Cumberland Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Battle Opens
July 1st, 1863 - The First Day
“Forward, men, forward for God’s sake, & drive those fellows out of those woods.”
Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds, U.S.A.
Commander, First Army Corps.
On the morning of July 1, 1863, the bloodiest single battle of the Civil War began here on the outskirts of Gettysburg.
About 8 a.m., 7,000 Confederate infantry attacking from the west and north (in front of you) clashed with 3,200 dismounted Union cavalry positioned along this ridge. The cavalry slowed the Confederate tide until the Union infantry arrived on the battlefield.
By 10:30 a.m., the Union First Corps reached the field and drove the Confederate back in a bloody hour-long action here that left nearly 2,000 dead and wounded. Among the victims was Union Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds, the first of many generals whose careers ended at Gettysburg.
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is July 1, 1973.
Location. 39° 50.079′ N, 77° 15.021′ W. Marker is in Cumberland 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. Monuments and Markers (here, next to this marker); Battery L, 1st New York Light Artillery (a few steps from this marker); First Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Major Gen. John F. Reynolds (within shouting distance of this marker); First Division (within shouting distance of this marker); Third Division (within shouting distance of this marker); 151st Pennsylvania Infantry (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1st Corps Headquarters (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.
More about this marker. The upper portion of the marker displays two photographs of the battlefield with keyed points of interest. These are recreated in photos 2 and 3 of this entry.
In the lower center is a painting captioned, The heat, confusion, and violence of the opening struggle here are depicted in this painting by Peter Rothermel. Note McPherson's Barn (center) and Reynolds Woods (left center). The slain General Reynolds (bottom center) is carried from the field.
On the lower right is a portrait of General Reynolds, with caption recorded on photo four of this entry.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. McPherson Ridge or Reynolds Avenue virtual tour by markers.
Additional keywords. Gettysburg Battlefield, McPherson Ridge
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 17, 2008, by Bryan Olson of Syracuse, New York. This page has been viewed 2,088 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 17, 2008, by Bryan Olson of Syracuse, New York. 2. submitted on August 28, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 17, 2008, by Bryan Olson of Syracuse, New York. 6. submitted on September 8, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. 7. submitted on February 28, 2016, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.