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Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battery A, Second U.S. Artillery

Second Brigade - Horse Artillery - Cavalry Corps

 

—Army of the Potomac —

 
Battery A, Second U.S. Artillery Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
1. Battery A, Second U.S. Artillery Tablet
Inscription.
Army of the Potomac
Cavalry Corps
Second Brigade Horse Artillery
Battery A Second U.S. Artillery

Six 3 inch Rifles
Lieut. John H. Calef commanding

June 30 Arrived in the evening from Emmitsburg and took position on the Chambersburg Pike.

July 1 Advanced with the Cavalry went into position with right section on right of the road left section on the left and center section with Col. Wm. Gamble's Brigade on the right of Fairfield Road. The first Union gun of the battle was fired from right section and the positions held under a severe fire until the First Corps arrived about 10 a.m. The Battery was then relieved by Capt. J.A. Hall's 2d Maine Battery and after being supplied with ammunition returned about 3 p.m. but under a front and enfilading fire it retired to a line in front of Cemetery Ridge and towards night moved to the left about a mile and bivouacked for the night near the Third Corps.

July 2 A.M. marched with the First Brigade of Major General John Buford's Division to Taneytown en route to Westminster.

Casualties wounded 12 men
Lost 13 horses killed.
 
Erected 1907 by Gettysburg National Military Park Commission.
 
Location. 39° 50.257′ N, 77° 15.094′ 
Left Section of Calef's Battery image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
2. Left Section of Calef's Battery
Flanking the tablet are two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles representing the left section of the battery. The guns are registry numbers 65 and 244.
W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Chambersburg Pike (U.S. 30) and Stone Avenue, on the right when traveling east on Chambersburg Pike. Touch for map. Located near McPherson Barn 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. Gettysburg Campaign (a few steps from this marker); 149th Pennsylvania Infantry (a few steps from this marker); Hall's 2nd Maine Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Major General John Fulton Reynolds (within shouting distance of this marker); Buford (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward McPherson Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); McPherson Barn (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Tablets for Calef's Battery at Gettysburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. McPherson's Ridge. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Who Really Fired the First Shot?. The "honor" of firing the first shot of the battle of Gettysburg is certainly
Gun That Fired the First Shot image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
3. Gun That Fired the First Shot
The four cannon guarding the base of the statue
belonged to
Horse Battery "A" 2nd U.S. Artillery
This piece was
the opening gun of the battle
fired from this spot
under the personal direction of Gen. Buford.
July First, 1863.

in dispute. While Calef's gunners are often given credit, some point to a shot fired by Lt. Marcellus Jones, of the 8th Illinois Cavalry. Others point out early action occurred to the north of Gettysburg between elements of 9th New York Cavalry and the 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry. In the later case, Cpl. Alpheus Hodges claims the distinction. And as this article points out, that is just the beginning of possible candidates.... (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Muzzle of the "First Shot" Gun image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
4. Muzzle of the "First Shot" Gun
Not often can a specific gun be traced back to a specific event. In this case Lt. Calef was able to identify the gun by the registry number. The number and other information is still legible today on the muzzle. No. 233 - PICo. - 1862 - 816 lbs. - TTSL. Translated this indicates registry number 233, produced by the Phoenix Iron Company, in 1862, weighing 816 pounds, inspected by Theodore Thadeus Sobieski Laidley.
But Not All Guns were at Gettysburg image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
5. But Not All Guns were at Gettysburg
The plaque on the "First Shot" Gun may either be incorrect or miss-leading. At least one of the guns at the Buford Statue base was produced after the battle - in 1864. This may be a piece which was issued to the battery later in the war, or simply an inadvertent substitution.
View from Calef's Guns image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
6. View from Calef's Guns
Today one of the guns points directly at a nearby Gettysburg Campaign marker. In the distance, down Chambersburg Pike, is Herr Ridge, where the Confederates first appeared on July 1 and were fired upon by Calef's Battery. In the far distance is South Mountain and the passes through which the Confederate army advanced toward Gettysburg.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 19, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,417 times since then and 82 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 19, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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