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14th Alabama at Battle of Gettysburg
second day, July 2, 1863

This is the second photo album from my visit to Gettysburg National Military Park. We spent two hours on a tour of the park with Licensed Battlefield Guide, Jim Clouse. He showed us the markers for Wilcox's Brigade, and the locations where they fought at Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought over three days, July 1, 2, and 3, 1863. Wilcox Brigade fought on the second and third days.

Battlefield from Cemetery Ridge

Battlefield from Cemetery Ridge, with Plum Run in foreground,
Emmitsburg Road and Seminary Ridge beyond the open field.
This is the field crossed by the 14th Alabama on July 2, 1863.

The 14th Alabama Regiment was in Wilcox's Brigade, Anderson's Division, Hill's Corp, in the Army of Virginia. They were in the center of the assault on Cemetery Ridge on July 2, 1863. "About 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the engagement between the artillery of the enemy and that of the First Army Corps commenced, and was soon followed by furious and sustained musketry; but it was not until 5:30 o'clock in the evening that McLaws' division…advanced…immediately followed by the brigades of [Anderson's]…in the manner directed. Never did troops go into action with greater spirit or more determined courage. The ground afforded them but little shelter, and for nearly three-quarters of a mile they were compelled to face a storm of shot and shell and bullets; but there was no hesitation nor faltering. They drove the enemy from his first line, and possessed themselves of the ridge and of much of the artillery with which it had been crowned; but the situation discovered the enemy in possession of a second line, with artillery upon both our front and flanks. From this position he poured a destructive fire of grape upon our troops. Strong re-enforcements pressed upon our right flank, which had become disconnected from McLaws' left, and the ridge was untenable. The brigades were compelled to retire. They fell back in the same succession in which they had advanced--Wilcox's, Perry's, Wright's, and Posey's. They regained their positions in the line of battle. The enemy did not follow. Pickets were again thrown to the front, and the troops lay upon their arms. In Wilcox's, Perry's, and Wright's brigades the loss was very heavy."[1]

If you would like to use any of these photos please contact me first for permission, and include a photo credit to Cindy Holdridge Smith, Holdridge Family of Texas, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and England, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~holdridge/

You can view larger photos by selecting the thumbnails below and double clicking with left mouse button.

Hill's Corps marker

A.P. Hill's Third Corps

Anderson's Division marker

 R.H. Anderson's Division

Wilcox's Brigade marker

Cadmus Wilcox's Brigade

Hill's Corps Artillery

Cannon on Seminary Ridge

12-pounder bronze Napoleon

From left: #1 and #2 are 3-inch Ordinance Rifles, #3 is a Parrot)

View behind Seminary Ridge, from Hill's Corps marker

Spangler Woods marker

on Seminary Ridge

Federal 12-pounder Field Howitzer near Spangler Woods

Spangler Woods

Spangler Woods from

West Confederate Avenue

Seminary Ridge

Spangler Woods

 Spangler Woods

on Seminary Ridge

 

Spangler Woods

Spangler House Lane from

West Confederate Avenue

Seminary Ridge

Wilcox's Brigade

Formed here in forenoon

July 2, 1863

View of field behind marker

(marker is right)

 

View of field behind marker

(marker on left)

 

Wilcox's starting position facing Spangler Woods, towards the Emmitsburg Road

 

Wilcox's brigade moved forward, clearing the southeast corner of  Spangler Woods

 

After clearing the wall and woods, they filed left to the "jumping off" point east of Spangler Woods

The 14th Regiment shifted left, before advancing from the right of the Spangler farmyard shown here from Emmitsburg Road

Wilcox's Brigade advance position tablet, on Emmitsburg Road, the 14th & 9th left of Spangler Farm, 10th & 11th right

Wilcox's brigade advanced east against Humphrey (view from east on Cemetery Ridge)

 

The Peach Orchard

 

They had to climb fences like these as they advanced

It was difficult to cross fences and maintain formation

Monument of First Minnesota on Cemetery Ridge marks the direction of advance by Wilcox's Brigade and 14th Alabama

The First Regiment, greatly outnumbered, stalled Wilcox's Brigade advance with a bayonet charge until support arrived

The First Minnesota "sustained the greatest percentage of loss of any Union regiment at Gettysburg, or during the war"

Field in front and right of Minnesota Monument

 

 Wilcox's Brigade advanced from the west (right), crossing Emmitsburg Road

The green belt and trees mark Plum Run, used by Confederate and Union infantry for cover

Closer view of Plum Run, with Klingle Barn to west (far right)

 

Wilcox's advance position marker is behind the Klingle House (white), across the road

The 14th Alabama advanced from Spangler Farm, hidden by tree in right center


  1. United States. War Department, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), ser. 1, vol. 27, pt. 2, 616-621. No. 536, Report of Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, C. S. Army, commanding division, Orange Court-House, VA, August 7, 1863