Range between 56 PA and 55 NC at opening volley?

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johncla

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How close were the 56th Pennsylvania and the 55th North Carolina on the morning of July 1 when the 56th PA fired their opening volley, which prompted a return volley from the 55th NC? I assume they were within effective range because David Martin in 'Gettysburg July 1' says the 55th NC return volley caused 'heavy damage'.

Note, Earl Hess in 'Civil War Infantry Tactics' says effective range was 100 yards.

Why am I asking?

I'm working on my next animated map, and timing and position are critical. (Visualize a running man. If I know where his left knee was at a specific time, I can tell you where his right wrist, and his head, neck and everything else connected to it will be 60 seconds later; or were 60 seconds earlier. Assuming I know his path.)

David Martin says the exchange between 55NC and 56PA occurred at 1020AM. That's gold! It lets me infer all sorts of stuff about other positions and times leading up to 1020am. So how close were they? Hundred yards?
 

Tom Elmore

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The 56th Pennsylvania may have unleashed the first volley (to the right oblique) at the skirmishers and/or the main line of Davis' brigade at a distance of about 300 yards, which I figure occurred about 10:05 a.m. About that time Davis' skirmishers were likely being overtaken by the main line. Looking at the terrain elevation contours on the attached maps, their opponent at that moment may have been the right wing of the 55th North Carolina and/or the left wing of the 2nd Mississippi. It could not have been much under 300 yards, otherwise the 147th New York would have been credited with opening the (infantry) battle - the 147th was about 210 yards in front of the 56th, although the 147th was lying down behind a slight rise as shown.



McPherson1000 001.jpg
McPherson1010 001.jpg
 
Last edited:

treebie2000

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Lima, OH
The 56th Pennsylvania may have unleashed the first volley (to the right oblique) at the skirmishers and/or the main line of Davis' brigade at a distance of about 300 yards, which I figure occurred about 10:05 a.m. About that time Davis' skirmishers were likely being overtaken by the main line. Looking at the terrain elevation contours on the attached maps, their opponent at that moment may have been the right wing of the 55th North Carolina and/or the left wing of the 2nd Mississippi. It could not have been much under 300 yards, otherwise the 147th New York would have been credited with opening the (infantry) battle - the 147th was about 210 yards in front of the 56th, although the 147th was lying down behind a slight rise as shown.



View attachment 324393View attachment 324394
Tom, what is the contour interval on these?
Thanks.
 
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Ole Miss

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Excellent maps! Many hours of efforts and love evidenced in this work
Regards
David
PS @johncla what a pleasant surprise to open your site and watch your maps!! I especially enjoyed the early hours of Day Three as my GGGRandfather was a member of the 3rd NC in Steuart's Brigade.
 
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eeric

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How close were the 56th Pennsylvania and the 55th North Carolina on the morning of July 1 when the 56th PA fired their opening volley, which prompted a return volley from the 55th NC? I assume they were within effective range because David Martin in 'Gettysburg July 1' says the 55th NC return volley caused 'heavy damage'.

Love your maps, and slightly off topic re Day 2: wasnt the 20th Maine on Little Round Top, and not Round Top?
 
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