July 1, 1863 - First Day
"The enemy gave way on all sides, and was driven through Gettysburg with great loss."
Gen. Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.
Commander, Army of Northern Virginia
Infantry and artillery of the Union Eleventh Corps formed in the valley below you on the afternoon of July 1 to defend against Rodes' and Early's Confederate divisions which were attacking them from your left and rear. By 4:00 p.m. the Confederate tide swept through this area, scooping up 3,000 Union prisoners on the way.
9,000 Union soldiers and 6,800 Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing on July 1. Both sides paid a heavy price, but the Southerners had won the day. Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Confederate commander, believed his gains here gave hope for victory.
The Federals retreated through the streets of Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill just south and east of town. Despite their defeat the first day, they held a strong defensive position from which to renew the fight the following day.
(Key points indicated in photographs):
(1) Barlow Knoll
Maj. Gen. Jubal Early's Confederates smashed Union defenders here on the afternoon of July 1, leading to the collapse of the Union line.
(2) Carlisle Road
(3) Mummasburg Road
(4) Culp's Hill
Retreating Federals occupied this strategic high ground on the evening of July 1.
(5) Gettysburg College
Known as Pennsylvania College in 1863, it served as a hospital during and after the battle. Both armies posted lookouts in the cupola on the roof of the main building.
(5) Cemetery Hill
Union troops who survived the route north of town rallied here on the evening of July 1 with the reserve troops of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard