Farnsworth's Cavalry Charge

Farnsworth's Cavalry Charge (HMA38)

Location: Gettysburg, PA 17325 Adams County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 47.133', W 77° 14.793'

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July 3, 1863 - Third Day

"...each man felt, as he tightened his saber belt, that he was summoned to ride to death."
Capt. H.C. Parsons, U.S.A.
1st Vermont Cavalry, Farnsworth's Brigade

One of the last, and most futile, engagements at Gettysburg occurred here at the end of the third day. Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick had moved into this area to harass the rear and right of the Confederate line. To the north, the Confederates in Pickett's Charge had been badly beaten, but the Southern position here remained strong.

About 5:00 p.m., Kilpatrick ordered Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth to lead a cavalry charge against a line of Confederate infantry in the fields and woods surrounding the Slyder Farm in front of you. Farnsworth protested, believing it would be suicidal for cavalry to attack foot soldiers over ground obstructed by fences, boulders, ditches, and timber.

Kilpatrick, who boasted cavalry could "fight anywhere except at sea," would not reconsider. Farnsworth obeyed and rode off with some 300 troopers. Encountering deadly fire on all sides, horsemen were shot from their saddles like ducks in a shooting gallery. General Farnsworth fell on the rugged hillside to your right with five mortal wounds, and, it is said, with his saber raised.
HM NumberHMA38
Placed ByGettysburg National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 14th, 2014 at 2:22pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 307627 N 4406369
Decimal Degrees39.78555000, -77.24655000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 47.133', W 77° 14.793'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 47' 7.98" N, 77° 14' 47.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 34 S Confederate Ave, Gettysburg PA 17325, US
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