"DAY TWO: HUMPHREYS? TURN" Top 5 Page for this destination Gettysburg National Military Park Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Gettysburg National Military Park Things to Do: 107 reviews and 380 photos
Brig. Gen. Andrew Humphreys, the son of the man who had designed the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides”, was the commander of Sickles III Corps division lying north of the Peach Orchard. Like Sickles’ other division under David Birney, Humphreys had to leave a flank ‘in the air’ - meaning that the end of the line was subject to be flanked by the enemy. With all that had been happening on Birney’s side of things, Sickles had depleted all of Humphreys’ reserves and then some - “…this ruinous habit putting troops in position & then drawing off its reserves … to help others …is disgusting.” With Gen. Barksdale crushing through the Peach Orchard, Humphreys found himself attacked by the Mississippians on his left and from troops put forward by a new Rebel division - that of Richard Anderson. From here came the brigade of Cadmus Wilcox’s Alabamians. Humphreys only had two brigades on hand and really had no other choice but to retreat to Cemetery Ridge, which his forces did as stubbornly as they could losing some 1600 men in the process - 45% of those who started out. Time was bought at a high price for reinforcements to help shore the line on Cemetery Ridge. Meade had asked Humphreys to be his chief of staff to replace Daniel Butterfield. Humphreys had declined to give up his division, something he may have been having second thoughts about on this afternoon.
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