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The current time is: 9/21/2017 1:48:31 PM
 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg    
AuthorMessage
gettysburgerrn
massapequa, NY, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 96

1st USSS Skirmish
Posted on: 3/4/2017 5:56:44 AM
Hi---I am trying figure out when the skirimish between 1the 1st US Sharpshooters (and 3rd Maine) and Wilcox's Brigade took place. I always thought it was around 11 or noon or so but I am currently reading John Michael Priest's book "Stand to it and Give them hell" a great read and he seems to suggest that this exchange happened around 9 am.....any thoughts

Ken
---------------
"You will find a great many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view...." Obi Wan Kenobi

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: 1st USSS Skirmish
Posted on: 3/5/2017 10:02:24 AM
Ken,

We have discussed this subject previously on MHO.


I have not read Priest’s book so I don’t know what he wrote about that event.


My short answer:

Wilcox, in his report, stated that the fight occurred prior to 0900.
In a letter published in the SHSP, he related that the firefight with the USSS/3rd ME occurred at 0900.

Other Confederate reports which mention the contact are not time specific.

All Federal primary sources that I recall reading, if they give a time, it is between 1100 and 1200.
It occurred after Sickles rode to see Meade (approx. 1100), and Hunt returned with Sickles to the 3rd Corps AO.

Having said that, multiple Federal sources relate contact, skirmishing, and warnings of Confederate troops off the Federal left much earlier that morning, generally around 0900.
---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

gettysburgerrn
massapequa, NY, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 96

Re: 1st USSS Skirmish
Posted on: 3/5/2017 10:56:04 AM
Ok thanks for the info....Sorry, I must have missed the previous discussion about this.....is there a way for me to search the threads to review the discussion

ken
---------------
"You will find a great many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view...." Obi Wan Kenobi

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2640

Re: 1st USSS Skirmish
Posted on: 3/5/2017 12:34:56 PM
More on this great unit!

[Read More]

[Read More]

very effective firepower,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Wayne Wachsmuth
Shippensburg, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant


Posts: 218

Re: 1st USSS Skirmish
Posted on: 3/6/2017 11:53:17 AM
Pfanz places Berdan's advance at about noon which would spot the skirmish sometime just after. Additionally it is difficult to explain the message from the signal station on LRT which states, "The Rebels are in force and our skirmishers give way. One mile west of Round Top Signal Station the woods are full of them." The message dated July 2, 1863 11:55 AM, unless it refers to the fight between the Sharpshooters/3rd ME and Wilcox given the time and location. But here is the crux of many the "discussions" of Gettysburg. What time was it? I have seen claims that the ANV set its time by the hour in Richmond which would be an hour different to begin with.

Wayne

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1895

Re: 1st USSS Skirmish
Posted on: 3/6/2017 3:49:24 PM
Report of Col. Hiram Berdan,First U.S. Sharpshooters, Commanding First and Second U.S. Sharpshooters.
Battle of Gettysburg

..........About 7.30 a.m. I received orders to send forward a detachment of 100 sharpshooters to discover, if possible, what the enemy was doing. I went out with the detail, and posted them on the crest of the hill beyond the Emmitsburg road, and where they kept up a constant fire nearly all day upon the enemy in the woods beyond until they were driven in, about 5 p.m., by a heavy force of the enemy, after having expended all their ammunition.
As it was impossible with this force to proceed far enough to discover what was being done by the enemy in the rear of this woods, I reported the fact to Major-General Birney, and about 11 a.m. I received an order from him to send out another detachment of 100 sharpshooters farther to the left of our lines, and to take the Third Maine Volunteers as support, with directions to feel the enemy, and to discover their movements, if possible.
I moved down the Emmitsburg road some distance beyond our extreme left and deployed the sharpshooters in a line running nearly east and west, and moved forward in a northerly direction parallel with the Emmitsburg road. We soon came upon the enemy, and drove them sufficiently to discover three columns in motion in rear of the woods, changing direction, as it were, by the right flank. We attacked them vigorously on the flank, and from our having come upon them very unexpectedly, and getting close upon them, we were enabled to do great execution, and threw them for a time into confusion. They soon rallied, however, and attacked us, when, having accomplished the object of the reconnaissance, I withdrew under cover of the woods, bringing off most of our wounded, and reported about 2 o'clock to Major-General Birney the result of our operations and discoveries............


So, there were two detachments. May explain the confusion.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: 1st USSS Skirmish
Posted on: 3/6/2017 8:55:06 PM
Thanks, Trevor,

From Trepp’s (CO, 1st USSS) report:

”Early in the morning of July 2, this regiment was posted so, and with instructions, to protect the left flank of the Third Corps. Soon thereafter the dispositions were changed, and I received an order to send 100 men on a reconnaissance in front of the right of the Third Army Corps. This detachment I conducted in person, and deployed them. The command was given to Capt. John Wilson, a very efficient officer, and I returned to the regiment.


I have my suspicions that the early reports may have been generated by the first reconnaissance.

However, Trepp did not relate any contact, sightings of Confederate troops, or even any suspicions of Confederates in that AO.

I would think that any of the above would have generated some response from Birney or Sickles, but there apparently was none.
Tremain (Sickles' staff officer), who reported to Meade a number of times on the status of the 3rd Corps, made no mention of contact or sightings.


Buford was still over there at that time unless he left much earlier than we believe he did.

From Buford’s report:

”July 2, the division became engaged with the enemy's sharpshooters on our left, and held its own until relieved by General Sickles' corps, after which it moved to Taneytown, and bivouacked for the night.”

Neither Devin nor Gamble reported any early contact/sighting with/of Confederate units.

Calef’s report is unclear as to whether he is referring to the 3rd ME/USSS firefight with Wilcox (probable) or a different, earlier contact:
”On the morning of the 2d, the attack commenced directly in front of where my battery was parked. Dispositions were made to receive the enemy, who were driving our skirmishers rapidly. For want of men, I could serve but five guns. Notwithstanding the severe work of the 1st, every one showed himself ready for a continuation on the morning of the 2d. We had hardly got into position when an order came from General Buford for me to follow with my battery the First Brigade, of his division, and march with it to Taneytown,”


I am still attempting to ascertain which Confederate unit(s) could have been in that AO at that time.
---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Wayne Wachsmuth
Shippensburg, PA, USA
top 30
E-5 Sergeant


Posts: 218

Re: 1st USSS Skirmish
Posted on: 3/7/2017 9:20:56 AM
Additionally all of the accounts I have seen place the 1st SS/3ME fight after Hunt went to the PO area with Sickles after Sickles visited Meade's Hq which seems to have been at about 11:00.

Wayne

 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg    
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