Day 2: July 2, 1863 - The Wheatfield
For more detailed information on the Wheatfield visit The Wheatfield and Stony
at 16:30, after Hood's Brigades took over Devil's Den, Kershaw
and Anderson attacked along Rose's Woods and the Wheatfield.
The Union III Corps
supported by the V Corps
defended the Peach Orchard and along Emmitsburg Road. Anderson,
Kershaw, and Semmes Divisions attacked along
the Peach Orchard and the Wheat Field. The
realizing that they were being outflanked, withdrew to the Wheatfield Road. At
this point, Capt. George
held off the Confederate advance for several minutes. The fighting was fierce
and three brigade commanders, Col. Edward E.
BG Samuel K. Zook
Division, and BG Paul Semmes of McLaw's
Division were killed in the fighting.
had earlier specified that BG John C.
Division of the II Corps
to be sent to reinforce Sykes'
position. At about 17:30,
just as the Confederates drove the
III and the
from their positions. Caldwell's
Division had barely arrived to reinforce the position (in fact the division
arrived with with the rear ranks forward) when it came under heavy attack. It
was enough to drive the Confederates temporarily back.
The Confederates soon counter-attacked - led by BG William T. Wofford
's GA Brigade. The Confederates broke the Union line at the Peach Orchard and
began attacking down Wheatfield Road - outflanking
Division which now now fell back in disorder. As the Confederates continued
their attack, Col. Jacob B.
Brigade was sent into the Wheatfield to halt the Confederate advance. Fierce
hand-to-hand fighting resulted but
unable to hold the Wheatfield.
men were forced to retreat, two brigades of BG Romeyn B.
Division entered east of the Wheatfield. They sought to delay the Confederates
long enough so that the retreating Union could set up defensive positions on
the ridge line just north of Little Round Top (the same ridge where
been placed to begin with). In delaying the Confederates, the Union brigades
took over 800 casualties. The Confederates reached Plum Run at the base of
Little Round Top, but were unable to advance any further. A brigade of
charged the Confederates and drove them back across the Wheatfield, but by this
time it was dark.