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

First Brigade

First Division - Second Corps

 

—Army of the Potomac —

 
First Brigade, First Division, Second Corps Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
1. First Brigade, First Division, Second Corps Tablet
The trefoil of Second Corps appears at the top of the tablet.
Inscription.
Army of the Potomac
Second Corps First Division
First Brigade

Col. Edward E. Cross, Col. H. Boyd McKeen
5th. New Hampshire 61st. New York
81st. 148th. Pennsylvania Infantry

July 2 Arrived about 7 a.m. and was massed in woods at left and rear of the line of Corps and at 10 a.m. took position forming the left of Division in column of regiments. Between 5 and 6 p.m. moved with Division to the support of Third Corps forming line of battle along a stone wall at the rear and east of the Wheatfield and advanced against the Confederate forces in the Wheatfield and in the woods at the left forcing them back to the farther end of the Wheatfield and taking many prisoners when the ammunition being exhausted the Brigade was relieved by part of Second Division Fifth Corps and Second Brigade First Division Fifth Corps and retired to the stone wall and finally with Division to former position in line with Corps. Col. Cross fell mortally wounded early in the engagement.

July 3 Constructed breastworks early in the morning which gave protection from the cannonade in the afternoon.
Remained in position until the close of the battle.

Casualties. Killed 2 officers 55 men. Wounded 22 officers 238 men.
Cross' Brigade Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
2. Cross' Brigade Tablet
Captured or missing 13 men. Total 330.
 
Erected 1912 by Gettysburg National Military Park Commission.
 
Location. 39° 47.767′ N, 77° 14.503′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Ayres Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located in the Wheatfield section 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. 148th Pennsylvania Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 2d Pennsylvania Reserves (within shouting distance of this marker); 81st Pennsylvania Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Division (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Frederick Taylor (within shouting distance of this marker); Second U.S. Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named First Brigade (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 61st New York Infantry (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Wheatfield. National Park Service
Cross's Brigade Line image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
3. Cross's Brigade Line
Cross's Brigade held a line somewhat diagonally across the Wheatfield, as indicated by the monuments. Seen here on the line are the 148th Pennsylvania, 81st Pennsylvania, and 61st New York (most distant). Behind the camera in the woods close to the intersection of Sickles and Ayres Avenue stands the 5th New Hampshire.
virtual tour stop. (Submitted on February 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Report of Col. H. Boyd McKeen. Replacing Col. Cross, Col. McKeen reported on the action in the Wheatfield:
The brigade steadily drove the enemy back to the far end of the wheat-field, a distance of over 400 yards. So quickly was this done that prisoners were taken by the brigade before the enemy had time to spring from their hiding-places to retreat. A brigade of the Fifth Corps relieved the Sixty-first. Eighty-first, and a portion of the One hundred and forty-eighth. Perceiving that if the balance of the brigade should retire it would expose the left flank of this brigade, I kept the balance of the One hundred and forty-eighth in position. At this time I was informed that Colonel Cross, who commanded the brigade, was mortally wounded, and that the command of the brigade devolved upon me.

The Fifth and One hundred and forty-eighth remained in position, steadily holding the enemy in check, until every round of cartridge in this portion of the brigade was expended, and even then held their position until relieved by a brigade of General Barnes' division, of the Fifth Corps. Passing the relieving brigade by file, they retired in splendid order, as they were enfiladed by a galling fire from our left flank (faced to the rear). Joining the balance of the brigade at the stone wall first spoken of, the brigade rejoined the division, and again moved to their old position on the left center.
(Submitted on February 1, 2009, 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 681 times since then and 91 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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