Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trans-Mississippians at Gettysburg

Hopefully readers will bear with me as I cross the mighty Mississippi in this posting. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Gettysburg, my first visit to that battlefield since I was a teenager. In advance of the trip, I arranged for a tour with a licensed battlefield guide and asked to see the following sites:

--the area where the Texas brigade fought on July 2nd

--the area where the 9th Massachusetts Artillery (Bigelow’s battery) made their stand on July 2nd

--the place where the 1st North Carolina Cavalry fought on July 3rd

My interest in the 1st North Carolina Cavalry stems from the wartime correspondence of Theophilus and Harriet Perry that I edited a number of years ago. Harriet’s brother, Jesse Person, served in the 1st North Carolina Cavalry and was one of two soldiers killed in that unit on July 3rd in the fighting east of town. He was buried in the Great Conewago Presbyterian Cemetery in Hunterstown on July 4th , and I also requested that the guide take me there if there was time. Accompanying me on this jaunt was my friend, Kyla, who has a limited interest in the Civil War but was game to go on the tour.

Jim Clouse, our licensed battlefield guide, met us on the morning of June 7th and took us away on a super tour that lasted four and a half hours. After driving through the areas fought over on July 1st and orienting Kyla to the battle, Jim drove us to the area where the Texas brigade launched its attack on July 2nd. There have been many fine historians who have documented the actions of the 1st Texas, the 4th Texas, the 5th Texas, and the 3rd Arkansas on that bloody afternoon so I will not “reinvent the wheel” by describing their actions yet again.

This monument, with its wreath of yellow roses, commemorates the actions of the Texas brigade.

Here is a view of the triangular field from the position of the 124th New York; the 1st Texas crossed this field in a charge on the position of the 124th New York (the Orange Blossoms).

And a view of the triangular field from the perspective of the 1st Texas; the monument to the 124th New York is in the middle of the photograph.


  1. Gettysburg Daily has panoramas of the Triangular Field up, from the opposite angle.

  2. Dr. Johansson, I'm quite jealous that you got to take this trip. I look forward to the day when I can tour Gettysburg. Hope all is well.

  3. Hi! I really enjoyed this post. I came across your blog looking for information on the 1st Texas (one of my favorite units at Gettysburg) and decided to stay awhile and read :-) I liked your photos as well.

  4. I really do not think of myself as a photographer so your kind words about my photographs were particularly appreciated. Hope you visit my blog again!