Jul 15



Tuesday afternoon’s Ranger-led Battle Walk was Kershaw’s Brigade’s attack on July 2, 1863. Seasonal Historian Jim Flook led approximately 45 individuals from the Longstreet Tower towards the Wheatfield, following the various aspects of Kershaw’s attacks. Here he leads his group past the Rose Farmhouse, and across Rose’s Run. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.

National Park Service Seasonal Historian Jim Flook led Tuesday’s Battle Walk at Gettysburg National Military Park. The topic was Kershaw’s Brigade, and especially that unit’s actions on July 2, 1863 as it advanced against the Peach Orchard, the Stony Hill, Rose’s Woods, and the Wheatfield. Approximately 45 people attended the walk which began at 3:30 PM at the Longstreet Tower or Eisenhower Tower on Seminary Ridge, and lasted approximately two hours.



Jim’s program began at the Longstreet observation tower on Seminary Ridge. Here he explained some basic biographical information about Kershaw, and a short history of the brigade’s accomplishments before Gettysburg. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 3:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



The Kershaw brigade program then moved to the east side of Seminary Ridge so the group could get a view of the Union lines from Kershaw’s position. Seasonal Ranger Jim Flook explained to his group the original plan of attacking up the Emmitsburg Road toward Cemetery Hill (the group of trees on the highest hill in the right background), and Cemetery Ridge… This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 4:00 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



… and how Sickles’ soldiers showed up unexpectedly in the Peach Orchard, which is the open ground with monuments above the heads of members of the group. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 4:00 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



The group then followed Kershaw’s advance toward Sickles’ new line. Big Round Top is in the right background. Little Round Top is in the middle background. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



The group crossed the Emmitsburg Road… This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



… and walked down Rose’s Lane… This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



… past the Rose House. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 4:15 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



At the George Rose house, Jim explained that the family had 13 individuals living in this house around the time of the battle. The Rose’s owned 232 acres. There were three fields of wheat, a field or oats, a field of corn, a peach orchard, and an apple orchard. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



From the Rose House, Jim explained that there were 30 Union artillery pieces along the wheatfield road on the high ground above the group. The famous Peach Orchard is the high ground in the left background. Jim showed the group that there is a fence running north to south across the Peach Orchard. The west side of the fence was the Peach Orchard of Joseph Sherfy. The east side of the fence was the Peach Orchard of George Rose. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



Not only did Kershaw attack the Peach Orchard from this position, he attacked the Stony Hill, which are the trees in the background… This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



… and Rose’s Wheatfield, which is the cleared area in the background. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



To attack these different areas, Kershaw divided his brigade into two wings. The left wing (8th South Carolina, 3rd South Carolina Battalion, and the 2nd South Carolina) advanced toward the artillery at the Peach Orchard area, but first had to go down this slope… This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



… through this muddy “morass”… This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



… and up the slope toward the guns. A mistaken order to the 2nd South Carolina contributed to Kershaw’s soldiers not driving the artillery from the Wheatfield Road. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



Jim then led the group toward Rose’s Hill to see what the right side of Kershaw’s Brigade was facing on July 2, 1863. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 4:45 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



Things began to get interesting when Jim had to remove some of the rails from the top of the fence so the group would have a better chance of climbing over. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 4:45 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



Much of the group lined up to climb over one at a time. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 4:45 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.

This was so much fun, we had to take a short video of it. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 4:45 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



Jim finally gathered the group together on Brooke Avenue, and reminded them of the obstacles that Kershaw’s men faced on the advance to this area. This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 4:45 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



The group then proceeded down Brooke Avenue toward the Stony Hill. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 4:45 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



The group left Brooke Avenue and advanced up the Stony Hill along a path. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 4:45 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



On the Stony Hill near the monument to the 1st Michigan, Jim explained how Kershaw’s advance prompted Tilton and Sweitzer’s brigades to retreat from this position. Kershaw’s Brigade will briefly hold the Stony Hill until the arrival of Caldwell’s Division. This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 5:00 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.



Jim then brought the group to the monument to the Irish Brigade who, with the help of Zook’s Brigade, drove Kershaw from the Stony Hill. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.


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