“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cumberland Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

First Division

Third Corps


— Army of the Potomac —

First Division Tablet image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
1. First Division Tablet
The diamond symbol of the Federal III Corps appears at the top of the tablet.
Army of the Potomac
Third Corps
First Division

Major General David B. Birney
Brigadier General J.H. Hobart Ward

July 1. This Division was at Emmitsburg covering roads from Fairfield and Gettysburg. Shortly after 3 p.m. marched to Gettysburg leaving De Trobriand's Brigade.

July 2. This Brigade rejoined. At about 7 a.m. Birney relieved Geary's 2d Division 12th Corps. His left resting near Little Round Top, his right joining Humphrey's on Cemetery Ridge. Picket line holding Emmitsburg Road. Shortly after 2 p.m. Division wheeled to the left occupying high ground from Plum Run to Peach Orchard and thence along Emmitsburg Road to Sherfy House. Ward's Brigade on the left. De Trobriand's in the centre, and Graham's on the right. Burling's Brigade Humphrey's Division in reserve near Birney's centre.
Confederate Artillery opened at 3 o'clock. Soon after, three Brigades of Hood's Division attacked Ward on Birney's left, extending later to De Trobriand. These attacks were successfully resisted.
At 5.45 p.m. two Brigades of McLaw's Division attacked Birney's right and centre. Two Brigades of 5th Corps
Tablets at the Northwest Corner of the Peach Orchard image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
2. Tablets at the Northwest Corner of the Peach Orchard
Closest to the camera is the First Division, III Corps tablet. The III Corps tablet stands next to it. Past it is the Second Division, III tablet, with the Artillery Brigade, III Corps tablet on the far end.
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advanced to the rocky knoll at De Trobriand's right but withdrew after a brief contest. Here occurred the first break in Birney's line. Movement against south face of Peach Orchard checked by Batteries on Birney's right centre.
The Confederates renewed their attack on Birney's centre.
Caldwell's Division 2d Corps now arrived and, with troops from the 5th Corps, relieved Birney except at the Peach Orchard.
About 6.30 p.m. Birney's right at the Peach Orchard was attacked on both fronts and broken opposite Sherfy House after stubborn resistance. Through this gap the Confederates swept forward, crushing Birney's right which rejoined its Division.

July 3. The Division was held in reserve and detachments moved to threatened points.
Casualties: Killed 22 officers 249 men. Wounded 105 officers, 1278 men. Captured or missing 12 officers, 344 men. Total 2011.
Erected 1910 by Gettysburg National Military Park Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1422.
Location. 39° 48.085′ N, 77° 15.004′ W. Marker is in Cumberland Township, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Wheatfield Road and Emmitsburg Road (Business U.S. 15), on the right when traveling east on Wheatfield Road.
General David Birney image. Click for full size.
3. General David Birney
Like General Sickles, Birney owed much of his position to political connections. However, he was considered one of the better "political generals" of the war. He would die of an illness contracted while serving around Petersburg in 1864.

(Library of Congress Collection, Selected Civil War photographs, 1861-1865, Call Number: LC-BH82- 4052 A <P&P>[P&P])
Located near stop 10, the Peach Orchard, on the driving tour of Gettysburg National Military Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Third Corps (here, next to this marker); Second Division (a few steps from this marker); Battery G, 1st N.Y. Light Artillery (a few steps from this marker); Barksdale's Brigade (a few steps from this marker); Artillery Brigade (a few steps from this marker); Battery C, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery F, Pennsylvania Light Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.
Also see . . .  Reports of Maj. Gen. David B. Birney. Concerning his Division's dispositions just before the Confederate assault of July 2, Birney wrote:
My line was formed with Ward on the left, resting on the mountain, De Trobriand in the center, and Graham on my right in the peach orchard, with his right on the Emmitsburg road. Smith's battery of rifled guns was placed so as to command the gorge at the base of the Sugar Loaf Mountain; Winslow's battery on the right of Ward's brigade, and a battery from the Artillery Reserve; also Clark's and Ames' batteries to the right, in rear of the peach orchard, supported by Graham's brigade,
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and the Third Michigan, from the Third Brigade, and the Third Maine, from the Second Brigade. Randolph's, Seeley's, and Turnbull's batteries were placed near the Emmitsburg road, on the front, parallel with it. I immediately sent an aide to Major-General Sykes asking for the division promised to support my left. I now opened (say at 3.30 p.m.) with Clark's and Smith's batteries upon the columns of the enemy moving toward our left, parallel with the Emmitsburg road.
(Submitted on October 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 873 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Dec. 9, 2022