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Gettysburg - Morning Fight for McPherson Ridge July 1, 1863

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Gettysburg - Morning Fight for McPherson Ridge July 1, 1863
Gettysburg - Morning Fight for McPherson Ridge July 1, 1863

American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Gettysburg - Morning Fight for McPherson Ridge

Just after 7:00 a.m. on July 1, Confederates of Gen Henry Heth’s division encountered Union cavalry under Gen. John Buford posted west of Willoughby’s Run. Heth’s men pressed their attack only to discover that the Federal horsemen had been reinforced by veteran I Corps 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.

Confederate brigadier James Archer was captured by the Iron Brigade early in the fighting, and Reynolds was killed at the eastern edge of John Herbst’s woodlot around 10:15 a.m. Despite staunch Union resistance, the Confederates had the advantage in terms of numbers. As the day wore on, more Confederates arrived from the north, threatening the Federal right. Compelled to retreat, the Yankees fell back through Gettysburg and reformed on high ground to the south of town.

Learn More: The Battle of Gettysburg

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