Gettysburg - The First Day Part 2
As just mentioned, at around noon, Ewell's corps approached from the north. Rodes' division deployed facing the camera on either side of Oak Hill, visible with the prominent Eternal Flame monument. The Union line had extended along Oak Ridge toward the right of the picture, but not all the way to the road. While O'Neal's brigade conducted a failed advance on the Union right flank, Iverson's and Daniel's brigades approached the Union line obliquely. While Daniel's brigade continued toward the railroad cut, Iverson's brigade advanced on Oak Ridge without deploying skirmishers. As a result, they lost 900 of 1,384 men. The lone monument in the green section of the field is to the 88th Pa. which counterattacked and took numerous prisoners. After the war, the land near here was especially fertile due to the enormous bloodshed and the many bodies which had been buried there.
Between the Chambersburg Pike and the Railroad Cut - Looking West
While Iverson was meeting destruction, Daniel's brigade continued toward the railroad cut. Initially repulsed, Daniel tried again and took the railroad cut. During both attacks, two of Daniel's units passed through the swale between the ridges of "THE" Railroad Cut, shown on the far right, and the western cut, which is visible to its left. On both occasions, the 32nd NC advanced on the far side of the western cut.
Men of the 143rd and 149th Pa. were deployed along the Chambersburg Pike on the left of the picture. During the first attack, the 149th advanced to the western cut to repulse the attack, but after taking enfilade artillery fire, they withdraw back to the road.
For the second attack, Daniel advanced through the western cut while the 32nd North Carolina attacked west of it toward the Pike (in area shown in the first photo). The 149th Pa. counterattacked and repulsed Daniel while the 150th Pa. did likewise from its fenceline position beyond the McPherson Barn. (across the field shown in the second photo)
Rodes' division had accomplished little for the heavy losses it sustained, but as the climax of the first day was nearing, it attacked again with success. While the rest of Rodes' division took the northern end of Oak Ridge, Daniel attacked a third time, switching the direction of his advance and attacking and capturing the woods on Oak Ridge while his 32nd NC joined Heth's division in a successful drive to Seminary Ridge.
McPherson Ridge to Herr Ridge
Orientation: The Railroad Cut, Oak Hill, and Oak Ridge are barely visible on the far right. The woods in the right foreground are McPherson Woods. Earlier in the day when the I Corps was beginning to arrive, it was in this area and in the fields to the left of the woods that the Iron Brigade attacked and smashed Archer.
Daniel's third attack was part of a larger final attack by A.P. Hill's corps at around 3 P.M. Deployed on Herr Ridge visible in the distance, this time Heth's whole division advanced supported by Pender's division. Biddle's brigade of Federals defended McPherson ridge extending off the picture to the left. The Iron Brigade held an advanced position in McPherson Woods while the 150th Pa. held the line near the barn, obscured in the picture by the "Do Not Enter" sign. The Confederates advanced in overwhelming force, extending even beyond the extent of the clearing shown on the left, and easily overlapped the Union infantry's left flank. The Union troops took heavy losses and were pushed back to Seminary Ridge. Heth's division halted at the ridgetop and allowed Pender's division to pass.
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