Stonewall Brigade at Gettysburg

Old Bay

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Location
Culpeper, VA
http://www.stonewallbrigade.net/stonewall-brigade-at-gettysburg-part-one/

The Stonewall Brigade at Gettysburg – Part One: In the Shadow of Wolf’s Hill​


By Austin Williams, 5th Virginia Co. A

Note: The following is part one of a four-part series on the actions of the Stonewall Brigade at Gettysburg. Subsequent installments will cover the fight for Brinkerhoff’s Ridge and the July 3 attacks on Culp’s Hill, while a final epilogue will address the fate of the brigade’s flags during the battle.


With cannon fire rumbling like distant thunder to the east, Colonel Arthur J. L. Fremantle of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards paused his horse atop South Mountain, some fifteen miles from the town of Gettysburg. A British military advisor attached to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, Fremantle took a short break from the oppressive heat of July 1, 1863 to watch the dust-covered columns of Confederate troops hastening towards the growing battle. “Among them I saw, for the first time,” Fremantle would write, “the celebrated ‘Stonewall’ Brigade, formerly commanded by Jackson. In appearance the men differ little from other Confederate soldiers, except, perhaps, that the brigade contains more elderly men and fewer boys.”1​

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Old Bay

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Location
Culpeper, VA
Part 2

The Stonewall Brigade at Gettysburg – Part Two: Clash on Brinkerhoff’s Ridge​


By Austin Williams, 5th Virginia Co. A

Note: The following is part two of a four-part series on the actions of the Stonewall Brigade at Gettysburg. The previous installment covered the initial skirmishing around Wolf’s Hill, the subsequent installment will address the July 3 attacks on Culp’s Hill, and a final epilogue will address the fate of the brigade’s flags during the battle.

With sweat pouring down their dust-caked brows and their horses panting with exertion, Brigadier General David M. Gregg’s division of Union cavalry limped along the Hanover Road towards Gettysburg on the morning of July 2. “We had become a sorry-looking body of men,” recalled one officer in the division, “having been in the saddle day and night almost continuously for over three weeks, without a change of clothing or an opportunity for a general wash; moreover we were much reduced by short rations and exhaustion, and mounted on horses whose bones were plainly visible to the naked eye.” Another veteran asked his readers to “think of three weeks marching, over hot, dusty roads without regular rest or rations, under constant mental and physical strain… and you can have some idea of the exhausted condition of men and horse.” In the unendurable July heat, troopers and mounts rapidly reached the point of collapse. One regiment had only 322 serviceable horses for its nearly 400 men, with the rest of the men marching on foot awkwardly carrying their heavy saddles.1

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