On July 2, 1862, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia executed a phased attack eastward from Seminary Ridge. In the late afternoon, the attack was particularly fierce in the Sherfy Peach Orchard. On the whole, after Union Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles created a westward bulge in his battle line (i.e., a “salient”) at the orchard, Lee’s army was able to break through the line and thus threaten the federal army on Cemetery Ridge.
For maps by the American Battlefield Trust that show battlefield action in The Peach Orchard, click here: 5:45–6:30 P.M. | 6:30–7:00 P.M. | 7:00–8:00 P.M. Or to read Civil War Cycling’s dense but detailed study notes for Day 2 Gettysburg, click here and look under the Detailed Summary for “Crushing Blows in The Peach Orchard.”
Union Cannons on Emmitsburg Road
In the following photo, Union cannons point westward from the Sherfy Peach Orchard to Confederate positions on Seminary Ridge. Emmitsburg Road bisects the fields that separated the two armies on July 2, 1863. The tall monument behind the fence is the 5th New Jersey regimental monument, erected in 1888. The shorter monument near the cannons marks the location of the 3rd U.S. Artillery, Batteries F & K.
Peach Orchard Views from Wheatfield Road
The next photo shows ornamental peach trees that the National Park Service planted on what was once farm of Rev. Joseph and Mary Sherfy. We are looking southwest from Wheatfield Road toward the Longstreet Observation Tower on Warfield Ridge, which is the southern extension of Seminary Ridge. The Confederate battle line ran north to south, terminating at Warfield Ridge.
In the following photo, we see Capt. John Bigelow’s 9th Massachussetts Battery monument along Wheatfield Road. The guns face south, and behind the guns about four hundred yards (not visible) is the Abraham Trostle farm, where the battery withdrew in response to enfilading Confederate fire.
The Peach Orchard Rise at Excelsior Field
Excelsior Field is in the northern part of the field, on a rise that partially obscures your view of the Klingel barn along Emmitsburg Road. In the photo, the 73rd New York (also called the “2nd Fire Zouaves”) monument is on the left and the Excelsior Brigade is on the right, on Sickles Aveneue.
A Confederate View of the Sherfy Farm
Back to Landscapes