On the afternoon of July 2, 1863, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet struck the Union left flank with a massive blow that collapsed Dan Sickles’ advanced position in the Peach Orchard and rolled northward, tearing open a large gap in the center of the Federal line on Cemetery Ridge. Fresh Confederates from A. P. Hill’s Corps advanced toward the mile-wide breach, where Southern success would split the Army of the Potomac in two. The fate of the Battle of Gettysburg hung in the balance.
Despite the importance of the position, surprisingly few Union troops were available to defend Cemetery Ridge. Major General Winfield S. Hancock’s veteran Second Corps had been whittled from three divisions to less than one after Gibbon’s division was sucked into earlier fighting and Caldwell’s command was shattered in the Wheatfield. With little time and few men, Hancock determined to plug the yawning gap. Reprising Horatio at the Bridge, the gallant commander cobbled together various commands and refused to yield the precious acres in Plum Run ravine. The swirling seesaw fighting lasted for hours and included hand-to-hand combat and personal heroics of which legends are made.
The Second Day at Gettysburg: The Attack and Defense of the Union Center on Cemetery Ridge, July 2, 1863 expands on David Shultz and David Wieck’s critically acclaimed earlier work The Battle Between the Farm Lanes. This completely revised and expanded study, which includes new photographs, original maps, and a self-guided tour of the fighting, is grounded in extensive research and unmatched personal knowledge of the terrain. The result is a balanced and compelling account of this often overlooked portion of the battle.
About the Authors: David L. Shultz is the author of numerous books, pamphlets, and articles concerning the Battle of Gettysburg including the acclaimed Double Canister at Ten Yards: The Federal Artillery and the Repulse of Pickett’s Charge; Guide to Pennsylvania Troops at Gettysburg; and The Battle Between the Farm Lanes: Hancock Saves the Union Center. His acclaimed historical pamphlet in 1997 entitled “The Baltimore Pike Artillery Line and Kinzie’s Knoll,” received special recognition from numerous battlefield preservation societies. He is the recipient of numerous awards including special citations from the House of Representatives and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for Meritorious Public Service for Battlefield Preservation. He is currently working on an extensive and comprehensive tactical study on the artillery at Gettysburg.
In addition to co-authoring The Battle Between the Farm Lanes and The Second Day at Gettysburg, David F. Wieck has written several articles on Civil War topics, most recently on Frank Furness, Medal of Honor winner and famous Philadelphia architect. He has edited more than twenty books on military history, and is a frequent speaker on the Civil War and a personal favorite, John Quincy Adams. He works for the federal government, specializing in the advocacy of rights and benefits for military veterans. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and four presidential cats.
Savas Beatie; October 2015
- ISBN 9781611210750
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
- Title: The Second Day at Gettysburg
- Author: Scott L. Mingus; David Schultz
Imprint: Savas Beatie