Gettysburg -- The First Day

By Harry W. Pfanz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
Howard and the
Eleventh Corps

Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, “Otis” to his family, had climbed high by July 1863. Howard had been born in Leeds, Maine, on 8 November 1830, the son of a farmer who had died when he was only nine. After his mother remarried, he made his home with an uncle, John Otis. He attended Bowdoin College, financing his tuition, in part, by teaching in the public schools. He graduated from Bowdoin in 1850, but though he had a fiancée, he had no career plans. Near the end of his stay at Bowdoin, his Uncle John, now a congressman, offered him an appointment to West Point. “To sacrifice ease to ambition,” Howard accepted it and entered West Point’s class of 1854.

Howard had no trouble with his studies at the academy and graduated fourth in his class of forty-six. Those of his class who fought at Gettysburg included Thomas Ruger, who graduated number three; Stephen Weed; and the Confederates William Dorsey Pender and J. E. B. Stuart. Custis Lee headed the class, and noted artillerist Henry L. Abbott of Boston was number two. Even then, Howard was controversial. He was ostracized for a time in 1851 by his fellow cadets, and Lee and Abbott were two of his principal antagonists. Why he was shunned is not known, though it was said that some cadets criticized him for visiting an enlisted man stationed there whom he had known in Maine. It must not have been a sectional antagonism, for Abbott was from Massachusetts and Stuart was one of his better friends.1

After graduation Howard became an ordnance subaltern serving at arsenals in the North and in Florida. In 1857 he and his family moved to

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Gettysburg -- The First Day
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Introduction - Fredericksburg to the Potomac 1
  • Chapter 1 - Ewell’s Raid 10
  • Chapter 2 - Lee’s Army Concentrates 21
  • Chapter 3 - Meade’s Pursuit 30
  • Chapter 4 - Meade and Reynolds 43
  • Chapter 5 - Reconnaissance in Force 51
  • Chapter 6 - Reynolds’s Final and Finest Hour 69
  • Chapter 7 - Cutler’s Cock Fight 80
  • Chapter 8 - McPherson Woods 91
  • Chapter 9 - The Railroad Cut 102
  • Chapter 10 - Noon Lull 115
  • Chapter 11 - Howard and the Eleventh Corps 131
  • Chapter 12 - Ewell and Rodes Reach the Field 145
  • Chapter 13 - Oak Ridge 157
  • Chapter 14 - Daniel’s and Ramseur’s Brigades Attack 179
  • Chapter 15 - Daniel Strikes Stone 194
  • Chapter 16 - Schurz Prepares for Battle 214
  • Chapter 17 - Early’s Division Attacks 227
  • Chapter 18 - Gordon and Doles Sweep the Field 239
  • Chapter 19 - The Brickyard Fight 258
  • Chapter 20 - Heth Attacks 269
  • Chapter 21 - Retreat from McPherson Ridge 294
  • Chapter 22 - Seminary Ridge 305
  • Chapter 23 - Retreat through the Town 321
  • Chapter 24 - Cemetery Hill 331
  • Chapter 25 - Epilogue 350
  • Appendix A - John Burns 357
  • Appendix B - The Color Episode of the 149Th P.V.I 360
  • Appendix C - Children of the Battlefield 367
  • Appendix D - Order of Battle 370
  • Notes 381
  • Bibliography 437
  • Index 459
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