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

Second U.S. Infantry

Second Brigade - Second Division


—Fifth Corps —

Second U.S. Infantry Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
1. Second U.S. Infantry Tablet
Above the tablet is the crest of the U.S. Army. Note the Maltese Cross at the top of the tablet, the symbol of the Fifth Corps.
Army of the Potomac
Fifth Corps
Second Division Second Brigade
Second U.S. Infantry

Six Companies
Major Arthur T. Lee and Captain Samuel A. McKee

July 2 Arrived in the morning and took position with the Brigade at the right of the Twelfth Corps. Skirmished with the Confederates. Later moved to the left. At 5 p.m. formed line with left on north slope of Little Round Top and the right of Brigade line extending into some woods. Advanced across Plum Run and to the crest of the rocky wooded hill in front near the Wheatfield and facing left occupied the stone wall on the edge of the woods. The Confederates having opened fire on the right flank and advanced through the Wheatfield in the rear the Brigade was withdrawn under a heavy Infantry fire on both flanks and from the rear and of shot and shell from the Batteries and formed in line on right of Little Round Top.

July 3 Remained in same position.

Casualties. Killed 1 officer and 5 men. Wounded 4 officers and 51 men. Missing 6 men.
Erected 1907 by Gettysburg National Military Park Commission.
Second U.S. Infantry Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
2. Second U.S. Infantry Tablet
39° 47.727′ N, 77° 14.481′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Ayers Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located on a loop in Ayres Avenue near the Wheatfield and Day's Hill, 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. Charles Frederick Taylor (a few steps from this marker); 13th Pennsylvania Reservers (within shouting distance of this marker); Seventh U.S. Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Division (within shouting distance of this marker); Third U.S. Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Tenth U.S. Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 5th New Hampshire Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
Also see . . .  The Wheatfield. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on January 22, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Additional comments.
Advance of Burbank's Right image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
3. Advance of Burbank's Right
The 2nd U.S. was on the right of Burbank's Brigade line as it advanced in support of Caldwell's Division of Second Corps. The 2nd U.S. Infantry advanced into the trees and took shelter behind a stone wall. After waiting for Caldwell's men to clear, the regiment conducted a right wheel in the woods. However, Confederate forces nearly flanked the regiment, prompting it to fall back on the stone wall and make a stand.
1. Report of Major Aurthur T. Lee

From the Official Records, Series I, Volume XXVII/1 (S#43), Report No. 212, page 646.

After a skirmish of nearly two hours, during which there was considerable firing and some casualties, the line was marched by a flank movement to the left and rear some 2 miles, where the command rested until about 5 p.m., at which time I was ordered to march my regiment by the right flank in the direction of heavy cannonading on the left of our line of battle. We were advanced some distance, when the Second Brigade was brought into line, my regiment on the right, to advance down a steep hill and across a marsh about 50 yards wide, ankle-deep and miry, which I did at double-quick, under a severe fire of sharpshooters from the left, right, and front.

Passing the marsh, we reached a rocky and much-exposed elevation of ground, from which we drove, by our rapid advance, a body of sharpshooters through a belt of woods, which we entered. We were then ordered to halt, which we did, taking shelter behind a low stone wall. We could not then advance, as column after column of our infantry was moving across a rye-field in our front, the columns moving perpendicularly to our lines and engaging the enemy on our left. When these columns, one after one, had returned from the field, with the exception of one, which was retiring, my regiment was ordered to advance over the wall and wheel to the left through said field. After having made a half-wheel, we discovered the enemy moving rapidly to outflank us on our right, when the regiment was halted, and ordered to commence firing. The firing was carried on rapidly for some time, and sharply returned by the enemy.

A fresh column of the enemy at this time appearing upon our right, we were ordered to retire. The word was scarcely given when three lines of the enemy, elevated one above the other on the slope to our right, poured in a most destructive fire, almost decimating my regiment and cutting off the color-staff, causing the colors to fall into the hands of the color-bearer. We retired slowly to the shelter of the woods, recrossed the stone wall, rocky rising ground, and marsh in as good order as the ground would admit, under a most withering fire from sharpshooters on the left and a column of the enemy's infantry, which suddenly appeared upon our right and rear, enfilading our whole line, and a perfect storm of shot and shell. Reaching our line of battle on the crest of the hill, and finding myself unable longer to keep the field, from loss of blood, flowing from a wound which I received in the rye-field before we commenced retiring, by advice of a surgeon on the ground I retired, and the command of the regiment devolved upon Captain McKee.
    — Submitted January 23, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 22, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 733 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 22, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on January 23, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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