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Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Third Corps

 

—Army of the Potomac —

 
Third Corps Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
1. Third Corps Tablet
The diamond symbol of the Federal III Corps appears at the top of the tablet.
Inscription.
Army of the Potomac
Third Corps

Major General Daniel E. Sickles
Major General David B. Birney

July 1. This Corps was at Emmitsburg, complying with General Howard's urgent request received at 3.10 p.m. General Sickles marched his Corps except two Brigades and two Batteries to Gettysburg.

July 2. At daybreak these troops rejoined the Corps massed on the left of Cemetery Ridge.

During the forenoon the Confederates advanced toward the Union left. A reconnaissance disclosed their formation in three columns. Buford's Cavalry Division on the left flank had been withdrawn. About 2 p.m. this Corps, then the extreme left of the Union line changed front to check the enemy until the 5th Corps could march from the Union right and occupy the Round Tops. The 3rd Corps about 9800 men, formed line of battle from Plum Run to the Peach Orchard, thence along the Emmitsburg Road 300 yards past the Roger House, Birney's Division on left and Humphrey's Division along Emmitsburg Road against three Divisions, about 17000 strong under Longstreet. The Confederate batteries opened about 3 o'clock, the Infantry advancing soon after against the 3rd Corps left, following an oblique order of battle at 5.45 p.m. the enemy attacked the 3rd Corps left centre. Reinforcements repulsed this attack and occupied the Round Tops,
Tablets at the Northwest Corner of the Peach Orchard image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
2. Tablets at the Northwest Corner of the Peach Orchard
From left to right, the III Corps Artillery tablet, III Corps 2nd Division, III Corps, and the III Corps 1st Division tablets.
relieving Birney's Division except at the Peach Orchard. About 6.30 p.m. the 3rd Corps centre at the Peach Orchard was broken after a stubborn resistance, uncovering the left of Humphreys' Division which changed front and slowly retired following Birney to Cemetery Ridge and again advancing to the Emmitsburg Road, held that line until morning the battle continuing until 7.30 p.m.
General Sickles was severely wounded about 6 o'clock. General Birney taking command.

July 3 In support of the left centre on Cemetery Ridge.

Casualties 593 killed, 3029 wounded and 589 missing. Total 4211.
 
Erected 1907 by Gettysburg National Military Park Commission.
 
Location. 39° 48.086′ N, 77° 14.999′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Wheatfield Road and Emmitsburg Road (Business U.S. 15), 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. Second Division (here, next to this marker); First Division (here, next to this marker); Artillery Brigade
Major General Daniel Sickles image. Click for full size.
3. Major General Daniel Sickles
A controversial politician before the war, Sickles volunteered to serve the Union cause early in the war. At Gettysburg, his unauthorized repositioning of his Corps exposed part of the Federal lines. However, once engaged, Sickles directed his forces aggressively. While directing the battle, a cannonball shattered his right leg. He is said to have been carried from the field "calmly puffing a cigar." His leg was later placed on display at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

(Library of Congress Collection, Selected Civil War photographs, 1861-1865, Call Number: LC-B813- 1702 A[P&P])
(a few steps from this marker); Battery G, 1st N.Y. Light Artillery (a few steps from this marker); Barksdale's Brigade (a few steps from this marker); Battery C, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery F, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Peach Orchard. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on October 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Reports of Maj. Gen. David B. Birney. Birney assumed command of the Corps in the middle of the fighting. His summary of that change, written a month after the battle, does little to convey stress of the situation, however:
At 6 o'clock I found Major-General Sickles seriously wounded, and, at his request, took command of the troops. I immediately visited Humphreys' division, and, finding that the enemy, advancing through a gap in the line of my division, would take it in reverse, I ordered a change of front. General Humphreys accomplished this promptly under a most effective artillery and musketry fire, and, advancing his division rapidly, recaptured several batteries that the enemy had temporary possession of. (Submitted on October 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Major General Daniel Sickles. Article discussing General Sickles legacy with regard to Gettysburg. (Submitted on October 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 816 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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