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

Trapped in the Cut

July 1, 1863 - First Day

 
 
Trapped in the Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 1, 2008
1. Trapped in the Cut Marker
Inscription. "Surrender, or I will fire."
Lt. Col. Rufus R. Dawes, U.S.A.
6th Wisconsin Volunteers

The railroad cut visible in front of you was the scene of a dramatic engagement on the first day of the battle.

On the morning of July 1, a Confederate attack crushed the Union line here, sending the surviving Federals streaming back toward town (to your left). But shortly thereafter, Union units counterattacked, forcing a number of the Southerners to take cover in the railroad cut in front of you.

Despite deadly Confederate fire from the cut, Union infantry led by Lt. Col. Rufus R. Dawes and Col. Edward B. Fowler crossed the turnpike in front of you, climbed the fence there, and charged the cut. Although many were shot in the attempt, the charging Federals reached the edge of the cut and shouted, "Throw down your muskets!" Trapped between the steep slopes, about 230 Confederates surrendered.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 50.294′ N, 77° 14.864′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Reynolds Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located north of the Second Railroad Cut in Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Trapped in the Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 8, 2013
2. Trapped in the Cut Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brevet Major General James Samuel Wadsworth (here, next to this marker); Davis's Brigade (a few steps from this marker); 147th New York Infantry (a few steps from this marker); 3rd Indiana Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker); 56th Pennsylvania Infantry (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 95th New York Infantry (about 300 feet away); 14th Regiment New York State Militia (about 300 feet away); 6th Wisconsin Volunteers (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. In the center of the marker is a photo of The railroad cut about 1889, looking east toward Gettysburg. The photographer was standing on the opposite side of the track. At the time of the battle the cut was new, and track had not yet been laid. According to Colonel Dawes, the field in the photo "streamed with men who had been shot."

In the upper right is a portrait of Lt. Col. Rufus R. Dawes, U.S.A., who collected an armful of swords from surrendering Confederate officers in the railroad cut. He had ordered the daring charge in which 180 of the 420 men in his regiment were shot down.

In the lower right is a photo of the Battle flag of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry surrendered in the railroad cut.
 
Related markers.
Trapped in the Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, June 25, 2009
3. Trapped in the Cut Marker
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The Railroad Cut markers and monuments.
 
Also see . . .  The Railroad Cut. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on January 16, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Trapped in the Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 23, 2015
4. Trapped in the Cut Marker
Trapped in the Cut Marker<br>Main Text image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 23, 2015
5. Trapped in the Cut Marker
Main Text
Marker Stands Next to the Wadsworth Monument image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 1, 2008
6. Marker Stands Next to the Wadsworth Monument
Trapped in the Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 23, 2015
7. Trapped in the Cut Marker
Railroad Cut Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 13, 2007
8. Railroad Cut Today
A view similar to that from the photo on the marker. This looks east toward Gettysburg from about 200 yards up the track from the cut. There were three "cuts" referred to during the battle. This particular cut was the center of the three. The most significant change since the battle was the bridge placed over the cut to allow visitors to access the northern part of the battlefield.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,159 times since then and 141 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   4, 5. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   7. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   8. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on July 17, 2016.
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