Gettysburg - Morning Fight for McPherson Ridge July 1, 1863
Battle of Gettysburg
Morning Fight for McPherson's Ridge
July 1, 1863
In the early hours of July 1, 1863, Gen. A. P. Hill directed his corps of the Army of Northern Virginia to make a reconnaissance in force toward the town of Gettysburg. Just after 7AM Confederates of Gen Henry Heth's division encountered Union cavalry under Gen. John Buford posted just west of Willoughby's Run. Heth's men pressed their attack only to discover that the Federal horsemen had been reinforced by tough veteran troops of the Army of the Potomac under Gen. John Reynolds. In a vicious and bloody struggle, the Yankees rushed to fend off the Southern assault, making their stand along Willoughby's Run and on McPherson's Ridge. In spite of the staunch Union resistance, the Confederates had the advantage in terms of numbers and position. As the day's battle wore on, more Confederates under Gen. Richard S. Ewell arrived from the north, threatening the Federal right. Compelled to retreat, the Yankees fell back through and around Gettysburg and reformed on high ground to the south and east of town.
On July 2, Lee attempted to envelop the Federals, first striking the Union left flank at the Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Devil’s Den, and the Round Tops with Longstreet’s and Hill’s divisions, and then attacking the Union right at Culp’s and East Cemetery Hills with Ewell’s divisions.