July 1, 1863
Calef rode over to meet with General Buford.
He wanted this to begin.
But Buford wanted the guns placed, not together,
to make six guns appear
to be more than six guns.
Two were placed on the north side of the pike.
Two on the south side,
Both on McPherson’s Ridge.
The last two,
usually Sergeant Charles Pergel’s center section,
were placed near Herbst’s Woods
500 yards south of the Chambersburg Pike.
In short order,
Calef picked up and began to move
to his new position.
Seeing Archer at rest,
Heth ordered him forward.
But Davis’ Brigade had not yet
reached Herr Ridge.
What was ahead today?
How can one brigade
especially as small as Archer’s
simply wander by its lonesome
into that unknown?
Archer would not move in unsupported.
If we cannot have infantry, then we shall have artillery.
Seventeen of Pegram’s guns were now
placed in scattered positions between
Belmont Schoolhouse Ridge and Herr Ridge.
Ordered to fire.
Now they were whaling away.
Reynolds receives Buford’s courier message:
Rebs coming down Chambersburg Pike.
Sends word to Meade and Howard,
Also sends Hall’s Battery B of Maine
to get between the Rebs and Gettysburg
and throw a few shells.
Reynolds leaves his advancing columns to meet with Buford
near McPherson’s Hill.
Davis was now abreast with Archer’s Brigades,
both still in column.
No longer singular,
Archer ordered his brigade
up and over the crest of Herr Ridge,
to deploy in line of battle.
While Davis, with no chance to rest,
rushing into line.
3,000 Confederates were now aligning themselves
though mostly hidden from Union view.
Buford’s pickets were now falling back to Willoughby Run,
just at the western slope of McPherson’s Ridge.
Behind them, Calef’s guns.
As Colonel Devin moved his brigade to a safer location
to his rear, along a tree line and a
stone wall along the northern extension of
With his battery now in its new position,
Calef was observing Pergel’s section
near Herbst Woods.
around them all
the sounds of skirmishing
the sounds of Pegram’s guns
It grew on him. Almost to the back of his mind.
Like the chirping of birds
or water in a stream.
But one blast
from the right
caught him by surprise.
A gun fired. One of his guns.
From his right section.
No order had been given to fire.
Today Lt. John Rider, gunner of a piece
in Calef’s right section
took matters into
his own hands
As Davis’ Brigade was coming over
Herr Ridge, he saw an opportunity.
Why not shoot?
Unable to stomach that irresistible urge,
he ordered his gun to fire.
Calef, now introduced to the spirit of his boys
ordered all guns to fire.
Pegram’s Confederate guns, now with something to
focus their fire upon
took aim at Calef’s battery.
For nearly thirty minutes this lop-sided
affair played out.
Calef over shooting,
but landing his shots among
now coming up Herr Ridge
still behind Pegram’s Battery lines.
Lt. Jerome, in the cupola of the Seminary,
spots General Reynolds and a
column of blue infantry
one mile off.
Sends word to Buford,
who, without delay
borrowing his field glasses.
Reynolds is coming.
“Now we can hold this place.”
He followed Reynolds with his eyes
but work ahead.
Until within earshot,
Reynolds the first to call out, understating
“What’s the matter, John?”
Buford calmly returns,
“The devil’s to pay.”
And descends to meet Reynolds.
Major E. P. Holstead of Doubleday’s First Corps staff
rode to meet up with Reynolds near the Seminary:
Return word to Doubleday,
Hurry your men.
The youngest on Reynolds staff was Captain Weld.
To General Meade:
The enemy is advancing in strong force.
“I will fight him inch by inch,
and if driven into town
I will barricade the streets.”
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