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July 1, 1863


The First and Eleventh Corps of the Union Army Begin Their
             March Towards Gettysburg

First Corps:
          -Wadsworth’s 1st Division, 3,400 men, 
                    from Greenmont, via the Emmitsburg Road.
          -Robinson’s 2nd Division, 3,000 men, 
                    from north of Emmitsburg, via the Emmitsburg Road.
          -Rowley’s 3rd Division, 2,700 men (Stannard’s Brigade stayed behind), 
                    was spread out.
                               Biddle’s and Stone’s Brigades encamped the night before
               between Bull Frog Road and Marsh Creek, south east of Gettysburg, 
                         guarding the roads around Fairfield, 
                        just in case.
                      (Rumor had it that 6,000 Rebs were wandering 
                              around those parts.  Nothing of the sort.)
                These two brigades would continue on Bull Frog Road
                       until it met up with a smaller road crossing Sach’s Bridge.
                    They then would connect with the Fairfield Road, 
                                providing some protection to the left flank
                       of the columns marching up the Emmitsburg Road.
It would be an hour until every man in every division got moving.

Eleventh Corps:
         From the east of Emmitsburg, following the First Corps.
                  They would later choose an alternate route
         as to not be held up on the on the already clogged
                               Emmitsburg Road.
  The marching order was:
          -Barlow’s Division, 2,400 men
          -Schurz’s Division, 3,000 men
          -Von Steinwehr’s Division, 2,800

General Pender’s Confederate  Division of
             Hill’s Corps, 6,300 men, who camped just
        west of Cashtown,
                   had formed up
       and were now on their way to Gettysburg

Heth’s thin line of skirmishers, 
           formed now for fifteen minutes, 
     step off
        feeling towards
                  Jones’ Company E and the
          rest of the Union Cavalry.

    Archer’s and Davis’s main bodies were still waiting
           in columns on the Chambersburg Pike

It did not take long for Lt. Jones to call 
             for reenforcements. 
   How could he even think about holding otherwise?
Dana was asked to bring up the other company
          in the squadron.


Captain Dana arrives with 100 men
          with nearly a quarter of that number
           left to hold the horses
                                they were all cavalry men fighting
                                as infantry

   They formed a thin skirmish line a little behind
         Jones’ position on Whisler’s Ridge
      taking shelter of a rail fence with 10 yard
                       intervals between each new man.
   And now they waited.


In the woods just to their front
        the brigades of Archer and Davis were
  forming into line of battle. 
             Archer taking the south side of the road
             Davis, the north.

The Rebel skirmishers, now within range
               begin to fire
    random shots
                    here and there
       mostly to say “we’re here.”

The Union Cavalry soldiers returned their message, 
            though not as generously, but heartbreakingly,
      the first Confederate casualty, the 5th Alabama Battalion’s pet mascot,
                  innocent and oblivious to either the “Greater Union”
               or “The Cause,” 
        fell, never to lead the Battalion again.


Dim figures to the morning eyes
            Corporal Hodges of the 9th New York Cavalry. 
   He was posted on the east bank of Willoughby Run
                   near a railroad bed on the northern side of
         the Chambersburg Pike
  Rebs coming here too?
             or returning Union patrols?
    Better send word anyway.

  Hodges himself rode to Herr Ridge
               following the Chambersburg Pike.
                  Clear now.   Rebels.
    A few bullets whizzed by his head.
              He turned his mount around
         and retraced his steps, faster now. 
   Crossed the bridge at Willoughby Run, 
                 dismounted and grabbed a carbine.
         Kneeling behind the bridge, 
              he fired several shots in anger.
Rebs were all over the place now 
         so difficult to tell what
       was coming at you 
               or what was going on around you, 
  even 500 yards off.

Across the pike from Corporal Hodges, 
              also out of site, and somehow out 
        of conscious remembered earshot,
  the oncoming Rebel skirmishers out-numbered
             Captain Dana’s 100 men, 
      compelling them to fall back several
                       hundred yards
          firing at will.

Colonels Gamble and Devin, with the bulk of
              their men 
     form defensive lines on the
         western slope of
       McPherson’s Ridge.
                 Their skirmishers advancing towards
             Willoughby Run.
There was no digging in.
        Take shelter behind what you’ve got now
    “They will come booming.
           Skirmishers three deep.”
  Nothing to stop them now.


This new defensive line, waiting
        assured that “they” were indeed coming.
  As Major John Beveridge of the 8th Illinois Cavalry
            was joined by another squadron, 
       he sent men to inform all in this line, 
   all of Buford’s Division. 
The time has come.

The advance pickets of Devin’s Brigade were
          still falling back. 
    A squadron of the 6th New York
            narrowly escaped capture
      enveloped and realizing nearly too late.
 In short and ingloriously, 
                 they ran for it.

This gray Rebel skirmish line advance towards
         Belmont Schoolhouse Ridge,
    ascended and rested upon reaching the top

Two 3" rifled guns of Marye’s Battery were rushed forward
            to Herr Ridge, 
        firing a few shots into the woods
                 on McPherson’s Ridge. 
    They were not provided with a Union reply.
 The skirmishers then resumed their sluggish
                    march towards Herr Ridge
                    towards the enemy.
Lt. John Calef’s Union Battery was
         unlimbering their guns
      as shots, though scarce, 
           exploded nearby
All six guns in battery
              along side the Chambersburg Pike.
   But did not return fire.


Reaching the top of Herr Ridge, Heth’s skirmishers
         halted at its crest.
   Archer’s Brigade followed, 
                halting behind the skirmishers.

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