Gettysburg -- The First Day

By Harry W. Pfanz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17
Early’s Division Attacks

Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early’s division left its bivouac east of Heidlersburg for Cashtown on 1 July about 8:00 A.M. The sun was three hours high, but there seemed to be no hurry. No one bothered to say how the division spent the hours since dawn; perhaps some officers and sergeants finished their work on the 30 June muster, and the soldiers cooked rations and performed other chores incidental to armies on the march. Early sent a reconnaissance party to examine the road to Hunterstown, which the division was to use before turning west to Mummasburg. It was fortunate that he did so. The scouts found that the road was in poor condition and not nearly as suitable for the division’s march as the road west to Heidlersburg. Early therefore decided to go three miles to Heidlersburg, then south over the road to Gettysburg four and a half miles to the road to Mummasburg and Cashtown. After passing Heidlersburg, Early received a dispatch from Ewell telling him that Hill’s corps was heading for Gettysburg, that Rodes’s division had already turned south to there from Middletown (Biglerville), and that he should march to Gettysburg. Therefore, Early would follow the road that he was on (the Harrisburg Road) for a second visit to the town.1

We do not know the division’s order of march. Some of White’s Cavalry (the 35th Virginia Battalion) screened the advance, and Early and his staff followed close behind. Gordon’s brigade probably led the main column, followed by Hoke’s (Avery’s) and Smith’s brigades, Lt. Col. Hilary P. Jones’s battalion of artillery, and the corps train—not necessarily in that order. Hays’s brigade marched in the rear. About 10:00 A.M., soon after the division turned on to the Harrisburg Road, there was a heavy mist, and murky clouds covered the sky. A pessimist might have seen an omen in the lowering clouds; but there were few pessimists in Lee’s army that morning,

-227-

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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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