Gettysburg Photo Album
The Wheatfield & Peach Orchard


Wheatfield & Peach OrchardAs the Confederate attack moved northward, Sickles' thin overextended lines were unable to take the strain. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock, assessing the situation, ordered Caldwell's division into a wheatfield northwest of the Devil's Den to meet the challenge. Among them was the Irish brigade under Col. Patrick Kelly. Their brigade chaplain, Father Corby, gave them absolution on Cemetery Ridge before they moved into battle. Caldwell's brigades fought a see-saw battle with Anderson's brigade from Hood's division and a number of brigades from McLaw's division. Eventually the Federals were driven out of the wheatfield and back to Cemetery Ridge. Out in the fields to the west, Captain John Bigelow's 9th Massachusetts battery and other artillery units were all that stood in the path of the charging Confederates. Bigelow was pushed back to the Trostle farm where he made a stand against Wm. Barksdale's Mississippians and others who had just overrun the Peach Orchard. At a terrific cost, Bigelow bought time to cover the retreat of the 3rd Corps. It was near this position that Gen. Sickles was wounded and carried from the field.



(7-01) Enlarge The Bloody Wheatfield

(7-01) Statue of Father Corby who blessed the soldiers in the Irish Brigade before they went into battle on July 2, 1863
Marker at right
Marker on rock
Close-up of statue



(7-01) Monument to the 63rd, 69th & 88th New York Infantry, The Irish Brigade
Monument Detail: 1   2   3   4   5

Panorama: The Wheatfield, looking west and north

(Wartime) Alfred Waud sketch of Winslow's battery in action against Kershaw's brigade in the Wheatfield

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