Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Violent Collision of Cavalry
—July 3, 1863 - Third Day —
"So sudden and violent was the collision that many of the horses were turned end over end, and crushed their riders beneath them."
Capt. William E. Miller, U.S.A.
3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry
On the afternoon of July 3, Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart mounted several cavalry attacks against Brig. Gen. David M. Gregg's Union cavalry positioned along the Hanover Road 1/2 mile in front of you. A colonel of the 1st Virginia Cavalry reported the fighting was "hand to hand, blow for blow, cut for cut, and oath for oath...."
At 4:00 p.m., Stuart assembled 12 regiments of troopers for the last great charge of the day. A Union officer wrote of the massed Confederates: "In close column of squadrons, advancing as if in review, with sabers drawn and glistening like silver in the bright sunlight-the spectacle called forth a murmur of admiration."
The closest Union regiment available to halt the Southern horsemen was the 1st Michigan Cavalry. Brig. Gen. George A. Custer rode to the head of the regiment, stood up in the stirrups with his saber aloft and with a determined yell, led a countercharge. While Custer viciously attacked the head of the Confederate column, other Union cavalry under Col. John B. McIntosh closed in on the flanks. Assaulted on three sides, the Confederates retreated. The attack on the Union
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Location. 39° 49.597′ N, 77° 9.902′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Gregg Avenue (Cavalry Field Road), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located in the East Cavalry Battlefield section of the Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Second Brigade (a few steps from this marker); Co. A Purnell Legion (within shouting distance of this marker); Michigan Cavalry Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Division (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Union Cavalry (about 600 feet away); First Brigade (about 600 feet away); Third Pennsylvania Cavalry (about 700 feet away); 1st Regiment Maryland Cavalry (approx. 0.2 miles away); First New Jersey Cavalry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Stuart Strikes the Rear (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. The center of the marker is a painting depicting Custer's charge, Shouting, "Come on you Wolverines!," Brig. Gen. George A. Custer leads a daring countercharge
On the upper right is a portrait of Col. John B. McIntosh who helped Custer defeat the last Confederate charge here. His brother James, a Confederate general, had been killed at Pea Ridge in March 1862.
On the lower right is a portrait of Brig. Gen. Wade Hampton, a wealthy South Carolina landowner, commanded a Confederate cavalry brigade here. He received three saber blows to the head and a wound in the side, but later recovered. Confederate casualties in this action totaled 181; Union, 254.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Virtual Tour by Markers of the East Cavalry Battlefield at Gettysburg.
Also see . . . East Cavalry Battlefield. National Park Service page. (Submitted on July 13, 2008, 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 1,647 times since then and 12 times this year. Last updated on , by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 8. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 9. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 10. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 11. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.