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Day 2 Tour 1
Little Round Top

Confederate attack on Union left repulsed at the point of a bayonet
...Now there are 10,000 Union soldiers in the battle line, from the Pennsylvania Memorial to just short of this hill. Those solders are under the command of a political general from the state of New York by the name of Daniel Sickles. As soon as Sickles is placed on the Union left flank in that position, he doesn’t like it. The reason he doesn’t like it is that he’s been given the only low ground on the entire Union battle line to defend, and it’s no fun to defend low ground in any war. On his own and without orders, he breaks away from the rest of the Union battle line and advances his men forward, looking for better positions. Now he’s putting the entire Union battle line at great risk...

Day 2 Tour 2
Devil’s Den

Fighting intensifies as combat goes hand to hand amongst the rocks
...This is the left flank of Dan Sickles’ line. Remember, he has pushed forward, away from the “fishhook” line and he anchors his left flank in these rocks. He has about 1,500 Union soldiers in these rocks, on top of these rocks, and down along the ridgeline to our right. This ridgeline exits into a place called The Wheatfield, well to our right. Sickles has four cannons up here, as well. It’s a pretty strong position, as you can see. However, the Confederates eventually compromise this position by totally encircling it and forcing the Union soldiers to withdraw...

Day 2 Tour 3
The Wheatfield

One of the fiercest fights of the war leaves 6,000 dead and wounded among the wheat
...This fight in The Wheatfield lasts about two-and-a-half hours, so there is some fighting in the Peach Orchard while this fight is going on, as well. This field changes hands unbelievably six different times that afternoon. Each side is trying to establish a defensive position...

Day 2 Tour 4
The Peach Orchard

Barksdale’s confederates smash into the exposed union line
...the in-echelon attack by the Confederates continues, and William Barksdale’s brigade then advances. Barksdale advances the 600 yards at double-quick, taking only minutes to get from that tree line to where we stand right now. In fact, he has 1,800 men moving at a fast pace on a 300 yard front, and it is his luck to catch the Union position at its weakest point, from the intersection of this road (the Millerstown/Wheatfield Road and the Emmitsburg Road) to those buildings on your right (the Scherfy farm complex). Barksdale breaks the Union position there..

Day 2 Tour 5
Emmitsburg Road Ridge

Confederates momentarily breach union line on cemetery ridge
...Coming down the Emmitsburg Road is a portion of Barksdale’s Brigade, which has broken the Union position at The Peach Orchard. Not only do the Confederates push through the gap that they create, but they also try to expand the gap laterally, with the help of an Alabama brigade on their left flank under the command of Brigadier General Cadmus Wilcox. Cadmus Wilcox’s brigade advances from the west and goes right through that farmhouse (the Klingle farm). Their advance comes through there, with Barksdale’s Brigade to their right (closer to the Round Tops). This is the gap the Confederates create—almost a quarter of a mile here—as they drive the Union soldiers back through the woods to our front. Those woods (the Trostle Wood Lot) were here at the time of the battle, but they were a lot thinner than they are today. That’s pretty much where the Confederate advance stalls, to some extent...

Day 2 Tour 6
Culp’s Hill

Desperate evening attack against Union right flank foiled by breastworks
...In the afternoon of July 2nd, there will be approximately 5,000 Confederates attacking this hill. Earlier in the day, however, the Union commander at Gettysburg, George Gordon Meade, is very worried that Robert E. Lee is going to attack him on this hill. Meade therefore places 10,000 Union soldiers on top of this hill—the entire Union 12th Corps under the command of a major general by the name of Henry Slocum. Of course, you’d say to yourself, if 5,000 Confederates attack uphill toward 10,000 Union soldiers, then the Confederates simply won’t have a very good chance of success on this hill—and you’d be right.However, something very unusual happens here that gives the Confederates a much better opportunity...

Day 2 Tour 7
East Cemetery Hill

Early morning Union attack is longest sustained action at Gettysburg
...We’re on Cemetery Hill, the rallying point of the Union soldier on the evening of July 1st. It is also the site of a Confederate attack on the evening of July 2nd. To your right is Culp’s Hill. That attack has been going on for a number of hours before this attack begins. In fact, the Confederates attack this position literally in total darkness, which is a rarity in the American Civil War. You generally do not attack or defend at night...

-Tours are-recorded on
the Battlefield

Gary Kross, author and businessman, is one of the most popular Licensed Battlefield Guides at the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park. A member of the advisory board of Blue & Gray magazine, he published special editions of that magazine in 1988, 1995, 1996 and 1997 on the Battle of Gettysburg. His vivid battlefield tours provide a level of dramatic realism to Virtual Gettysburg.

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