At about 17:00, Kershaw's SC
Brigade attacked the Stony Hill (located between the Peach Orchard and the
Wheatfield). Thirty cannons of the Union
III Corps and the Artillery Reserve were tasked
with holding this section and were positioned along Wheatfield Road.
Barnes' Division had set itself on the Stony Hill
facing westward. As Kershaw's Brigade neared the line and
while taking heavy fire, someone erroneously ordered the Brigade to parallel
the Union position - exposing its flanks to the Union line.
BG William Barksdale's Brigade followed by Wofford's
Brigade, comprised of McLaw's left flank. The two brigades
charged directly into the Union position at the Peach Orchard and along
Emmitsburg Road. Barkdale's Brigade broke through just north
of the Peach Orchard, while Wofford's Brigade attacked the
Peach Orchard. The III Corps
defenders in the Orchard had been facing south firing into Kershaw's
Brigade when Wofford attacked. Realizing the exposed position,
the 2nd NH Regiment
was ordered to retreat, but only after staggering casualties (21 of its 24
officers and nearly half of its men were casualties).
The artillery placed in the Peach Orchard were
forced to limber and retreat along with the guns placed behind Wheatfield Road.
The pieces were unlimbered near the Trostle House and ordered to hold on until
Union artillery could be placed on Cemetery Ridge. These guns were also soon
overrun and had 3 of its guns captured.
Barksdale swung left to attack the remaining Union units under
the command of BG Andrew A. Humphreys.
Division had been left exposed and saw the line all around it disappear. BG
Cadmus M. Wilcox's Brigade of Anderson's
Division followed on Barksdale's left and attacked
Humphreys' Brigade was unable to hold its position
and was also forced to retreat towards Cemetery Ridge.
watched the battle from horseback near the Trostle farm when a stray cannonball
grazed his right knee. His leg was later amputated.