Thunderstorms moved through the area Tuesday when the Gettysburg Daily photographed what might be the only remaining witness tree along the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. Legend has it that Union Brigadier-General John Gibbon was wounded near this tree during Pickett’s Charge on July 3, 1863. It appears the tree does not have a lot of years left, and we wanted to capture its image before it’s too late. The tree does not have a tag in it as do some other witness trees on the battlefield. See other posts on Gettysburg Witness Trees for April 30, 2008, August 10, 2008, August 12, 2008, August 16, 2008, August 27, 2008, and September 8, 2008.
The monument to Lieutenant Gulian V. Weir’s Battery C, 5th United States Artillery is in the foreground. The Gibbon Tree is to the right of the cannon. The Codori Barn is in the distance above the right cannon. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 5:15 PM on Tuesday, May 27, 2008.
A closer view of the limbs dying in the tree. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 5:15 PM on Tuesday, May 27, 2008.
Weir’s Battery is to the left of Hancock Avenue. The marker to the 20th New York State Militia (80th New York Infantry) is below the tree. Earthworks covered with foliage are on the right between the wooden fence and the mowed grass. The round tops are in the left background. This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 5:15 PM on Tuesday, May 27, 2008.
Weir’s Battery is to the right of the tree. The monument to the 149th Pennsylvania Infantry regiment is to the left of the tree. During Pickett’s Charge, Gibbon rode up and down his line encouraging his men. While trying to get the left of his line to move out and catch the Confederates in their right flank, moving them from right to left in our photo, Gibbon was wounded in his left shoulder. He grew faint with the loss of blood and turned over command to Brigadier-General William Harrow. This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 5:15 PM on Tuesday, May 27, 2008.
The Gibbon Tree is just to the left of Hancock Avenue. The Copse of Trees is in the middle left of this photograph. Left of the Copse of trees is the tree growing out of the outer angle in the stone wall. When Gibbon reached the surgeon, he was informed that the bullet had passed exactly in the middle of his left arm, near the shoulder. The round “had entered exactly in the middle of my left arm near the shoulder and passing behind outside the shoulder blade shattered the upturned edge of the blade, producing the impression that the blow had come from the rear.” Gibbon returned to the Army of the Potomac in March, 1864. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 5:15 PM on Tuesday, May 27, 2008.