Jun 30

United States’ Brigadier General Wesley Merritt (1836-1910) was a captain in the United States Regular Army who was simultaneously given the rank of brigadier general of volunteers on June 29, 1863. He was an 1860 graduate of the United States Military Academy who commanded the Reserve Brigade of the First Division Cavalry Corps (Buford’s Division). He commanded the First Division after Buford died in December, 1863. Merritt was a Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, and presided over the court of inquiry into the actions and death of Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Following the Spanish American War he served as military governor of the Philippines. Merritt retired from the United States Army as a Major General in 1900. He is buried in the Post Cemetery at West Point, New York. This view, courtesy of Andie Custer, was taken circa 1863.

Our host for the South Cavalry Battlefield series, Andie Custer, has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide since 1998.

The Battle of South Cavalry Field took place after Pickett’s Charge on July 3, 1863. It was an attack by the Union Cavalry to be coordinated with Union infantry on the south end of the battlefield.

In our first post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer presents U.S. Major General George Gordon Meade’s plan of attack following Pickett’s Charge, and brings the Third Division of the Cavalry Corps from Hunterstown to the Baltimore Pike.

In the second post, Andie Custer showed the location where Major General Alfred Pleasonton gave orders to two of his division commanders, Judson Kilpatrick and David McMurtrie Gregg on July 3, 1863. She also shows us the location of White Run Church.

In the third South Cavalry Field post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer showed us the route taken by Farnsworth’s Brigade along the Goulden-Sachs Road, and down the Taneytown Road to Rock Creek, where they watered their horses.

In the fourth South Cavalry Field post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer shows us how Farnsworth’s Brigade left the Taneytown Road on what is now the Barlow-Greenmount Road, and turned north on Ridge Road.

In today’s South Cavalry Field post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer shows how as Farnsworth’s Brigade moved north on the Ridge Road, Merritt’s Brigade was moving north on the Emmitsburg Road.

This map shows us the locations taken of the videos for this South Cavalry Field series. Videos #1-#11 were shown in our previous posts. Video #12 was taken at the junction of old Ridge Road with current Ridge Road. Video #13 was taken at the Eisenhower Inn. Video #14 was taken at the McCurdy School on the Emmitsburg Road. This map was created facing north at approximately 4:00 PM on Monday, June 28, 2010.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer is the host for this series on South Cavalry Field. She is standing near Ridge Road (visible on the right) on the north side of modern US 15 (not visible behind the trees on the left). She is pointing to the cell phone tower south of modern US 15 located on the old Ridge Road. The old Ridge Road existed on a line from the cell phone tower to the curve shown here on the current Ridge Road. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, June 18, 2010.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

In Video #12 (Videos #1- #11 were shown in our previous South Cavalry Field posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer shows where Brigadier General Elon J. Farnsworth’s Brigade moved north on the original Ridge Road, and how they could see Merritt’s Brigade moving north on the Emmitsburg Road. This view was taken facing southwest to northeast to west at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, June 18, 2010.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer is standing on the east side of the Emmitsburg Road by the Buddy Barn. This structure is located on the property of the Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center. The house is visible to the right of the barn. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, June 18, 2010.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

In Video #13 Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer is standing near the Buddy Farm on the property of the Eisenhower Conference Center. She describes how Wesley Merritt’s Cavalry Brigade advanced in this area towards Confederate positions. This view was taken facing southweste to east to northeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, June 18, 2010.

Andie Custer is standing on the west side of the Emmitsburg Road near the McCurdy Schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was a stone structure at the time of the battle. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, June 18, 2010.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

In Video #14 Andie Custer is standing on the west side of the Emmitsburg Road near the McCurdy Schoolhouse. She describes how Merritt’s cavalrymen dismounted near the schoolhouse as they advanced towards Confederates through the woods on the left of the schoolhouse. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 5:30 PM on Friday, June 18, 2010.

The McCurdy Schoolhouse was a stone structure at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg as shown in this photograph. This view, courtesy of Andie Custer, was taken facing west circa 1900.

This map of the cavalry actions on July 3, 1863 at Gettysburg was created by Andie Custer and David Roth of Blue and Gray Magazine. It is reprinted with permission from Blue and Gray Magazine.

The previous map appeared in this Holiday, 2002 edition of Blue and Gray Magazine.

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


About Us  •  Support  •  Archives  •  Subscribe  •  Creative Commons License