Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gettysburg Overview

Day One

Contact made on McPherson's Ridge early in the day. Union forces hold and even push the Confederates back early on, mostly due to Reynold's artillery placement. Ewell and Hill arrive from the north and the west, driving the Federals from McPherson's Ridge and back through the streets of Gettysburg in a rout. Many Union prisoners taken. U.S. Army driven out of the town and up Culp's Hill. Ewell does not pursue his advantage and finish the Federals off. Instead, the Federals spend the night fortifying the heights. Reinforcements for both sides continue to arrive through the evening and night.

Day Two

Lee mounts a major attack on the Union left flank at the Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Roundtops and Devils Den with Longstreet's I Corp. After a very bloody battle, the Union still holds the high ground on their left. Lee then attacks Meade's right flank hard at Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill with Ewell. More desparate fighting. Union repulses and still holds defensive high ground at end of day two.

Day Three

Morning, Federals drive off remainder of Ewells forces at base of Culp's Hill. In early afternoon, Sedgewick's "Big Six" VI Corps arrives from Maryland after marching all night and day. Meade holds the corps in reserve. Later in the Afternoon, Lee orders a monumental frontal attack on the Union Center with artillery and three divisions of infantry. Suicide divisions are Trimble, Pettigrew, and Pickett. Union levels artillery and cuts the Confederate chargers with grape and case shot. Huge loss of life on both sides. Not enough Confederates survive to prevail, but the Union Line is pierced briefly. Stuart tries to get behind the Union center and attack from the rear, but is defeated by Union cavalry.

Day Four

Lee retires.


  1. Had Ewell pressed his advantage on Day One of the battle there probably would not have been a Day Two or Day Three. Of course, we can blame some of this on the fact that General Lee did not have his "eyes" to see what the Union forces were doing.

    Perhaps if J.E.B Stuart hadn't been out showboating and gotten himself mixed up in the Battle of Brandy Station he would have been at Gettysburg when Lee really needed him. Maybe if "Granny" Ewell had known he had the advantage on the first day he would have pressed it and not let the Union troops refortify and put themselves in the position to ultimately win the battle.

    A lot of 'maybes' but truth be told, everything happens for a reason, doesn't it?

  2. @Linda - I'm glad you have an interest in the Civil War. I envy that you have visited Gettysburg. The closest I have got is Baltimore and DC now. (Dancing in the street, remember? Never mind.) Heh. And up through York. And probably Harrisburg. But never over to Gettysburg. Someday. Anyway, another reason I'm glad is because it gives me someone to argue with now. :) I should have made a general post like this one a long time ago so the debating could already be going on. There are so many different opinions. Every book I read had a different theory, and all authors think they are authoritative. Still, I will try to post about other things and put a Gettysburg post up from time to time, but not so much detail, so you and others can fill in. It is no fun reading my version alone.

    I disagree with you on a few of the points you make here (what else is new, right?) but will give my side in subsequent posts. Just to make you read my blog. :) Thanks again.

  3. @Adullamite - I find myself in complete agreement with you on these posts. Something must be wrong. :)



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