Bigelow's Desperate Stand

Bigelow's Desperate Stand (HMBEO)

Location: Gettysburg, PA 17325 Adams County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 48.114', W 77° 14.573'

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July 2, 1863 - Second Day

"...horses were plunging and laying all around.... The enemy were yelling like demons, yet my men kept up a rapid fire...."
Capt. John Bigelow, U.S.A.
9th Massachusetts Artillery

Here at the farm of Abraham Trostle on the afternoon of July 2, Capt. John Bigelow positioned the six cannon of his 9th Massachusetts Battery. Attacking Confederates who had driven Bigelow back from the Peach Orchard had him backed up against the stone wall to your right.

As Bigelow prepared to "limber up" and retreat again, his superior, Lt. Col. Freeman McGilvery, rode up with the order to hold the position "at all hazards" until a Union line could be established in the rear (to your right). Bigelow's gunners would have to face the Confederate onslaught without infantry support.

The cannoneers piled ammunition beside the guns for rapid loading. Soon Mississippians and South Carolinians crowded right up to the muzzles of the Union guns, only to be "blown away." When Confederate marksmen reached the farm buildings and began shooting cannoneers and their horses, Bigelow's men made their escape. The Confederates captured four cannon, but Bigelow had bought valuable time.

Sickles' Headquarters

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, controversial commander of the Union Third Corps, established his headquarters beside the Trostle barn here. As Sickles' line began to collapse on the afternoon of July 2, a Confederate cannonball struck the general's right leg. A stretcher-bearer slowed the bleeding with a saddle-strap tourniquet. Army surgeons amputated the leg that night.

Although many believe Sickles nearly lost Gettysburg for the Union, he helped to save it in 1895 by introducing legislation establishing Gettysburg National Military Park.
Placed ByGettysburg National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 1st, 2014 at 7:21pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 307987 N 4408176
Decimal Degrees39.80190000, -77.24288333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 48.114', W 77° 14.573'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 48' 6.84" N, 77° 14' 34.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 178-230 United States Ave, Gettysburg PA 17325, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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