Gettysburg july i 1863

After the discovery on June 30 that Gettysburg was occupied by Brigadier General John Buford's division of Federal cavalry, the Confederates on July 1 sent the divisions of Major General Henry Heth and Major General William Pender of Hill's Corps, down the Chambersburg Road to drive Buford away and occupy Gettysburg.

The battle began at 5.30 a.m., when shots were exchanged over Marsh Creek. In the face of Buford's resistance, Heth pushed on cautiously until he reached a point about two miles west of Gettysburg. Here he deployed two brigades in line, and pressed ahead; it was nearly 10 a.m. Federal General John F Reynolds, commanding I Corps, arrived on the field at this point, and determined to engage Heth. He ordered I Corps and Major General Oliver O. Howard's XI Corps to march to Gettysburg.

Soon after 10.30 a.m., I Corps arrived and engaged Heth along McPherson's Ridge. By 11.30 a.m., Heth had been defeated and forced to withdraw to Herr Ridge. Early in the action, Reynolds was killed, and field command devolved upon Howard. A lull now settled over the field as both sides brought up reinforcements. The Federal I Corps deployed to defend the western approaches to Gettysburg, while XI Corps formed up north of the town. Buford's cavalry covered the flanks. Howard left one division in reserve on Cemetery Hill. His strategy was simple: delay the Confederates long enough to enable the rest of the Federal army to concentrate.

Lee arrived on the field after noon. He had initially hoped to avoid a general engagement since the strength of the enemy was unknown, and the terrain in the Gettysburg

Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds (below) - considered to be one of the Union's most competent commanders - was killed when a musket ball struck him in the neck whilst he attempted to succor Buford's cavalry division.

Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds (below) - considered to be one of the Union's most competent commanders - was killed when a musket ball struck him in the neck whilst he attempted to succor Buford's cavalry division.

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Lee talking, to Gettysb;

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The tiny farmhouse (above) to the rear of Cemetery Ridge which was used by Gen. Meade as his Union headquarters throughout most of the conflict at Gettysburg.

area unfamiliar. But, soon after noon, Rodes's division of Ewell's Corps arrived on Oak Hill and attacked the right of I Corps. At 2 p.m. Heth's division joined the attack on I Corps. At 3 p.m., the battle spread north of the town when Jubal Early's division of Ewell's Corps attacked down the Harrisburg Road and crushed the flank of XI Corps. At about the same time, west of Gettysburg, Pender's division relieved Heth and assaulted I Corps' position along Seminary Ridge. By 4 p.m., both Federal corps were in retreat through Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill. Federal losses numbered slightly over 9,000, including some 3,000 captured, compared with Confederate losses of about 6,500.

The day's action had resulted in a Confederate victory, but Federal forces held onto the high ground south of Gettysburg, where their position was soon strengthened by reinforcements.

Union casualties (below) on the first day of the battle were severe; the 24th Michigan infantry lost 399 of its 496 men. In total, I Corps had lost nearly 5,700 men. Confederate losses were nearly as numerous.

The appointment of George Meade (above) as Hooker's replacement on June 27 was welcomed by the Union army. Meade himself was reluctant to accept command and Gettysburg was the first test of his leadership.

Union casualties (below) on the first day of the battle were severe; the 24th Michigan infantry lost 399 of its 496 men. In total, I Corps had lost nearly 5,700 men. Confederate losses were nearly as numerous.

The appointment of George Meade (above) as Hooker's replacement on June 27 was welcomed by the Union army. Meade himself was reluctant to accept command and Gettysburg was the first test of his leadership.

In the absence of reports from him, [Stuart] I am in ignorance of what we have in front of us here. It may be the whole Federal Army, or it may be only a detachment. If it is the whole Federal force, we must fight a battle here."

Lee talking to Gen R.H. Anderson on the approach to Gettysburg.

A Union gunner of Meredith's Iron Brigade.

(^P) July 1,5.30 am: Opening shots fired

8 am: Archer and Davis of Heth's division begins advance on Gettysburg

10 am: Reynolds lulled by Confederate marksman: ; succeeded by Doubleday

Mid am: Meredith's Iron Brigade turns back Archer's troops; Archer taken prisoner

12 noon: :XI Corps under Schurz arrives

12 noon: Confederate artillery fires on Union lines from Oak Hill

2 pm: Rodes advances on the Union right.

Bee 13,2 pro: Made dispatches Hancock from Tanevtp^ra so.replace Reynolds

230-pmi Lee arrives on-Herr Ridge to survey the battlefield

2.30 par. %hurz.'s'division crumbles under Early's attack

2,30 pmi Lee sends, in Heth and Pender; Heth funded

3.30 pm: Under Early's onslaught, Schurz's line flees south into Gettysburg

'" 4 pm: Pender's troops force Union retreat to Gettysburg and Cemetery Hill

4 pm: Hancock arrives on Cemetery Hill

,30 pm: Union troops retreat to Cemetery Hill and begin entrenching

4.30 pm; Lee gives Ewell discretionary orders to attack Cemetery Hill; Ewell declines

6 pm: Sickles's corps arrives

7 pm: Hancock leaves for Taneytown to summon or seven or eight minutes ensued probably the most desperate fight ever waged between artillery and infantry at close range without a particle of cover on either side, bullets hissing, humming and whistling everywhere; cannon roaring; all crash on crash and peal on peal, smoke, dust, splinters, blood, wreck and carnage indescribable."

1 Mile

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