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

First Volunteer Brigade

Artillery Reserve

 

—Army of the Potomac —

 
First Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve Tablet Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
1. First Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve Tablet
A set of crossed cannons, symbol of the artillery, is at the top of the tablet.
Inscription.
Army of the Potomac
Artillery Reserve
First Volunteer Brigade

Lieut. Col. Freeman McGilvery

5th Mass. Battery E (10th New York Attached)
Capt. Charles A. Phillips
July 2d Engaged on Third Corps line on the Wheatfield Road.

9th Mass. Battery
Capt. John Bigelow, Lieut. Richard S. Milton
July 2d Engaged on Third Corps line on the Wheatfield Road.
July 3d in Ziegler's Grove.

15th New York Battery
Capt. Patrick Hart
July 2d Engaged on Third Corps line on the Wheatfield Road.
July 3d On Second Corps line south of Pleasonton Avenue.

Penna. Batteries C and F
Capt. James Thompson
July 2d Engaged in Peach Orchard.
July 3d On line with Battery K 4th U.S. on right and Hart's Battery on left.

Casualties. Killed 1 officer 16 men. Wounded 10 officers 61 men. Captured or missing 5 men. Total 93.
 
Erected 1912 by Gettysburg National Military Park Commission.
 
Location. 39° 48.239′ N, 77° 14.077′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams
McGilvery's Brigade Tablet Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
2. McGilvery's Brigade Tablet
County. Marker is on Hancock Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Located on the south part of Cemetery Ridge in 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. 2nd Connecticut Light Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); 2nd Battery New Jersey Light Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); New York State Auxiliary Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Reverend Father William Corby, C.S.C. (within shouting distance of this marker); Dow's 6th Maine Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery H, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry (about 300 feet away); 15th Battery New York Light Artillery (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
Also see . . .  Cemetery Ridge. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on February 3, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Report of Lt. Col. Freeman McGilvery
Left End of McGilvery's Artillery Line Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
3. Left End of McGilvery's Artillery Line
Looking from across the street from the tablet, to the south. On the morning of July 3, McGilvery exercised operational control over a line of some thirty-nine artillery pieces deployed on a line through this section of the Federal line. Many of the batteries deployed here were attached from other commands. The gunners were protected by a rise of terrain to their front, and were not affected by the Confederate bombardment that afternoon.

Lt. Col. McGilvery was in the center of the action on July 2, and his gunners performed admirably. However on July 3, his batteries were not directly engaged during the Confederate bombardments. He wrote:
At about 12.30 o'clock the enemy opened a terrific fire upon our lines with at least one hundred and forty guns. This fire was very rapid and inaccurate, most of the projectiles passing from 20 to 100 feet over our lines. About one-half hour after the commencement, some general commanding the infantry line ordered three of the batteries to return the fire. After the discharge of a few rounds, I ordered the fire to cease and the men to be covered. After the enemy had fired about one hour and a half, and expended at least 10,000 rounds of ammunition, with but comparatively little damage to our immediate line, a slow, well-directed fire from all the guns under my command was concentrated upon single batteries of the enemy of those best in view, and several badly broken up and successively driven from their position to the rear.

At about 3 p.m. a line of battle of about 3,000 or 4,000 men appeared, advancing directly upon our front, which was completely broken up and scattered by our fire before coming within musket
Center and Right Side of McGilvery's Line Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
4. Center and Right Side of McGilvery's Line
To the right side of McGilvery's line were batteries from his own command. Thompson's, Philips' and Hart's Batteries deployed just south of where the Pennsylvania Memorial stands. During the Confederate bombardment in the afternoon of July 3, Second Corps commander General Winfield Hancock demanded that McGilvery open fire on the Confederates. McGilvery was under contrary orders from his commander, General Henry Hunt, to keep silent until the Confederate infantry advanced. The Hancock and McGilvery entered a rather heated and profane argument over the orders. Eventually McGilvery fired some of his guns, but ceased firing when Hancock left the sector for the Copse of Trees.
range of our lines. Immediately after, appeared three extended lines of battle, of at least 35,000 men, advancing upon our center. These three lines of battle presented an oblique front to the guns under my command, and by training the whole line of guns obliquely to the right, we had a raking fire through all three of these lines. The execution of the fire must have been terrible, as it was over a level plain, and the effect was plain to be seen. In a few minutes, instead of a well-ordered line of battle, there were broken and confused masses, and fugitives fleeing in every direction. This ended the operations of the batteries under my command at the battle of Gettysburg.


Note that McGilvery tactfully did not mention Hancock by name in his report.
(Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume XXVII/1 (S# 43), Report No. 318, pages 883-884.
    — Submitted February 3, 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 701 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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