“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Peach Orchard Salient


—July 2, 1863 - Second Day —

The Peach Orchard Salient Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
1. The Peach Orchard Salient Marker
(Note that General Meade's middle initial is incorrect on this marker. His middle name was "Gordon."
Inscription. "Sickles's movement practically destroyed his own corps...; and with what result? - driving us back to the position he was ordered to hold originally."
Maj. Gen. George C. Meade, U.S.A.
Commander, Army of the Potomac

On the morning of July 2, Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles was assigned a position 3/4-mile to your left near Little Round Top. That afternoon - without orders - he advanced his 10,000-man Union Third Corps, part of it taking position on this high ground around John Sherfy's peach orchard. Sickles believed it was a stronger position.

At the Peach Orchard, Sickles' mile-long line formed a sharp angle, or salient. About 5:30 p.m., following a hot artillery duel, Confederate infantry led by Brig. Gen. J.B. Kershaw attacked the Peach Orchard by way of the Rose Farm (to your left), but were shredded by rapid rounds of Union canister.

About 6:00 p.m., Confederate infantry of Barksdale's and Wofford's Brigades struck the Peach Orchard from the west (in front of you), "Shrieking like Indians," the Rebels drove the Union defenders back toward Cemetery Ridge. Sickles' salient was crushed.
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Location. 39° 48.062′ N, 77° 14.93′ 
Battle Map showing Sickles' Positions Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
2. Battle Map showing Sickles' Positions
W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Wheatfield Road and Birney Lane, on the right when traveling east on Wheatfield Road. Click for map. Located near stop 10, the Peach Orchard, on the driving tour of Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 141st Pennsylvania Infantry (here, next to this marker); 68th Pennsylvania Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 15th New York Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery F, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery C, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Artillery Brigade (about 300 feet away); Second Division (about 300 feet away); 3rd Michigan Infantry (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. In the upper center is a painting of the action near the Peach Orchard, captioned Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, commander of the Union Third Corps, rides to inspect his infantry and artillery at the Peach Orchard (right) on the afternoon of July 2. In the distance, the smoke of Confederate cannon rises above the long lines of Confederate infantry massing for an attack.
The Peach Orchard Salient Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
3. The Peach Orchard Salient Marker
Note the Longstreet Observation Tower in the distance, in the tree line. Barksdale's and Wofford's Brigades advanced toward the Peach Orchard from that tree line.

In the lower center is a portrait of Confederate Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Kershaw who led a flank attack on the Peach Orchard. As his men surged around the Rose farm buildings (visible on your left), the Union guns here raked them with a terrific fire. Kershaw noted, "I well remember the clatter of the grape against wall and houses as we passed."

On the lower right is a map detailing the action at the Peach Orchard with Sickles' advanced Union line and Sickles' assigned position indicated.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Peach Orchard Virtual Tour by Markers
Also see . . .  The Peach Orchard. A National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on October 25, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Marker on the Wheatfield Road Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, November 5, 2010
4. Marker on the Wheatfield Road
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,217 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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