July 1 1430 - 1600 hrs

Afternoon Breakthrough - Heth Tries Again

Lee arrived on the field shortly after 1300 hours and confirmed Heth's decision to remain in position and wait. Then the Confederates on Herr Ridge saw the yankees begin to shift to face a new threat from the northeast. This was caused by Rodes' Division arriving on the field. When that Division met considerable opposition, Heth found Lee and asked, "Rodes is very heavily engaged, had I not better attack?" With his army still not concentrated, Lee was still unready to bring on a general engagement. Only after Early's opportune arrival changed the battle's calculus, did Lee permit first Heth, and then Pender, to advance.

Until that time, Heth's Division remained north of the Chambersburg Pike with the duty of intercepting stragglers and returning them to the battle line. Later, when Daniel's Brigade charged past and some of the soldiers called out for Davis' men to join, the demoralised soldiers declined.

For his second assault against McPherson's Ridge, Heth expected little from Davis' shattered brigade. He stationed Brockenbrough's Brigade on the Division's left, with its own left flank anchored on the Chambersburg Pike. Pettlgrew's large Brigade manned the centre. Archer's Brigade supported Pettigrew's right. At about 1430 hours these units descended from Herr Ridge and charged toward McPherson's Ridge.

From the west of Wllloughby Run, nine batteries belonging to the Confederate Army's Reserve Artillery supported the advance. Pegram's guns occupied a low crest just south of the Chambersburg Pike. The Danville Artillery and the Whitworth section of the Hardaway Artillery joined these five batteries at this position. The Jackson Flying Artillery and the 3-inch rifled section of the Hardaway Artillery took station on a commanding rise closer to the Fairfield Road. The

2nd Rockbridge Artillery deployed just north of the Chambersburg Pike. At first these guns opened a slow and methodical fire. When the Federal artillery uncovered, their fire intensified. At one point one of Garnett's batteries replaced a reserve battery because it had consumed all of its ammunition. Overall, the Confederate artillery provided excellent service along this front. However, the lack of firing positions kept Lane's, Poague's, Cutt's, and all except the one battery of Garnett's, from joining in. They all remained in reserve well back on the Chambersburg Pike.

When the infantry went forward, Brockenbrough's advance apparently lacked conviction. His Virginians initially headed toward Stone's Brigade. After a stem but brief contest with Stone's skirmishers, the brigade neared the crest of McPherson's Ridge. A small

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment