Gettysburg'S Peach Orchard : Longstreet, Sickles, and the Bloody Fight for the "Commanding Ground" Along the Emmitsburg Road

Gettysburg'S Peach Orchard : Longstreet, Sickles, and the Bloody Fight for the "Commanding Ground" Along the Emmitsburg Road


More books have been written about the battle of Gettysburg than any other engagement of the Civil War. The historiography of the battle's second day is usually dominated by the Union's successful defense of Little Round Top, but the day's most influential action occurred nearly one mile west along the Emmitsburg Road in farmer Joseph Sherfy's peach orchard. Despite its overriding importance, no full-length study of this pivotal action has been written until now. James Hessler's and Britt Isenberg's Gettysburg's Peach Orchard: Longstreet, Sickles, and the Bloody Fight for the "Commanding Ground" Along the Emmitsburg Road corrects that oversight.

On July 2, 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee ordered skeptical subordinate Maj. Gen. James Longstreet to launch a massive assault against the Union left flank. The offensive was intended to seize the Peach Orchard and surrounding ground along the Emmitsburg Road for use as an artillery position to support the ongoing attack. However, Union Maj. Gen. Daniel Sickles, a scheming former congressman from New York, misinterpreted his orders and occupied the orchard first.

What followed was some of Gettysburg's bloodiest and most controversial fighting. General Sickles's questionable advance forced Longstreet's artillery and infantry to fight for every inch of ground to Cemetery Ridge. The Confederate attack crushed the Peach Orchard salient and other parts of the Union line, threatening the left flank of Maj. Gen. George Meade's army. The command decisions made in and around the Sherfy property influenced actions on every part of the battlefield. The occupation of the high ground at the Peach Orchard helped General Lee rationalize ordering the tragic July 3 assault known as "Pickett's Charge."

This richly detailed study is based upon scores of primary accounts and a deep understanding of the terrain. Hessler and Isenberg, both Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, combine the military aspects of the fighting with human interest stories in a balanced treatment of the bloody attack and defense of Gettysburg's Peach Orchard.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 1611214599
ISBN 13: 9781611214598

01 Aug 2019
Thomas J. Ryan

ISBN 10: 1634991230
ISBN 13: 9781634991230

29 Apr 2019
Phillip Thomas Tucker

ISBN 10: 1476674043
ISBN 13: 9781476674049

27 Feb 2019
Cory M Pfarr

ISBN 10: 1611214513
ISBN 13: 9781611214512

01 Jul 2019
Ronald D. Kirkwood

ISBN 10: 1643131346
ISBN 13: 9781643131344

02 Jul 2019
Christian B. Keller

ISBN 10: 1548616567
ISBN 13: 9781548616564

04 Jul 2017
Jack L Kunkel

ISBN 10: 1611212006
ISBN 13: 9781611212006

19 Jul 2015
James A. Hessler

ISBN 10: 1611213967
ISBN 13: 9781611213966

29 Mar 2019
Jeffrey Hunt

ISBN 10: 1634990471
ISBN 13: 9781634990479

10 Dec 2018
Phillip Thomas Tucker

ISBN 10: 0811712184
ISBN 13: 9780811712187

01 Jun 2013
The Editors of Stackpole Books

ISBN 10: 147283495X
ISBN 13: 9781472834959

31 Oct 2019
Robert Forczyk

ISBN 10: 1611210747
ISBN 13: 9781611210743

19 May 2015
David L. Schultz