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The Trostle Farm and Plum Run were GEN Sickles established his headquarters in the yard of the house and waited for the arrival of GEN Meade. Sickles' advanced battle line stretched from the Devil's Den to the Peach Orchard, and then northward on the Emmitsburg Road, a very wide area to cover and Sickles barely had enough troops to do so. Once the Confederate attack had begun at 4 PM on July 2nd, Meade ordered Sickles to keep his troops where they were so that they could be reenforced. Sickles was mounted on his horse watching the battle when one of his legs was seriously wounded by a Confederate shell (he later lost the leg). Countless Union soldiers marching toward the sound of battle encountered the general on his stretcher, calmly smoking his cigar and saluting them with a wave of his hat as he was carried along the Baltimore Pike, an inspiring sight to those who about to go into battle. Although many thought GEN Sickles almost lost Gettysburg for the Union, he helped saved it in 1895 by introducing legislation establishing the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Plum Run was also the site of Bigelow's Stand. A narrow farm lane that ran east to west beside the Trostle buildings was used by Union artillery to reach positions near the Peach Orchard, and retreating artillerymen galloped their horses and guns back down the same lane to make their way toward Cemetery Ridge. Most of the Union batteries made it except for the rookie 9th Massachusetts Battery, commanded by CPT John Bigelow. Bigelow was ordered to hold until a new artillery line could be formed on Cemetery Ridge. The men unlimbered the guns, loaded, and grimly waited for the converging ranks of southerners to get closer. "The enemy approached over the knoll," Bigelow reported, "Waiting till they were breast high, my battery discharged... double-shotted canister and solid shot. Through the smoke [I] caught a glimpse of the enemy... torn and broken, but still advancing." Bigelow's gunners kept up a steady fire, keeping the Confederates at a respectful distance until orders to withdraw finally arrived. Quickly the men quickly limbered the guns. The first gun team rushed toward the single gate near the house and had almost made it through when a wheel caught one of the posts, upsetting the gun in the gateway and blocking it. They had to retreat without their cannons when the Confederate infantry reached them, but they had gained valuable time.
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