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Battle of Gettysburg: Day 2
Day 2: July 2, 1863 - The Peach Orchard
[The Peach Orchard - July 2, PM 1863] 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.

View of the Peach OrchardMeanwhile, 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).

[Confederate attack loses momentum - July 2, PM 1863] 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. 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' right. Humphreys' Brigade was unable to hold its position and was also forced to retreat towards Cemetery Ridge.

Sickles had watched the battle from horseback near the Trostle farm when a stray cannonball grazed his right knee. His leg was later amputated.

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