Gettysburg's Bloody Wheatfield

Jay Jorgensen

  • Gettysburg's Bloody Wheatfield

Some of the deadliest fighting of the Battle of Gettysburg took place in the now famous Wheatfield. Confederate General Robert E. Lee sought to defeat Union General George G. Meade's army on Northern soil, as the battle between the North and South raged. Lee's soldiers in James Longstreet's First Corps attacked Federal soldiers from Daniel Sickles' III Corps. For over three hours, six Confederate brigades attacked and counterattacked 13 Union brigades from four different Federal corps. Several generals were mortally wounded, and the fighting bogged down into a regiment-by-regiment, man-to-man engagement. When the smoke cleared and the fighting ceased on the evening of July 2, 1863, the 26 acres of wheat owned by George Rose had been destroyed, with the dead and wounded strewn all about.

Neither side gained control of the ground, but many men gave their lives trying. The action has long been overlooked by in-depth analysis, in large part due to the confusing nature of the fighting. Jorgensen sifts through the smoke and haze and provides readers with a much-needed narrative of the Wheatfield fight.

Few Civil War battlefields witnessed more horrific fighting than that which occurred in the Wheatfield at Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 2, 1863. As part of James Longstreet's assault against the Union left flank, the action in the Wheatfield pitted troops from six Confederate brigades against Union soldiers in regiments from four corps. Jorgensen's narrative, which includes biographical vignettes of key leaders on both sides, makes sense of the complex ebb and flow of the action. His book should appeal to all students of Gettysburg.

John L. Nau III, Professor of History, University of Virginia

A thoroughly researched, well-written tactical study of one of the most heavily contested pieces of real estate in U.S. history. The excellent maps, and meticulous attention to personal biographies and firsthand accounts make this history a valuable addition to any Civil War student's library. This book is first-rate.

John Michael Priest, author

Author Jay Jorgensen
Pages 192
Images 0
Maps 15
Bibliography Yes
Index Yes
  • $17.95

Tags: 9781572493605, Jay Jorgensen