Gettysburg--Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill

By Harry W. Pfanz | Go to book overview

15
CEMETERY HILL- THE REPULSE

Generals Howard and Schurz, from where they paused behind Schurz's division's position near the cemetery, heard a shrill and ominous cry from the direction of Ames's division. It was the yell of the Tigers who were striking Ames's line, and soon the attackers and defenders would be "tumbling back together." The generals did not ride to the sound of the guns--not yet. At Howard's request, Schurz hurried to his two nearest regiments, the 58th and 119th New York of Col. Wladimir Krzyzanowski's brigade, and ordered him to take them across the road to the aid of Wiedrich's battery. Schurz and his staff also rode toward the threatened point, swinging their swords at stragglers met along the way in an effort to return them to the fight. 1

Of course, these were not the first troops recently taken from Howard's center and left to bolster the Union right. The 33d Massachusetts Regiment was already fighting on Ames's line, and a few minutes earlier four regiments of Schimmelfennig's ( von Amsberg's) brigade had been sent to the right to assist Greene's brigade on Culp's Hill. These detachments left the defense of Cemetery Hill, the keystone of the Union line, to three regiments of Smith's brigade, which were heavily engaged in skirmishing out toward Seminary Ridge, to the seven weak regiments of Krzyzanowski's and Coster's brigades, and to the batteries behind them.

Howard could weaken his line further only at his peril for other attacks might be coming out of the gloaming. He sent for help. General Hancock responded at once by suggesting to General Gibbon, then commanding the Second Corps, that he send the First Brigade of the First Division to Howard's aid. The attack on the Second Corps front was over by this

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