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"The Devil Is In The Details" Topic


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American Civil War

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204 hits since 14 Feb 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2020 11:46 a.m. PST

"Captain Hollon Richardson, Brigadier General Solomon Meredith's aides de camp, at a postwar reunion with the 19th Indiana, while recounting the death of Sergeant Major Asa Blanchard and the woundings of Lieutenant Colonel William Dudley and Meredith, casually said that he retired the brigade to its second position on the field. That position is where the Iron Brigade monuments are located at Gettysburg along Meredith Avenue. In the general recounting of the battle, many historians have assumed that Meredith Avenue marks the original position of the brigade. It definitely is not.

Position A. Following the defeat of Archer's Brigade, Meredith ordered the Iron Brigade to retire to the eastern side of Willoughby Run. The attack, however had split the command. The 19th Indiana, the 7th Wisconsin, and the 2nd Wisconsin, respectively, took a position along the first ridge paralleling the creek. The ridge gradually rose from a marshy drainage on the southern end to a rocky ledge some 10 feet above the creek about 1000 feet to the north. The three regiments on the line extended north from the creek bottom for about 600 feet.

Apparently, as I see the scenario unfolding, Meredith quickly realized that he could not successfully defend that position by leaving the brigade in a in a defilade from the west side of the creek. Nor could he let the 24th Michigan remain in the open ground below the woods. General Abner Doubleday, I Corps commanding, had arrived on the field and ordered Morrow to defend the woods at all costs because he considered it the key to the Federal defense of McPherson's Ridge and the Union left. Meredith, therefore, chose the higher ridge, east of his current line, as the better position from which to hold Herbst Woods…."

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