Union Brigade Strength Day 2 Cemetary Hill / Culp's Hill

Wizard of Cozz

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Aug 20, 2021
Does anyone know, or know where to direct me to what the Union brigade strengths were on day 2 on Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill? It's my understanding that by 7:00 - 7:30 PM XI Corps is defending Cemetery Hill and I Corps + Greene from XII corps is on Culp's hill, but what were the strengths of these brigades by this point?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

jmkell33

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Aug 25, 2021
Greene's Brigade of the XII Corps had 1,400 effectives on July 2nd. It's tough to estimate the strength of Wadsworth's Division (brigades of Cutler and Meredith) because they had suffered heavy losses north of town on July 1. The only regiment up to strength was the 7th Indiana, which had been guarding trains in Emmitsburg on the first day. Meredith (19th IN, 24 MI, 2 WI, 6 WI, 7 WI) was down to about 700 men on Culp's Hill (66% losses on July 1), and Cutler (& IN, 76 NY, 84 NY, 95 NY, 147 NY, 56 PA) was at about 1,000 after the first. Meredith's 7th IN (not in July 1 combat) had about 435 men present, so was a large part of Meredith's forces.
 

jmkell33

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Aug 25, 2021
Correction: Cutler's 7th IN , not Meredith's. It should be noted that, later that night (July 1), 7th IN skirmishers on the slopes of Culp's Hill ran into Johnson's Confederates who were on a recon of the Hill. The Yankees drove them away, and they reported to Ewell that Culp's Hill was "occupied" by the Federals, dampening enthusiasm for an attack which probably would have succeeded
 

jmkell33

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Aug 25, 2021
The I Corps was split up on day 2 and 3. The 147th NY and 14th Brooklyn were on Culp's Hill. The rest of Wadsworth's Division was at Steven's Knoll, I believe.
Hard to tell, Jeff, where the north slope of Culp's Hill ends and the Knoll begins. The 6th WI was definitely on the Hill, because thety were reinforcing Greene's right flank later on the 2nd. The 147th NY and 14th Brooklyn (84th NY) were also used to plug holes in Greene's defenses.
 

Tom Elmore

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Does anyone know, or know where to direct me to what the Union brigade strengths were on day 2 on Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill? It's my understanding that by 7:00 - 7:30 PM XI Corps is defending Cemetery Hill and I Corps + Greene from XII corps is on Culp's hill, but what were the strengths of these brigades by this point?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I keep track of attrition for every regiment over the course of the battle, usually estimates. But since the numbers change constantly with battle losses, overall strength estimates also change continually. I could come up with some numbers for you, but it would take a considerable effort unless you can narrow down the time and/or place and/or particular action. It sounds like you are interested in the 7 to 7:30 p.m. timeframe, just prior to the Confederate attacks against Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill, is that correct?
 

Wizard of Cozz

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Aug 20, 2021
I keep track of attrition for every regiment over the course of the battle, usually estimates. But since the numbers change constantly with battle losses, overall strength estimates also change continually. I could come up with some numbers for you, but it would take a considerable effort unless you can narrow down the time and/or place and/or particular action. It sounds like you are interested in the 7 to 7:30 p.m. timeframe, just prior to the Confederate attacks against Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill, is that correct?
Yeah. I'm trying to figure out exactly what is left on Cemetery Hill and Culps hill just as the echelon breaks down at 7:15ish.
 

Tom Elmore

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Then, here are my figures for Culp's Hill, but I am only counting the enlisted men, not officers (who accounted for roughly 6 percent of overall strength):

Robinson (Iron Brigade): 616
Cutler: 938 (7 Indiana alone had 404)
Greene: 1,060
Webb (71 PA): 268
Total - 2,882

... and for Cemetery Hill:

Harris: 525
Von Gilsa: 710
Coster: 695
Von Amsberg (Schimmelpfennig): 828
Krzyzanowski: 731
Smith: 1,422
Total - 4,911
 

Tom Elmore

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Carroll (minus 8 Ohio) moved to Cemetery Hill with 626 enlisted men by my estimate, but they did not arrive on Cemetery Hill until about 8 p.m. by my calculations.
 

Wizard of Cozz

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So with what I've read about Gettysburg specifically, which includes Pfanz, Sears, and Bowden. The picture I get around dusk on July 2nd is the following:

At the breakdown of the echelon attack on the Confederate Side from south to North to east:
3rd Corps: ANDERSON - Posey (1300 Men), Mahone (1500), PENDER - Thomas (1300) supported by Scales (?? probably 1,000) Lane (1500) supported by Perrin (1300) TOTAL: 7,900 Men
2nd Corps: RODES - Daniel (1,300) Ramseur (750), O'Neal (900) Doles (1,100) EARLY - Hays (1100), Avery (1,000) JOHNSON - Jones (1,520), Williams (1,105), Steuart (2,120) TOTAL: 9,795

For the North from south to north to east:
Northern Cemetery Ridge and Cemetery Hill
II Corps: Smyth (1,000), Carrol (918), XI Corps: Smith (1,422) Von Amsburg (828), Krzyzanowski (731), Harris (525) Von Gilsa (710)
TOTAL: 6,134
Culp's Hill
I Corps - Iron Brigade (616), Cutler (938), XII Corps - Greene (1,060), Webb (268)
TOTAL: 2,882

7:00 - Posey should have been hitting smith
- Mahone should be moving into support Posey's left flank
- Johnson's 3 brigades begin attack on Culp's Hill
7:15 - Mahone should be hitting Carroll on north cemetery ridge (1500 vs. 918)
7:20-7:30 - Pender's full division would have went in and it's full weight would have went up against Smith's brigade and possible swung something south to support Mahone. (Pender's 5,000 vs. 1,422 + Federal Artillery)
7:40 - Hays and Avery begin attack, which collapses Von Gilsa and Harris's lines. (Early's 2,200 vs. 1,235).

What's interesting about all of this is what actually happened. Von Amsburg rushed to Culp's Hill and arrived around 8:20 to support Greene against Johnson. That probably wouldn't have been possible if Pender and Early are both attacking Cemetery Hill at same time. Carroll and Coster come up to support Von Gilsa and Harris's collapsed line and save the situation, but Carroll and possibly Coster wouldn't have been able to do that if Carroll is having to deal with Mahone, in fact Coster probably gets sent to help with either Mahone or Pender's attack.

One last piece I didn't mention is that Rodes moves into position but never attacks if he sees Pender attacking Cemetery Hill in his front and sends his 4 brigades in I don't see how the combination of Pender, Rodes and Early don't shatter what is up there, and Meade has nothing to reinforce it with as everything else is at the southern end of the battle. Another factor is that Rodes was poorly positioned to begin with. Ewell should have moved all or most of the command to the East side of the town. In that situation Rodes would have been able to support both Early and Johnson easier.

Thank you so much for those numbers Tom very insightful.
 

Tom Elmore

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Your projected timeline if Posey and Mahone had gone forward sounds reasonable, meaning that Carroll would likely not have moved from Cemetery Ridge, although personally I think the fight on Cemetery Hill was pretty much over by the time Carroll's men entered the fray despite his claims.

Repositioning of some Eleventh Corps regiments to the right, including outright support sent to Culp's Hill was done because the Culp's Hill fighting kicked off first by a few minutes. At that time the Eleventh Corps leadership clearly did not anticipate a sudden attack by Hays and Avery against east Cemetery Hill.
 

Wizard of Cozz

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Your projected timeline if Posey and Mahone had gone forward sounds reasonable, meaning that Carroll would likely not have moved from Cemetery Ridge, although personally I think the fight on Cemetery Hill was pretty much over by the time Carroll's men entered the fray despite his claims.

Repositioning of some Eleventh Corps regiments to the right, including outright support sent to Culp's Hill was done because the Culp's Hill fighting kicked off first by a few minutes. At that time the Eleventh Corps leadership clearly did not anticipate a sudden attack by Hays and Avery against east Cemetery Hill.
I'm under the impression that Hays and Avery's assault was stopped by the "timely" arrival of Carroll's brigade fresh off helping stop Wright's attack on Cemetery Ridge. Again that doesn't happen, if Mahone and Posey go in, and in fact reinforcements are more likely sent there which means no reinforcements for East Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill. I actually also believe Rodes should have been moved East of town, it would have actually been hard for Rodes and Pender to have enough room to make their assaults together. Instead if Pender is assaulting West Cemetery Hill, that would allow Early and Rodes to bring more forces to bear on the East side or it would have shifted Johnson farther south and more forces would of been brought to bear on Culp's Hill.

You are correct on the 2nd point Tom, which means if Pender's 4 brigades and Early 2 brigades are attacking Cemetery Hill they can expect no reinforcements, and will be under enormous pressure. Another factor I read was that Early didn't send in Gordon because he wasn't getting the support from Rodes like he expected, if Pender is making his assault, there's a good chance Gordon goes in to support Hays and Avery's assaults. Lots of speculation and I'm not turning this into a What if.

I believe it's the events specifically that Lee refers to when he says their wasn't a proper concert of action on Day 2. Everyone always focuses on LRT, but everything Lee was doing was all focused on Cemetery Ridge and Cemetery Hill, it was all done to unravel that position specifically, and that's where Lee's focus ultimately lay. Longstreet's assault was to cave in the III Corps and then turn up towards Cemetery Ridge to threaten their line.
 

neyankee61

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Oct 30, 2018
In what kind of shape in terms of losses were Pender's Brigades? They had some heavy fighting on July 1 against the 1st Corps. I read somewhere that some Conf officers downplayed their July 1 losses.
 

Wizard of Cozz

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Aug 20, 2021
In what kind of shape in terms of losses were Pender's Brigades? They had some heavy fighting on July 1 against the 1st Corps. I read somewhere that some Conf officers downplayed their July 1 losses.
We know that Thomas didn't engage on Day 1, and Lane got drawn off to his right flank against cavalry so his casualties were light. Perrin didn't fight much day 2 or 3 so his total casualties were roughly 600 men all on day 1. He was in a support position as Pender had them set up on day 2. Though he still mustered some 1200-1300 troops. Scales was beat up on day 1, but he also participated in the day 3 assault. He suffered about 500 casualties for the whole battle out of a combined strength of 1405. He probably had close to 1,000 men on day 2. Thomas and Lane were in the front line, while Scales and Perrin were in support. Pender had his division drawn up similar to how McLaws and Hood were drawn up. Not the single line (poor tactical decision by the way) that Anderson had drawn up. In fact, if Anders had went 3 in front, and 2 in Rererve it would have shortened his frontage. Pender could have drawn his lines to his right, and it would have opened up more space for Rodes to deploy his division on the west side of th town.
 
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