Aug 30

Rush’s Lancers, or the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment, was formed in October, 1861. Some members of the unit had previously belonged to the elite milita unit, the Philadelphia City Troop. In November, 1861, Major General George B. McClellan asked Colonel Richard Rush, if his regiment would like to be outfitted with lances, which had been sucessfully used in the Napoleonic Wars and in Mexico. Rush agreed, and each enlisted man in the regiment received a nine-foot-long wooden lance tipped with an eleven-inch steel blade. This view, a detail from a larger photograph, and courtesy of Andie Custer, was taken in May, 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 the fifth 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.

In the sixth South Cavalry Field post, Andie Custer showed the area between Buddy Ridge and Wintrode Ridge where the soldiers had to dismount because of the rough terrain, and how James Hart’s South Carolina Battery “leap frogged” along the Emmitsburg Road in order to keep up a constant rate of fire on Wesley Merritt’s cavalrymen.

In the seventh South Cavalry Field post, Andie Custer showed us the National Park Service property on Wintrode Ridge, east of the Emmitsburg Road, and explains how Merritt’s troopers advanced through this area.

In the eighth South Cavalry Field post, Andie Custer shows us the National Park Service property on Wintrode Ridge on the west side of the Emmitsburg Road, and explains how Merritt’s troopers stretched their forces towards Marsh Creek.

In today’s South Cavalry Field post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer shows us the monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Rush’s Lancers), and explains the importance of the attack of Merritt’s Cavalry Brigade.

This map shows us the locations taken of the videos for this South Cavalry Field series. Videos #1-#16 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. Video #15 was taken between Buddy Ridge and Wintrode Ridge. Videos #16-21 were taken on top of Wintrode Ridge. Videos #22-24 were taken near the junction of Ridge Road and the Emmitsburg Road. This map was created facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Saturday, August 28, 2010.

This is the photograph from which the detail was taken for the first photograph in this post. This photograph, credit to Mathew Brady, shows Company I of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry. They were serving at that time as the headquarters escort for Major General Joseph Hooker when he commanded the Army of the Potomac. Soon after this photograph, on May 24, 1863, their lances were taken away and the regiment was armed with carbines. This view, was taken in May, 1863.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer is standing on the east side of the Emmitsburg Road near the monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Rush’s Lancers). Notice the dense foliage behind the monument. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

The monument to Rush’s Lancers was dedicated on October 14, 1888. Notice the open ground behind the monument. This view, courtesy of Andie Custer, was taken facing southeast circa 1888.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer is standing on the west side of the Emmitsburg Road, near its junction with Ridge Road (out of sight on the left). She is pointing towards Wintrode Ridge, which is on the other side of the field. The monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment is on the east side of the Emmitsburg Road at the end of the white fence. This view was taken facing south at approximately 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

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In Video #22 (Videos #1- #21 were shown in our previous South Cavalry Field posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer shows how Graham’s artillery on Wintrode Ridge fired on Alabamians in the Emanuel Trostle House. This view was taken facing south to northeast to south to northeast at approximately 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer is still standing on the west side of the Emmitsburg Road, near the junction with Ridge Road, which is on the other (north) side of the white house. At the time of the battle, the white house was known as the Emmanuel Trostle House. Following the battle, it became the D. Currens House, or as it was sometimes spelled, the D. Kerns House. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

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In Video #23 Licensed Battlefield Guide Andie Custer explans a little of the history of the Emmanuel Trostle/D.Currens House, which is located at the junction of Ridge Road and the Emmitsburg Road. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

Andie Custer is now standing on the east side of the Emmitsburg Road (on the right, “running away” from the camera), near the junction with Ridge Road, which is behind her, running from left to right (east to west). This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

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In Video #24 Andie Custer explains why the actions of Merritt’s cavalry brigade were important on July 3, 1863. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

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.


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