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“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)
 

Battlefield Landmarks - West and North

July 3, 1863 - Third Day

 
 
Battlefield Landmarks - West and North Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
1. Battlefield Landmarks - West and North Marker
Inscription. "...The whole plain was covered with unarmed rebels, waving coats, hats, and handkerchiefs in token of a wish to surrender."
Lt. Col. Franklin Sawyer, U.S.A.
8th Ohio Infantry

You are standing at the Union position on Cemetery Ridge, looking west and a little north toward the Confederate position on Seminary Ridge. It was across this ground that Pettigrew and Trimble's Confederate infantry attacked on the afternoon of July 3.

When the attack failed, those Southerners not killed, wounded, or captured streamed back across the fields to Seminary Ridge.

(Numbered points indicated on the panoramic photograph):

(1) Emmitsburg Road
In 1863 this was a sunken, dirt road bordered by post-and-rail fences. On July 3, attacking Confederates were forced to either tear the fences down or climb over them, exposing themselves to the murderous fire of Union musketry and artillery.

(2) Virginia Memorial
This elegant memorial was erected in 1917 to honor all Virginians who fought at Gettysburg. Above the granite base stands a bronze figure of Gen. Robert E. Lee astride his horse "Traveler." Lee watched the attack from the point of woods to the left of the monument. It was here also that he consoled his defeated men, telling them, "It is all my fault."

(3) The Angle
This
Battlefield Landmarks and Pettigrew-Trimble Attacks Waysides Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
2. Battlefield Landmarks and Pettigrew-Trimble Attacks Waysides
To the right is the Battlefield Landmarks - West and North wayside. To the left is the Pettigrew and Trimble's Attacks wayside.
place where two stone walls join to form a 90 angle was the scene of desperate hand-to-hand fighting on July 3. Some Confederates succeeded in crossing the wall here, but were unable to prevail. Veterans remembered it as the "Bloody Angle."

(4) Site of Bliss Farm
On July 2, the house and farm of William Bliss provided shelter for Confederate sharpshooters who sniped at Union troops positioned here. Tired of this annoyance, Federals assaulted the farm buildings on the morning of July 3 and burned them to the ground. William Bliss lost all he owned.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 48.802′ N, 77° 14.131′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Hancock Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Located in front of "the Angle" on 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. Pettigrew and Trimble's Attack (here, next to this marker); Cyclorama Focal Point (a few steps from this marker); Arnold's Battery (a few steps from this marker); Army of the Potomac
Battlefield Landmarks - Panoramic View Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain
3. Battlefield Landmarks - Panoramic View
Panoramic view indicating the key points mentioned on the marker. (Click to enlarge)
(a few steps from this marker); Artillery Brigade (a few steps from this marker); Twenty-Sixth North Carolina Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker); Fourth Volunteer Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Lt. Alonzo Cushing (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. In the lower center is a portrait of General Hays. Brig. Gen. Alexander Hays commanded four lines of Union infantry positioned behind the stone wall and Brian Barn to your right. When the Confederate attack began, he had his men clean and load extra rifles. He occupied others with drill, leaving little time for fear.

When Confederate ranks neared the stone wall, the waiting Federals poured a murderous musket fire into them. Hays rode up and down the line encouraging his men, at one point shouting, "Harrah, boys, we're giving them hell."


On the lower right is a photo of the Brian farm. The historic Brian barn and house are visible to your right. Abraham Brian, a free black in 1863, fled Gettysburg at the approach of the Confederate army. During Pettigrew's attack on July 3, Mississippians of Davis' Brigade used the barn for cover until they were driven out or captured by Union reinforcements. General Hays used the house as his headquarters.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 797 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 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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