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Gettysburg National Military Park Off The Beaten Path: 9 reviews and 28 photos
Volunteer State Monument
The Volunteer State brought three regiments east to Gettysburg, all a part of the brigade of Brig. Gen. James Archer. It was a Tennessean bullet that probably killed Union I Corps commander John Reynolds as he was directing his arriving troops onto the scene. In the ensuing fighting with the Iron Brigade, the Tennesseans and Alabamians suffered heavy losses of over 30% in one hour and with the capture of their brigade commander were forced to withdraw. For July 3, the division which had started out under Harry Het’s command - wounded during the fighting of July 1 - was now under the command of J. Pettigrew and the brigade was now commanded by Col. Birkett Fry. His brigade was the guide brigade in what became Pettigrew’s Charge. The colonel of the 7th Tennessee, John Fite, estimated that half of his men didn’t make it to the Emmittsburg Pike on that day. Half of the remaining men would advance, but as Fite recalled, “What wasn’t shot down of our crowd fell down.” In command of the supporting division, Isaac Trimble watched Fry’s brigade as they reached the Emmittsburg Pike where ‘they seemed to sink into the earth under the tempest of fire poured into them.” The monument here was dedicated in 1982 - last of the Confederate State monuments to be placed here.
"Onward brave Mississippeans, for Glory"
Mississippi sent three brigades to the fight here. One of the reasons Ambrose Wright’s brigade failed to hold its position atop Cemetery Ridge late on July 2 was a lack of support. One of the brigades that was supposed to support the Georgians was that of Brig. Gen Carnot Posey and they never made it past the Emmittsburg Pike, a long ways from Wright’s men. The brigade of Brig. Gen. Joseph Davis, nephew of President Jefferson Davis, was initially successful in putting one Federal brigade - that of Lysander Cutler - to flight on July 1, but the victory disorganized Davis’ brigade to the extent that a counterattack by the 6th Wisconsin, put the Rebels to flight, losing 232 prisoners in a railroad cut. The brigade was also involved in the July 3 attack on the left flank of Pettigrew’s division. They got bunched up at the beginning of the attack making an easier target for Federal artillery and as the brigade on the left flank, they were pounded hard. The left flank of the brigade was held by the 11th Mississippi which lost 312 of its 592 men - maybe a third or more to artillery fire.
The third brigade, William Barksdale’s, gave Mississippi its greatest success on the afternoon of July 2 when a magnificent attack on the Peach Orchard destroyed the Federal brigade of Charles Graham - who was wounded and captured - and lead to the collapse of the III Corps line along the Emmittsburg Road. Barksdale’s men continued to advance towards Cemetery Ridge before Union reinforcements and fatigue put a stop to them. In their withdrawal, Barksdale - mortally wounded, was left behind.
South Carolina Monument on Seminary Ridge
South Carolina sent two infantry brigades to fight at Gettysburg. One, under Brig. Gen. Joseph Kershaw, had already been in the heart of action at the stone wall at Marye‘s Heights at Fredericksburg where they helped Cobb‘s brigade turn back multiple Federal assaults. Here these men were heavily involved in actions that roiled in the Wheatfield and Rose’s Woods. Kershaw’s Brigade would go on to be in the heat of things at Chickamauga, later in the year. The other brigade, led by Col. Abner Perrin, was part of the famous “Light Division” formerly commanded by A. P. Hill. This brigade was in the center of the division’s line when they pushed the Federals off Seminary Ridge on July 1. Perrin would become a general shortly after the battle and go on to fight further, dying at the Mule Angle at Spotsylvania a year later. He exclaimed before leading a counterattack there that “I shall come out of this fight a live major general or a dead brigadier!” Seven bullets found him and he is buried at the Confederate Cemetery in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Another famous South Carolina addition to the Army of North Virginia was the brigade of Wade Hampton (two of six of the regiments were from the Palmetto State). Hampton was wounded three times in the cavalry fighting east of the main battlefield. The monument was dedicated in 1963.
Looking toward Cemetery Ridge from LA Monument
Louisiana has chosen to place her State monument - in 1971 - where the batteries of her Washington Artillery set up on July 3 in support of the largest Confederate artillery bombardment of the War supporting Pickett’s Charge - two guns of the battery signaled the start for the bombardment. However, Louisianas were much more involved in the fighting for Cemetery Hill where the brigade of Harry Hays, the Louisiana Tigers, actually captured some of the guns before being forced to retreat from lack of support. The Tigers had a reputation as one the best units from the South, though with a strong foreign composition, they also suffered some of the highest rates of desertion in some regiments. Some of the French-speaking units were attired in Zouave gear, giving them an even more exotic flare. Many were recruited from the wharf district of New Orleans and were considered a bit unsavory, but after one particular battle where the Tigers broke through a Federal line, Confederate Gen. Jubal Early exclaimed, "Those damned Louisiana fellows may steal as much as they please now!"
Further over on Culp’s Hill, the Nicholl’s Brigade - under the command of Col. Jesse Williams - fought the NewYorkers of Greene’s Brigade for four hours on the steep forested slopes in the dark on July 2 for little gain
Georgia State Monument at Gettysburg
Georgia was the most populous southern State. Eight full brigades of Georgians fought here at Gettysburg. Four brigades were heavily involved in Longstreet’s attack on July 2 - two brigades - Benning’s and Anderson’s, part of Hood’s division, being sent into the fighting in Rose’s Woods and the Wheatfield. The other two brigades - Semmes’ - mortally wounded in the fight - and L%[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_T._Wofford]Wofford’s%L* followed later into the Wheatfield. Anderson’s brigade especially suffered, losing nearly 50% of the brigade in casualties that day.
Two brigades, those of Doles and Gordon, were involved in the breakdown of the Federal IX Corps north of Gettysburg on July 1. They saw little action in the rest of the fight. Thomas’ brigade was mainly in reserve for the entire fight. The other brigade, under Ambrose Wright actually penetrated the Union center on Cemetery Ridge before being thrown back by Stannard’s Vermonters and lack of reinforcement. Wright told Porter Alexander, Longstreet’s tactical artillery director the next day about the prospects for a successful assault by Pickett that, “It is not as hard to get there as it looks. I was up there yesterday with my brigade. The real difficulty is to stay there after you get there…”
The Georgian State Monument is very similar to the one erected at L%[http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/182171/]Antietam%L* and was dedicated in 1961. "We sleep here in obedience to law; when duty called we came, when country called, we died."
Arkansas State Monument to the 3rd AK Regiment
Like Texas, Arkansas was a long way from Virginia. The monument here is basically commemorating the efforts of the 3rd Arkansas Regiment - which was actually the first full Arkansas regiment to be raised. The 3rd served first in West Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, coming east in December of 1862 to become part of the Texas Brigade for the rest of the War. Along with the other regiments in the Brigade, they were involved in very heavy fighting in Rose’s Woods and the Devil’s Den. At Appomattox, there were only 150 men left of the nearly 1500 men that had marched east to fight.
The monument was dedicated here in 1966.
Alabama State Monument
Alabama erected this fine memorial to her Confederate soldiers in 1933, one of the first Southern State monuments here. The monument is on the location where Brig. Gen. Evander Law’s brigade - the right flank of the Rebel army on July 2 - set off on its attack of the Union left. The brigade belonged to Gen. John Hood’s division and right at the start of the attack, Hood was wounded and Law had to take over command of the division. Law did not know the direction Lee wanted the division to take and the attack was split - some of the attackers going after the Devil’s Den and others up the Little Round Top. The Little Round Top was where the fight between the 20th Maine and the Alabamians under Col. William Oates took place.
Two other brigades of Alabamians fought here at Gettysburg - the brigade under Edward O’Neal were ambushed on Oak Ridge on July 1 near where the Peace Memorial is located. The brigade of Cadmus Wilcox was involved in pushing back Union positions north of the Peach Orchard. Their forward progress was stopped with by an attack of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, but only at a very high cost. They attacked Union positions again on July 3 trying to help support the right flank of Pickett’s division, but lack of guidance sent them off course. In the face of heavy fire, Wilcox decided the attack would serve no purpose and retreated.
Texas State Monument
Texas provided the better part of one brigade to the Army of Northern Virginia’s efforts here at Gettysburg. That brigade was known as Hood’s Brigade - later, simply the Texas Brigade after Gen. John Hood left for the Army of Tennessee. The Texans were under the command of %L[http://www.rocemabra.com/~roger/tagg/generals/general46.html ]Brig. Gen. Jerome Robertson%L* and had been for awhile since their former leader, John Hood had been promoted to division command - a division that the Brigade belonged to. Hood, incidentally, was wounded right at the start of the division’s attack on July 2, a problem that would lead to lack of command control in the following attacks.
The Texans were the next to last brigade on the Confederate right the day of the July 2 attack. Most of their force - including the 3rd Arkansas - went into action at the Devil’s Den and Rose’s Woods, but a couple regiments found their way up Little Round Top to join in the assault there. After heavy fighting and many losses, they captured the positions at the Devil’s Den but were turned back on the Little Round Top.
The Texas Brigade swelled to some 4400 men during the War, but by Appomatox, only 600 survived at the final surrender. The monument here is very similar to other monuments - Antietam, Wilderness - that Texas has erected to the memory of their efforts in the War.
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