Jun 1



Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Jim Hessler, is standing near the home of the Lydia Leister, which was Major-General George Gordon Meade’s primary headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, May 8, 2009.

One of the most interesting individuals at the Battle of Gettysburg was United States Major-General Daniel Sickles. His movement to a position forward of the Army of the Potomac’s battle line on July 2, 1863, depending on your point of view, either saved the Union Army, or almost led to its destruction. Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Jim Hessler has been guiding at Gettysburg since 2003. He is employed full-time with Bill Me Later/ PayPal and has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide since 2003. His book, Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg, will be published in June. He is a long-time Gettysburg and Little Bighorn enthusiast and also a speaker at Civil War Round Tables. He lives in Gettysburg with his wife and two children.

In our first post on Sickles at Gettysburg we saw Sickles’ Corps’ position at Bridgeport, Maryland, Emmitsburg Maryland, and his arrival at the Gettysburg Battlefield. In our second post, we looked at Sickles’ Gettysburg position near Cemetery Ridge before he made his move west to the Emmitsburg Road. In our third post, we showed Sickles’ movement of his line to the high ground near the Peach Orchard and the Emmitsburg Road. In today’s post, we show General Meade’s reaction to Sickles’ move.



This map shows the location of where our Sickles videos were produced. Videos #1-#5 were shown in our first Sickles video post. Videos #6-7# were taken on Cemetery Ridge near the New York Auxiliary Monument. Video #8 was taken in the low ground near the George Weikert House. Videos #9 and #14 was taken at Meade’s Headquarters (Leister House). Videos #s 10, 12, 13, 15, and 17 were taken in the Sherfy Peach Orchard. Video #11 was taken on the north side of Little Round Top. Video #16 was taken near the Stony Hill/Loop area. This map was created facing north at approximately 5:30 PM on Sunday, May 31, 2009.

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In Video #14 (Videos #1-13 were shown in our previous Sickles’ posts), Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Jim Hessler explains how Major-General Gouverneur K. Warren reported Sickles’ movement to Meade, and Meade’s reaction. This view was taken facing southeast to south (those movements were repeated twice) at approximately 5:00 PM on Friday, May 8, 2009.



We have now returned to the Peach Orchard where General Meade will personally observe Sickles’ new forward line. Jim Hessler shows how the line goes from near the Codori Farm (the buildings immediately to the left of Jim’s hand) to the Klingel Farm (the buildings left of the Codori Farm, but still right (east) of the Emmitsburg Road, to the Sherfy Farm (the closest farm buildings, which are also located left (west) of the Emmitsburg Road). This view was taken facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, May 11, 2009.

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In Video #15 Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Jim Hessler is standing on the north side of Sherfy’s Peach Orchard. He explains the argument between Meade and Sickles over the new Third Corps position, and why Meade decided it was too late to move Sickles back to his old position. This view was taken facing northeast to northwest to west at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, May 11, 2009.



Jim Hessler is standing on the “Loop/Stony Hill” area which is dominated by the Peach Orchard behind him. This area needed to be covered by Sickles’ Third Corps with their artillery. This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, May 11, 2009.

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In Video #16 Jim Hessler shows us that Daniel Sickles did not have enough men in his Third Corps to occupy his advanced position. He would attempt to cover a vulnerable area between the Peach Orchard and the “Stony Hill” area with artillery along the Wheatfield Road. This view was taken facing west to south to southeast to north at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, May 11, 2009.



As Jim explained in Video #16, the Third Corps used artillery to cover the gap between the Peach Orchard and the “Stony Hill” area. The artillery was placed here, along the Wheatfield Road, and would have fired at the Confederates from right to left (north to south). This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, May 11, 2009.



Although many people have heard of the “angle” or “salient” in Sickles new forward line at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, where exactly was the angle? Jim Hessler shows us the two regiments that formed Sickles’ salient, the 68th Pennsylvania Infantry which was facing to the west… This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, May 11, 2009.



… and the 2nd New Hampshire Infantry, which fronted to the south. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, May 11, 2009.

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In Video #17 Jim Hessler is standing at the southwest corner of Sherfy’s Peach Orchard. He shows how the 68th Pennsylania and the 2nd New Hampshire form the “angle” in Sickles’ line. This view was taken facing north to west to south to a couple of other directions at approximately 5:00 PM on Monday, May 11, 2009.



This map shows the line that Sickles’ Corps occupied early in the afternoon of July 2, 1863. is represented by his two divisions commanded by Birney and Humphrey. This map was created by Brad Gottfried for Jim’s new book on Sickles, Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg.



Here is the cover of Jim’s new book on Daniel Sickles. It is published by Savas Beattie LLC, and will be available in June, 2009. Click here for a link to an interview with Jim on their site. This cover was uploaded at approximately 5:00 PM on Tuesday, April 21, 2009.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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