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July 1, 1863



10:00am

It did not take long for Davis to move his brigade
          over Herr Ridge once the Union skirmishers
   were cleared out.

Archer, on the other side of the pike, had crossed Willoughby Run
      and pushed Gamble’s line back 200 yards until
   the cavalrymen were in line with Calif’s guns.

The13th Alabama and 1st Tennessee, making up Archer’s right,
          emerged from a wooded area, just cleared of
       Gamble’s skirmishers.
               They now came under fire from Pergel’s section
           and were ordered to advance at the double-quick to the
                   cover of the woods nearest to Willoughby Run.
 
Devin, just now meeting Davis, held his ground.
    But all of the cavalry was nearly out of ammunition.
  As was Calef.
How long could they hold now?

10:10am

Fairfield Road
  Wadsworth’s Division, consisting of Cutler’s and Meredith’s Brigades, 
                had split up. 
  
 Cutler moved towards Seminary Ridge and came to a halt, 
          the lead regiment, nearing the Chambersburg Pike.
      As they formed into line of battle, 
                Hall’s Battery flew by them en route to McPherson’s Ridge, 
            cutting the brigade in two.

Meredith slinked along the small valley
               to the front of Seminary Ridge 
          at the double-quick.
     No stopping to load. 
           Load on the run.


10:15am

Cutler’s Brigade, now in two parts, moved out over
                Seminary Ridge towards McPherson’s.
    Before them, bloomed a battle, 
           with their cavalry clearly giving ground.

Wounded men limping or crawling or dragging themselves
         away from the lines. 
   Save yourself.
              Or some were helped, gun or comrade for a crutch.
        Some on stretchers.
  Couriers and aides crisscrossed from one
                commander to another.

 Halls battery was speeding down the Chambersburg Pike
           as Calef’s right and middle sections were limbering up, 
        ready to roll out.
   Reynolds had ordered Hall to relieve 
             the hard fought battery.
    Though Pergel’s section, just south of Herbst’s Woods remained. 

Passing to the front of the advancing brigade
       was a bitterly angry civilian.
  Still searching for a fight, 
                   John Burns.
As Burns passed the 147th New York, 
          sarcasm flew from the mouth of one man:
   “We are going to celebrate the Fourth
                 for you, old fellow.”

 Never to out done, 
        John Burns fired back:
                  “It’s a little early in the month, 
      but I’ll help you do it.”


10:20am

Just east of Willoughby Run, South of the Chambersburg Pike.
  Archer’s Southerners had come only 1,000 yards from 
            Calef’s remaining section.
         Two guns near Herbst’s Woods.
                      As they pushed up the ridge, 
                   they could see Union reinforcements just now coming
               up on the double-quick.


                      ____________________
                                
                                
The space vacated by Calef’s two sections on either side of
          Chambersburg Pike,  was now filled by the six guns
     of Halls Battery.
 Their line stretched from the Pike itself, right, 
              to the unfinished railroad cut.
    This position was and exposed peninsula, with no
                   infantry support to speak of.
 But infantry was not their concern just yet.
        the five Confederate batteries of Pegram’s Artillery
    took notice of this new target, 
           bombarding as Hall set up.
      Once set up, there was a steady reply.


                      ____________________
                                
                                
Cutler’s Brigade had now reached the McPherson Farm, 
          halting just east of the barn.
    To their front, Gamble’s and Archer’s Brigades
                     still slugged it out.
  Two of Cutler’s regiments, the 56th Pennsylvania and 76th New York, 
                    having been severed 
               from the brigade with the passing of
       Hall’s Battery, were rushing off to face the enemy.
     The three remaining, 
              the 14th Brooklyn, 95th New York 
           and the147th New York, 
         having waited for Hall to pass, 
                  waited for orders, resting around,
           even in the McPherson Barn.

The 55th North Carolina, of Davis’ Confederate brigade
           could see the 56th and 76th crossing the rail road cut.
        The regiment formed on the crest of Forney Ridge, 
                   a slight westerly extension of McPherson’s Ridge
                and waited for the two Union regiments to
                       maneuver into position.
     Davis through out his skirmishers towards the advancing Yankees 
             of Cutler’s brigade.  

 To Cutler’s left, 
          Meredith’s Iron Brigade was forming up
      advancing en echelon from right to left:
                                                     2nd Wisconsin 
                                         7th Wisconsin
                            19th Indiana
                24th Michigan
   with the
                                        6th Wisconsin
         held in reserve.


                      ____________________
                                
                                
Peering over their shoulders, Buford’s tired men
          saw this division coming up
    and breathed a collective sigh of relief, 
       Now, even if beaten back, 
              the ground could be held.


                      ____________________
                                
                                
As Buford’s men saw their approaching infantry
         Pegram also took notice.
     Ordered fire down upon them. 
    As shells fell among the fresh ranks, 
        men and boys died before firing a single shot.
 
 Reynolds ordered Hall’s Battery to 
    inflict as much damage on Pegram’s guns
         as they could.
      Divert their fire from our infantry.
    Then I’ll retire you to a safer, less exposed position.
           But first, hammer away.


                      ____________________


With fresh troops forming up behind them, 
       Buford told Gamble to prepare to retire
    most of his men.
  The men now had to be literally dragged away. 
           Some chose not to leave at all. 
   This was their fight.
                     But for the most part, 
     Gamble’s tired men mounted up
            and rode off to cover the infantry’s left flank.
       They greeted their infantry brethren, bidding them, 
               “Go in and give them hell!”  

Pergel’s section still firing, required support.
     A squadron or two saw to that.
                                
                                
                                
10:25am

North of the Chambersburg Pike, McPherson’s Ridge.
As the 56th Pennsylvania and the 76th New York of
           Cutler’s Brigade made their way
     up to relieve Devon, Pegram’s Artillery
       targeted  them, 
                   inflicting more casualties.

 Both Regiments, the 76th in front, formed up
      in the field between the railroad cut and 
             Mummasburg Road, 
        coming close to neither
   and leaving a large gap between the 56th, on the left,
          and Hall’s Battery.

Division Commander, General Wadsworth, 
      wanted the 147th New York to move from
   the McPherson’s farm to fill the gap.
 And sent an aide to get them.


                      ____________________
                                
                                
General Reynolds received a courier message from General Doubleday.
     What to do with the Second and Third Divisions of
    the First Corps coming up shortly?
It seemed to be already worked out in Reynolds’ head, 
               Doubleday must hold the Fairfield Road
               Reynolds, the Chambersburg Pike.


                      ____________________
                                
                                
The 147th New York’s regimental commander, Major Grover, 
        still without orders,
     ill-content with simply resting near the McPherson barn, 
   sought out his orders. 
           Somehow found Wadsworth.
 Support Hall’s Right.
 Fill the gap.




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