Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Bigelow's Desperate Stand
July 2, 1863 - Second Day
Capt. John Bigelow, U.S.A.
9th Massachusetts Artillery
Here at the farm of Abraham Trostle on the afternoon of July 2, Capt. John Bigelow positioned the six cannon of his 9th Massachusetts Battery. Attacking Confederates who had driven Bigelow back from the Peach Orchard had him backed up against the stone wall to your right.
As Bigelow prepared to "limber up" and retreat again, his superior, Lt. Col. Freeman McGilvery, rode up with the order to hold the position "at all hazards" until a Union line could be established in the rear (to your right). Bigelow's gunners would have to face the Confederate onslaught without infantry support.
The cannoneers piled ammunition beside the guns for rapid loading. Soon Mississippians and South Carolinians crowded right up to the muzzles of the Union guns, only to be "blown away." When Confederate marksmen reached the farm buildings and began shooting cannoneers and their horses, Bigelow's men made their escape. The Confederates captured four cannon, but Bigelow had bought valuable time.
Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, controversial commander of the Union Third Corps, established his headquarters beside the
Although many believe Sickles nearly lost Gettysburg for the Union, he helped to save it in 1895 by introducing legislation establishing Gettysburg National Military Park.
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Location. 39° 48.114′ N, 77° 14.573′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on United States Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Located at the Trostle Farm 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. 3d Corps Headquarters (a few steps from this marker); Ninth Massachusetts Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); 150th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Major General Sickles (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Ninth Massachusetts Battery 2nd Position of 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers (approx. 0.2 miles away); End of the Second Day (approx. 0.2 miles away); 7th New Jersey Volunteers (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. In the upper center and right are wartime photos of the Trostle house. These photos were taken from near this point on July 6, 1863, four days after the fighting. Horses that once pulled Bigelow's cannon lie rotting in the Trostle farmyard. Forty-five horses were killed. Note also the overturned limber to the right of the house. During the battle, a Confederate shell crashed into the gable of the Trostle barn; the hole can still be seen today. In the lower center is a portrait of General Sickles.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Trostle Farm at Gettysburg - virtual tour by markers.
Also see . . .
1. The Trostle Farm. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on March 28, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. The Trostle Farm. Historic American Buildings Survey (Submitted on March 29, 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 1,209 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on , by Henry T. McLin of Hanover, Pennsylvania. 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5, 6. submitted on , by Henry T. McLin of Hanover, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.