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Gettysburg - Union Forces Driven Off Oak Ridge July 1, 1863

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Gettysburg - Union Forces Driven Off Oak Ridge July 1, 1863
Gettysburg - Union Forces Driven Off Oak Ridge July 1, 1863

American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Gettysburg - Union Forces Driven Off Oak Ridge

The 5-brigade division of Robert Rodes, at 8,000 men the largest in Lee’s army, deployed straddling Oak Ridge on the right flank of the Union line. In the early afternoon, the undulating terrain and poor leadership control lead to Rodes’ brigades being committed at different points along the Federal position instead of in one concentrated blow. Heavy casualties were incurred as their attacks were poorly coordinated and the Union line hold fast.

Around 4:00 p.m., Rodes regrouped his brigades and attacked John Robinson’s and James Wadsworth’s divisions again. Overwhelmed this time, the Yankee defenders fell back off the ridge and retreated toward town. When the Union position collapsed, the 16th Maine Infantry was ordered to serve as the rear guard to buy time for the remainder of Robinson’s men to withdraw from Oak Ridge. The regiment held out as long as they could and conducted a fighting retreat to the north edge of Gettysburg, where 159 of them were captured.

Learn More: The Battle of Gettysburg

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