Final Video on Iron Brigade

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
An excellent job with content and presentation!

I have a slightly different take on Perrin's attack against Seminary Ridge than the map prepared for the Civil War Trust. In my version (map attached for 4 p.m. - 1600), the 1st South Carolina was really the "straw that broke the camel's back," when it turned the left flank of the 142nd Pennsylvania in front of the Schmucker house. That move quickly unraveled the entire First Corps line and initiated their retreat toward Cemetery Hill. As costly as that retreat was for the First Corps, it was still preferable to what would have happened if they had remained any longer on Seminary Ridge, because Doles' brigade and Early's division were at that moment approaching the northern outskirts of town and thus were about to completely seal off the available retreat routes for the vast bulk of the Union First Corps.

In addition, I show Gamble's cavalry deployed (every fourth man holding the horses just to the rear) between the Schmucker house and Fairfield Road, which appears as a vacant space on the Civil War Trust map. I think the small-arms of the Federal cavalry could have held off the 12th and 13th South Carolina, were it not for that dagger thrust made by the 1st South Carolina, which, it should be noted, was the result of the inspired personal leadership of Colonel Abner Perrin.
 

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datameister

Private
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Location
Westfield, IN
An excellent job with content and presentation!

I have a slightly different take on Perrin's attack against Seminary Ridge than the map prepared for the Civil War Trust. In my version (map attached for 4 p.m. - 1600), the 1st South Carolina was really the "straw that broke the camel's back," when it turned the left flank of the 142nd Pennsylvania in front of the Schmucker house. That move quickly unraveled the entire First Corps line and initiated their retreat toward Cemetery Hill. As costly as that retreat was for the First Corps, it was still preferable to what would have happened if they had remained any longer on Seminary Ridge, because Doles' brigade and Early's division were at that moment approaching the northern outskirts of town and thus were about to completely seal off the available retreat routes for the vast bulk of the Union First Corps.

In addition, I show Gamble's cavalry deployed (every fourth man holding the horses just to the rear) between the Schmucker house and Fairfield Road, which appears as a vacant space on the Civil War Trust map. I think the small-arms of the Federal cavalry could have held off the 12th and 13th South Carolina, were it not for that dagger thrust made by the 1st South Carolina, which, it should be noted, was the result of the inspired personal leadership of Colonel Abner Perrin.
Thanks Tom, I really enjoy your maps and analyses. What was the disposition of Calef's Battery at this point? I have one map showing they were deployed just South of the Schulz House?
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Thanks Tom, I really enjoy your maps and analyses. What was the disposition of Calef's Battery at this point? I have one map showing they were deployed just South of the Schulz House?
I can find no source that definitively locates Calef's battery in the late afternoon when the First Corps was making their last stand on Seminary Ridge. In his official report, Calef states his attention was directed to Confederates advancing down the Carlisle pike, which I suppose was Dole's brigade advancing from the north after about 3:45 p.m.
 

infomanpa

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Pennsylvania
In addition, I show Gamble's cavalry deployed (every fourth man holding the horses just to the rear) between the Schmucker house and Fairfield Road, which appears as a vacant space on the Civil War Trust map. I think the small-arms of the Federal cavalry could have held off the 12th and 13th South Carolina, were it not for that dagger thrust made by the 1st South Carolina, which, it should be noted, was the result of the inspired personal leadership of Colonel Abner Perrin.
As far as I know, Tom, you are the only one who has shown Gamble to be north of the Fairfield Rd., instead of as in other maps, south of the road. I like your reasoning that Gamble would have tried to close the gap and not leave only Breck's guns to fill that gap. It looks like your map has Breck south of Gamble, instead of north of Gamble and the ABT map.
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
I did have the 8th Illinois Cavalry south of the Fairfield Road just minutes prior to 4 p.m., but it appears to me from the following that the 8th New York and 3rd Indiana were posted north of the road.

Sources:

-I immediately rushed Gamble's brigade to Doubleday's left, and dismounted it in time to render great assistance to our infantry, and to check and break the enemy's line. My troops at this place had partial shelter behind a low stone fence, and were in short carbine range. Their fire was perfectly terrific, causing the enemy to break and rally on their second line, which made no further advance toward my position. (Official Report of John Buford)

-An hour before dark the rebels outflanked our left, this brigade of cavalry was again ordered to the front, dismounted, and fought the Rebels on the Seminary Ridge and saved a whole Division of our infantry from being surrounded and captured - nothing of this either is mentioned in the newspapers or dispatches, yet these facts occurred with the loss of some of our best officers and men. (William Gamble, letter of March 10, 1864 to W. S. Church)

-In the afternoon the enemy, being strongly reinforced, extended his flanks, and made a desperate attempt to turn our left. They advanced in three strong lines, when our brigade was ordered forward at a trot and deployed. Half of the command was dismounted and placed behind a portion of a stone wall on a ridge of woods, with the Seminary on our right. The enemy being close upon us we opened an effective, rapid fire with our breech-loading carbines, which killed and wounded so many of their first line, that after a short heroic struggle to continue the advance, they could stand it no longer and fell back on the second line. Our men kept up the fire until the enemy, in overwhelming numbers, approached so near that in order to save our men and horses we were obliged to mount and fall back rapidly ... (Col. William L. Markell, 8th New York Cavalry, New York at Gettysburg, III:1145)

-Late in the afternoon ... my command and the 8th New York were ordered to check the advancing columns of the rebels ... We took position, dismounted, along an old stone wall to the left of the Theological Seminary, along which is a thin skirt of timbers and held our position until we were flanked by the enemy. Although but a short time in this position, we so checked the advance of the enemy, as to enable a division of the 1st Corps to pass safely through the town ... (Col. George H. Chapman, 3rd Indiana Cavalry, Bachelder Papers, 1:130-131)

-... the four pieces again retired, and took position upon the ridge running south from the brick Seminary, and in rear of the belt of timber to the left of that building. ... the enemy charged upon the guns, the four pieces again retired under cover of the line of cavalry already formed to cover the withdrawal of our troops. (Official Report of Lt. George Breck, Battery L, 1st New York Artillery)
 

datameister

Private
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Location
Westfield, IN
Amazing series. Great work.
Thank you, Sir. In the spirit of "continuous improvement", I am going to work on some improvements to overall quality. I am having a problem holding a camera and trying to produce a cogent stream of content. I need someone to hold the camera or my mind wanders off..."look bright, shiny object...". I have deleted vast amounts of error and profanity-laden content...maybe I should have produced a blooper reel? Also, I am going to get superior video and audio editing software.

I also am contemplating using desktop wargame or even software wargame maps in lieu of Google Earth and PowerPoint to present the overall situation.
 

scotth

Private
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Thank you, Sir. In the spirit of "continuous improvement", I am going to work on some improvements to overall quality. I am having a problem holding a camera and trying to produce a cogent stream of content. I need someone to hold the camera or my mind wanders off..."look bright, shiny object...". I have deleted vast amounts of error and profanity-laden content...maybe I should have produced a blooper reel? Also, I am going to get superior video and audio editing software.

I also am contemplating using desktop wargame or even software wargame maps in lieu of Google Earth and PowerPoint to present the overall situation.
amazing work indeed! I love the clarity, using maps AND 'on location'...with my wife's relative dying in that woods with the 19th, it means a lot to see it again. well done.
 

infomanpa

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Pennsylvania
I did have the 8th Illinois Cavalry south of the Fairfield Road just minutes prior to 4 p.m., but it appears to me from the following that the 8th New York and 3rd Indiana were posted north of the road.

Sources:

-I immediately rushed Gamble's brigade to Doubleday's left, and dismounted it in time to render great assistance to our infantry, and to check and break the enemy's line. My troops at this place had partial shelter behind a low stone fence, and were in short carbine range. Their fire was perfectly terrific, causing the enemy to break and rally on their second line, which made no further advance toward my position. (Official Report of John Buford)

-An hour before dark the rebels outflanked our left, this brigade of cavalry was again ordered to the front, dismounted, and fought the Rebels on the Seminary Ridge and saved a whole Division of our infantry from being surrounded and captured - nothing of this either is mentioned in the newspapers or dispatches, yet these facts occurred with the loss of some of our best officers and men. (William Gamble, letter of March 10, 1864 to W. S. Church)

-In the afternoon the enemy, being strongly reinforced, extended his flanks, and made a desperate attempt to turn our left. They advanced in three strong lines, when our brigade was ordered forward at a trot and deployed. Half of the command was dismounted and placed behind a portion of a stone wall on a ridge of woods, with the Seminary on our right. The enemy being close upon us we opened an effective, rapid fire with our breech-loading carbines, which killed and wounded so many of their first line, that after a short heroic struggle to continue the advance, they could stand it no longer and fell back on the second line. Our men kept up the fire until the enemy, in overwhelming numbers, approached so near that in order to save our men and horses we were obliged to mount and fall back rapidly ... (Col. William L. Markell, 8th New York Cavalry, New York at Gettysburg, III:1145)

-Late in the afternoon ... my command and the 8th New York were ordered to check the advancing columns of the rebels ... We took position, dismounted, along an old stone wall to the left of the Theological Seminary, along which is a thin skirt of timbers and held our position until we were flanked by the enemy. Although but a short time in this position, we so checked the advance of the enemy, as to enable a division of the 1st Corps to pass safely through the town ... (Col. George H. Chapman, 3rd Indiana Cavalry, Bachelder Papers, 1:130-131)

-... the four pieces again retired, and took position upon the ridge running south from the brick Seminary, and in rear of the belt of timber to the left of that building. ... the enemy charged upon the guns, the four pieces again retired under cover of the line of cavalry already formed to cover the withdrawal of our troops. (Official Report of Lt. George Breck, Battery L, 1st New York Artillery)
Excellent. Thanks, Tom for the references. I went back and checked your 15:15 map and noticed as you said, the 8th NY posted south of Fairfield Road.
 
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