Gettysburg -- The First Day

By Harry W. Pfanz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
Oak Ridge

Confederate projectiles “skipping in a playful manner” between the caissons and limbers of Calef’s battery announced the arrival of Rodes’s division on Oak Hill. To meet this new threat, to avoid enfilading fire from Oak Hill, and to take cover from the fire of the batteries on Herr Ridge, Calef’s, Reynolds’s, and Cooper’s batteries moved back to the broad swale between the arms of McPherson Ridge and the rear of McPherson Woods. There they fronted north toward Carter’s guns on Oak Hill. As Reynolds’s New York battery took position east of the woods, Confederate shells fell near its guns, and Capt. Gilbert Reynolds was wounded in the face and blinded temporarily in his left eye. Captain Reynolds remained with his battery until Colonel Wainwright ordered him to the hospital, and Lt. George Breck took command of the battery. At the same time, a shrapnel ball grazed Wainwright’s ankle. It stung, but the colonel’s pride smarted more—Calef’s battery had displayed greater skill in the displacement than had his First Corps batteries. Yet Wainwright reflected later that “it could not be expected that the crack Batt’y of the army should be outdone.”

As soon as they were in their new positions, the First Corps guns opened fire on their Oak Hill antagonists. As they fired slowly at the Rebel cannon to the north, Colonel Wainwright sent Calef’s battery to rejoin Buford. Reynolds’s and Cooper’s batteries continued to fire for nearly an hour at Rodes’s guns and at the infantry around them.1

Rodes’s arrival and the cannonading had an immediate effect on some of the First Corps infantry. The 143d and 149th Pennsylvania regiments of Stone’s brigade, near McPherson’s barn, changed front from west to north and took position in the swale and along the pike. They did this to shelter

-157-

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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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