Gettysburg’s famous wheatfield south of town was the site of brutal carnage on July 2, 1863. Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s Confederate corps attacked the Union left flank in waves that hit Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, The Wheatfield, The Peach Orchard, and Cemetery Ridge (in that order, roughly spaced in thirty-minute intervals). This article provides a few modern-day photos of the wheatfield on which about 18,000 soldiers fought; where 6,000 were soldiers killed, wounding, missing or captured; and a field that changed hands five or six times through the course of the day.
For maps by the American Battlefield Trust that show battlefield action in The Wheatfield, 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 “Back and Forth in The Wheatfield and Rose Woods.”
South End of the Famous Wheatfield
North End of The Wheatfield
Union Brig. Gen. Samuel K. Zook sustained mortal wounds while directing an attack into the wheatfield of local farmer, George Rose. An inscription on this 1882 monument, shown below, indicates that Zook “fell mortally wounded at or near this spot.” The famous wheatfield is on your right, and part of Wheatfield Road is faintly visible on the left side of the following photo.
East End of The Wheatfield
Next, we see the 27th Connecticut Monument as it stands in The Wheatfield which in 1863 contained chest-high wheat ready for harvesting. Erected in 1885, this monument’s inscription specifically commemorates the death of its regimental commander, Lt. Col. Henry C. Merwin, and Capt. Jedediah Chapman, Jr.
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