Gettysburg -- The First Day

By Harry W. Pfanz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 22
Seminary Ridge

Lt. Col. Joseph N. Brown, commander of the 14th South Carolina Regiment, looked from the bottom of the swale in front of Seminary Ridge toward its crest 400 yards away. Just ahead was a grove of trees and, behind it, the seminary’s large brick classroom and dormitory building. It was being “changed from the halls of learning to a scene of bloodshed and carnage.” Among the trees Brown likely saw the breastworks manned by troops that had been “pressed back but not defeated.” Torn flags marked the Union line, and First Corps cannons supported it. A weaker Union line extended along the crest toward the right across the front of McGowan’s (Perrin’s) brigade. Behind the large trees there, Brown might have seen four threeinch rifles from Reynolds’s battery behind a wall between Schmucker’s house and the Hagerstown Road. He also might have seen dismounted Union cavalrymen in Shultz’s Woods beyond the Hagerstown Road on the front of Lane’s brigade. He must have regarded what he saw with much apprehension, for he deemed it “the fairest field and finest front for destruction on an advancing foe that could well be conceived.”1

Pender’s attack on the Union forces on the ridge’s crest would be the work of two brigades: Perrin’s (McGowan’s) on the right and Scales’s on the left. Their 3,000 men would occupy the space between the Chambersburg Pike and the Hagerstown Road. Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales, born in 1827, had pursued a successful career as a lawyer and politician before the war. He entered Confederate service as a captain in the 13th North Carolina in the spring of 1861 and became its colonel in October 1861. He commanded the 13th in the various battles of the Army of Northern Virgina and was wounded at Chancellorsville. When Pender received command of the division, Scales became the brigade’s commander. He joined

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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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