill, halting also on the brow to give a volley to the enemy /// the 3d Maine regt. being twenty paces or so in rear of my left flank and the 68th regt. [Pennsylvania] charging on my right flank to get up to the crest of the hill; but it did not succeed, though most gallantly endeavoring, and was twenty paces or more behind the parallel of my line” – Colonel Edward L. Bailey, 2nd New Hampshire.

A large force marching round to cut me off, and ordered my regiment to retire, and while doing so we received a most distressing fire, which threw my command into much confusion” – Colonel Moses B. Lakeman, 3rd Maine.

The vents in our 10 pdr. Parrotts were burned out … about one half inch” – Private George W. Bonnell, Battery B, 1st New Jersey.

The Captain [A. Judson Clark] gave the orders to limber up and go to the rear. … The enemy (Barksdale’s Brigade) were halfway through the Peach Orchard on our right flank … the lead team was hit … and the gun drove off with four horses. A Rebel yelled, ‘Halt, you Yankee sons of *******; we want those guns!’ Ennis yelled back, ‘Go to ****! We want to use them yet awhile.’ … Just as we started a single gun of the enemy came into position in Wentz’s yard and fired a round of canister. It killed six horses on No. 4 caisson and four on No. 3, wounding [four men]. This obliged us to leave one caisson and one caisson body on the field. … In passing to the rear we passed the left flank of Seventh New Jersey, 200 yards to the rear” – Member of Battery B, 1st New Jersey.

The artillery [Battery B, 1st New Jersey] broke through our regiment in going into [Trostle] lane, on their way to the rear; they forced the four right companies to the other side of the [lane]” – Captain William R. Hillyer, Company K, 7th New Jersey.

In falling back, the battery [B, 1st New Jersey] broke through our ranks, creating considerable confusion” – Major Frederick Cooper, 7th New Jersey.

At the same time that our right fell back, the rebels [Kershaw’s men] had gotten so far into the woods on our left that their musketry became very annoying. … I ordered Lieut. [Frederic A.] Lull with the right section to retire 200 yards and come into position again. At this moment Major [Freeman] McGilvery ordered us all to retire … /// The right section being all ready got off ahead and the rest of the battery followed” – Captain Charles A. Phillips, 5th Massachusetts Battery.

The order was given to ‘Limber up’ the guns,’ as the enemy was almost upon us” – 1st Lieutenant Henry D. Scott, 5th Massachusetts Battery.

With the aid of C. [Casper] Carlisle [of Battery F], I unhitched the dead leaders and got the gun off the field” – Captain James Thompson, Battery C-F, Pennsylvania Artillery.

Gen’l [William T.] Wofford was beside himself with fury, chafing at not being ordered in, as he understood his task, to support Barksdale. He rode back and forth on his horse, sending courier after courier to [Major General Lafayette] McLaws, asking to be advanced. Our men busied themselves, as veterans are wont before a fight … Some wrote letters, or in diaries. Many, I noted, read favorite psalms or passages from their Testaments, while a few rascals, heedless of the possibility of facing their eternal fate, played cards or rolled dice and played ‘chuck-a-luck’” – Captain James L. Lemon, Company A, 18th Georgia.

Sources:
-Memoirs of Alexander Wallace Given, http://www.bivouacbooks.com/bbv4ils7.htm, 08/06/2015.
-Official Report of Capt. Edward R. Bowen; Address of Lt. Col. E. R. Bowen, Dedication of the Monument to the 114th Regiment Infantry, November 11, 1888, Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, II:616.
-Official Reports of Col. Moses B. Lakeman, Maj. Frederick Cooper.
-Lloyd quoted in, Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade at Gettysburg, by J.S. McNeily, Mississippi Historical Society; reprint, Gaithersburg, MD: Olde Soldier Books, 1987, p. 239; Lloyd’s account appeared in the Meridian Dispatch, August 3 (year not given).
-The Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, by Capt. A. H. Nelson, Minneapolis, MN: 1899.
-E. C. Strouss account, History of the Fifty-Seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry, by James M. Martin.
-57th Pennsylvania, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, by Samuel P. Bates, II:251.
-November 14, 1865 letter of Maj. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 1:225.
-January 24, 1882 letter of Capt. Frank E. Moran to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 2:773; H*** in a Peach Orchard, by Eric A. Campbell, America’s Civil War, July 2003, p. 42 [writings of Frank E. Moran].
-Gettysburg Incidents, Journal of William Meshack Abernathy, provided by John Hoopes, University of Kansas.
-Independent Battery C – Thompson’s, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, by Samuel P. Bates, V:868.
-Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade at Gettysburg, by J.S. McNeily, Mississippi Historical Society; reprint, Gaithersburg, MD: Olde Soldier Books, 1987, p. 237.
-Our Boys in Blue, Heroic Deeds, Sketches and Reminiscences of Bradford County Soldiers in the Civil War, by Clement F. Heverly, Towanda, PA: The Bradford Star Print, 1898, vol. 1, p. 42.
-Personal Reminiscences of the War, by Rev. J. D. Bloodgood, NY: Hunt & Eaton, 1893, pp. 140-141.
-A History of the Second Regiment New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, by Martin A. Haynes, Lakeport, NH: 1896, p. 179.
-Official Report of Col. Ed. L. Bailey; Letter of Colonel Edward L. Bailey to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 2:847.
-March 24, 1882 letter of George W. Bonnell to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 2:844.
-History of Battery B, First New Jersey Artillery, by Michael Hanifen, Ottawa, IL: Republican-Times, Printers, 1905, p. 76.
-November 2, 1887 letter of W. R. Hillyer, Seventh Regiment, Final Report of the Gettysburg Battlefield, Commission of New Jersey, p. 104.
-History of the Fifth Massachusetts Battery, Boston: Luther E. Cowles, Publisher, 1902, pp. 624, 627, 631; Letter of Capt. Charles A. Phillips to J. B. Bachelder, Bachelder Papers, 1:168 and 3:1633.
-Account by Captain James Thompson, October 3, 1898, provided by Robert J. Brown of Spring Mills, Pennsylvania.
-Feed Them the Steel,” Being, the Wartime Recollections of Capt. James Lile Lemon, Co. A, 18th Georgia Infantry, Mark H. Lemon, 2016.
Should McLaws have ordered Barksdale and Woffords troops to attack earlier than he did. It would have diverted fire from Kershaws left and possibly diverted Union troops from the Wheatfield.
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Should McLaws have ordered Barksdale and Woffords troops to attack earlier than he did. It would have diverted fire from Kershaws left and possibly diverted Union troops from the Wheatfield.
Just looking at these maps, I think an armchair strategist like myself with the benefit of 150+ years of hindsight could make a case that the Confederate attack might have had a better chance of success if it had started in echelon from the left to the right (rather than from the right to the left) based on the Federal deployment, or else simultaneously by at least half of McLaw's and Hood's brigades, perhaps supported by the other half. But such "what ifs" are endless.
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Now that is bringing up Arty support!
E. P. Alexander would show how it should be done, using his entire artillery battalion - he followed Wofford's brigade a few minutes later. It's unclear to me if Patterson just brought up his two Napoleons or added some (or all five) of the howitzers under his control, but his reported ammunition expenditure suggests that he might not have employed any of his howitzers that afternoon, or if he did, he used them sparingly. I can find no other possible battery as a candidate. Alexander wrote that none of Cabell's guns advanced. I would even doubt Given's assertion were it not independently supported by the Battery B, 1st New Jersey source.
 

Wizard of Cozz

Private
Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Should McLaws have ordered Barksdale and Woffords troops to attack earlier than he did. It would have diverted fire from Kershaws left and possibly diverted Union troops from the Wheatfield.
I'm under assumption that Longstreet controlled when they were released. McLaws complained to his wife that Longstreet micromanaged him at Gettysburg, and he was very upset. I read this analysis of the echelon attack:
https://generalmeadesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/day-2-attack-6-to-society-1.pdf

And it argues that Longstreet should have shortened the time between the release of each brigade. This would have helped with 2 factors:
1.) It would have helped protect the left flank of each brigade better. Take Kershaw for example alot of his issues arise from him moving to protect his left. This was a continual problem throughout the day.
2.) This would of allowed for more daylight later in the attack.

Hoods troops move off about every 20 minutes, but then there is an almost hour gap between Anderson and Kershaw. Alot of interesting issues to think on.
 

neyankee61

Private
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
We do know that there was about 15-20 minute gap between Kershaw and Barksdale's brigade, just enough for Union forces to pound Kershaw's left regiments.
 

Wizard of Cozz

Private
Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Kershaw went in around 5:30 PM. Barksdale went in after 6 PM. I've seen anywhere from 6:10 to 6:20. Either way it was to long of a game. Sending Barksdale in around 5:50 would have supported Kershaw more, and stilled allowed Barksdale to do what he did.
 

Wizard of Cozz

Private
Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Why was it echelon anyway... is that when they arrived/organized for battle?

Lee's initial plan involved a flanking attack up the Emmitsburg Road. To be supported by Ewell demonstrating against the Union right. When Longstreet arrived at his launch point, Union III Corps had moved out onto the Peach Orchard, and made that original attack impractical. Longstreet and Lee conferred, and the attack was changed to En Echelon to attack the Peach Orchard salient, and drive it in, to threat Cemetery Ridge, OR to force Meade to bring down reinforcements which would allow Ewell to attack Cemetery Hill / Culp's Hill to advantage. People get lost because of all the attention paid to LRT, but Lee's plan was focused primarily against Cemetery Hill / Ridge, everything was done to threaten that position. As the attack passed from Longstreet to Hill, then Anderson and Pender would take up the attack. Ewell planned a dusk attack which was supposed to have Early, Johnson, and Rodes attack in unison against Culp's Hill, and the East and West sides of Cemetery Hill. Unfortunately for the Confederates, Pender gets mortally wounded, and Rodes misread how long it would take to clear Gettysburg to get ready for the attack, so neither of their divisions makes the attack, while Early leaves Gordon in supports BECAUSE he doesn't get support from Rodes. It's a comedy of errors for the Confederates once the attack passes from Longstreet. While people can nitpick Longstreet's handling on day 2, he ensured that both of his divisions made their attack. Hope this helps.
 

MichaelWinicki

Private
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Interesting "what ifs" on the Confederate side with the possibility of moving the time of the attack up earlier.

But also on the Union side...

The defensive line on the Peach Orchard facing west was a "sieve". You can see a number of units that were close by that could have been utilized. On top of that batteries within the Peach Orchard were running out of ammo and withdrawn, without replacements taking their place.
 

neyankee61

Private
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Posey got himself entangled in the fight around the Bliss farm. Only his 48th MS and only a part of that unit was able to advance on Wright's left. It is here that the breakdown really appears as Posey's Brigade never moves out as one complete unit so Mahone doesn't have coverage on his right flank. Nor does he see any brigade to move en echlon with.
 

MichaelWinicki

Private
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Barksdale’s center crosses the Emmitsburg road, forcing back the 141st Pennsylvania and rolling up the 114th Pennsylvania, only to face the 73rd New York. Some Confederates temporarily capture a cannon of Thompson’s battery and threaten Clark’s battery. The 21st Mississippi confronts the 2nd New Hampshire. Two 12-pounder Napoleons deduced to come from Patterson’s battery advance to the Emmitsburg road to deliver close support. Map reflects the situation as of 6:34 p.m., July 2.

The rebels [Brigadier General William Barksdale’s brigade] advanced in two lines and in good order, until they reached the barn, when our boys met them. … The rebels gained the Emmitsburg road on our left … bringing up … 12 pounders, planting [them] in the middle of road opened up with double grape and canister” – Acting Sergeant Major Alexander W. Given, 114th Pennsylvania.

The enemy … pouring a murderous fire on our flank, threw the left wing of the regiment on to the right in much confusion. /// Soon it became apparent that it was impossible that we should be able to hold our ground against such overwhelming numbers. … Only one avenue of escape was open to us, and that was up the Emmitsburg road” – Captain Edward R. Bowen, 114th Pennsylvania.
The "unraveling" of the III corps line was right here. There was a big gap on the left of the 114th PA and they were easily out-flanked by Barksdale's brigade.

And that spelled doom for the 57th PA to the right of the 114th.

The movement of the 73rd NY forward helped momentarily but the 114th and 57th were already drifting north up the Emmitsburg Road and the 73rd was soon going to get its own taste of getting flanked on the left.
 

neyankee61

Private
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Posey needed to clear the Bliss Farm before he advanced. The 48th MS and 19th MS were reinforced by the 16th MS to compel the Union skirmishers to retire. It seems Posey did not anticipate the Union response which was the attack by the 106th PA, 12th NJ and 8th OH. The result was Posey's failure to clear the farm and doomed the en echelon attack. It also led to the deployment of the 8th OH in a position to pin down half of his brigade with enfilade fire.
It is possible that Posey may have felt that this unexpected counterthrust was the beginning of a major attack on his position and may have relayed this to Anderson.
By 7PM when Thomas and Perrin advanced to the Sunken Lane west of Steven's Run, they were faced with a heavy Union picket line
aligned upon a commanding rise. With the retreat of Wright and part of Posey's brigade, the Union picket line was strong and well established across the front.
 

Wizard of Cozz

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Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Posey needed to clear the Bliss Farm before he advanced. The 48th MS and 19th MS were reinforced by the 16th MS to compel the Union skirmishers to retire. It seems Posey did not anticipate the Union response which was the attack by the 106th PA, 12th NJ and 8th OH. The result was Posey's failure to clear the farm and doomed the en echelon attack. It also led to the deployment of the 8th OH in a position to pin down half of his brigade with enfilade fire.
It is possible that Posey may have felt that this unexpected counterthrust was the beginning of a major attack on his position and may have relayed this to Anderson.
By 7PM when Thomas and Perrin advanced to the Sunken Lane west of Steven's Run, they were faced with a heavy Union picket line
aligned upon a commanding rise. With the retreat of Wright and part of Posey's brigade, the Union picket line was strong and well established across the front.
I need to recheck my books for specifics, but in general this is another example of Anderson's poor management of his division that day. To me it's explicable that he didn't place 3 brigades in front and 2 in reserve. The lack of reserves for Anderson meant that if any of Anderson's troops broke through there would be no help in exploiting it. The shortening of his line would have pulled Pender farther south and given Rodes more room on his right to deploy his division. I know Anderson received orders to put his division in by brigade which is basically what an echelon attack is. The fact that he wasn't down checking on Mahone and Posey, and that he let Posey's command get dragged into the skirmish at the Bliss farm. Anderson showed little handling of his brigade once the attack passed on to him. He either should have limited what Posey was doing at the Bliss farm or directed more troops there earlier to control the farm in anticipation of the coming attack. He did nothing, leaving everything up to Posey.

Anderson had two main responsibilities as the division commander in that sector:
1.) To make clear what was expected of his brigade commanders. I guess we can give him a B 4/5 (80%) Wilcox, Lang, Wright, and Posey all mention the echelon attack in their OR's. Mahone mentions nothing.
- Wilcox wrote "My instructions were to advance when the troops on my right should advance, and to report this to the division commander, in order that the other brigades should advance in proper time."
2.) Supervise the execution of the attack. Here its hard to give him anything less than an F. If Posey would not be able to advance to support Wright, Anderson should have made adjustments pulling Mahone over to help, or have part of Mahone help Posey clear the Bliss farm so both brigades could step off. But it's hard to find much of anything Anderson did.
 

Wizard of Cozz

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Joined
Aug 20, 2021
I need to recheck my books for specifics, but in general this is another example of Anderson's poor management of his division that day. To me it's explicable that he didn't place 3 brigades in front and 2 in reserve. The lack of reserves for Anderson meant that if any of Anderson's troops broke through there would be no help in exploiting it. The shortening of his line would have pulled Pender farther south and given Rodes more room on his right to deploy his division. I know Anderson received orders to put his division in by brigade which is basically what an echelon attack is. The fact that he wasn't down checking on Mahone and Posey, and that he let Posey's command get dragged into the skirmish at the Bliss farm. Anderson showed little handling of his brigade once the attack passed on to him. He either should have limited what Posey was doing at the Bliss farm or directed more troops there earlier to control the farm in anticipation of the coming attack. He did nothing, leaving everything up to Posey.

Anderson had two main responsibilities as the division commander in that sector:
1.) To make clear what was expected of his brigade commanders. I guess we can give him a B 4/5 (80%) Wilcox, Lang, Wright, and Posey all mention the echelon attack in their OR's. Mahone mentions nothing.
- Wilcox wrote "My instructions were to advance when the troops on my right should advance, and to report this to the division commander, in order that the other brigades should advance in proper time."
2.) Supervise the execution of the attack. Here its hard to give him anything less than an F. If Posey would not be able to advance to support Wright, Anderson should have made adjustments pulling Mahone over to help, or have part of Mahone help Posey clear the Bliss farm so both brigades could step off. But it's hard to find much of anything Anderson did.
Another thing to consider is that as Wright moved off, Posey only had 1 regiment left, the Col. N.H. Harris and the 19th Miss, they stepped off just as Wright moved off and pushed in to take the Bliss Farm. After that they requested help on their left from Mahone, who refused saying he had orders to stay put. Now again times get all mixed up and there never is any specifics, but at some point during the fight Anderson sent Lt. Shannon to tell Mahone to attack, and Mahone told Shannon I have orders to stay put by Anderson. How Anderson didn't personally go there and move Mahone himself is the question of the day. Anderson kept his HQ on seminary ridge and never moved HQ forward so as to improve communication, which was another factor in the breakdown in his attack.

Lastly, Pender went to check on his right to see why Mahone hadn't moved, as he expected to move is brigades and dress on Mahone's left flank. During this checking he was mortally wounded. There was plenty of blame to go around that day. There was little communication or cooperation between Hill and Longstreet, and Wilcox had to change his movement on the fly, which he did admirably, part of this was that Hill and Longstreet couldn't stand each other. On top of that Hill did next to nothing on day 2 or 3. Anderson shares blame in the handling of his division, as well the execution of his attack. Anderson had previously been under Longstreet's corps, and must have sorely missed his guiding hand. Lee deserves blame for allowing Hill to be so inactive and not encouraging him to push his men. Lastly, while the video tries to excuse Mahone of some of his blame, he still sat there like a petulant child, and did nothing to help support Posey.
 

neyankee61

Private
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Wilcox wrote the following;

"When I sent my Adj Gen back to the Division commander asking that he send me reinforcements...my Adj Gen returned and reported the General Anderson said, 'Tell Gen Wilcox to hold his own, that things will change', that he found Gen A back in the woods which were in rear of the Emmitsburg Road...his horse tied and all his staff lying on the ground (indifferent0 as tho' nothing was going on...I am quite certain that Gen A never saw a foot of the ground which his three brigades fought on..."
 

MichaelWinicki

Private
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
A cluster-you-know-what from the very beginning it seems.

Yeah, there is that.

But really compared to a lot of assaults carried out during the war, the assault carried out by the Confederate right ranks right up there as one of the best fought.

If we wanted to list all the assaults planned out by both sides the list of assaults that were not carried out as efficiently as this one would be a rather long list indeed.
 
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