It’s early in the morning on a hot and humid summer day. Two opposing sides of the American Civil War have been traveling towards Gettysburg and an inevitable confrontation. The soldiers, dressed in full uniform of heavy wool suits, sweated in the July 1, 18863 heat while marching to orders.
At 9:30 a.m. the Confederate Army under the command of General Henry Heth, clashed against the Union Cavalry division lead by Major General John Buford. Fighting along the farms and ridge at McPherson’s farm, the beginning of a three day long battle ensued.
One of the first major casualties was Major-General John Fulton Reynolds. While riding his strong steed along the east edge of the woods, to rally the Iron Brigade by shouting “Forward! Men, Forward! For God’s sake, and drive those fellows out of the woods” a bullet struck him in the head and killed him.
The battle swept through the fields of McPherson’s farm of wheat and corn. Even with the tough fighting cavalry lead by General Buford, the Confederates out numbered the northern army. After a long day of battle, Buford and his northern army were forced to retreat through Gettysburg and regrouped on higher ground.
There is one building that remains standing today on McPherson’s Farm. This white barn became a place of refuge for the wounded and remained a hospital long after the Gettysburg battle ended.
In just two weeks, the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Battle will be reenacted.
Get an idea of what it is like to step back into history and walk among campgrounds and speak with reenactors that create living history. By clicking on these two posts of a visit to the Gettysburg Reenactment in 2012: