“Duels, Fire-fights and Outright Bedlam: Artillery Actions of July 2, 1863”

April 13-14th, 2018

The ALBG is pleased to announce the spring seminar in 2018 will focus on the role of Union and Confederate artillery during the crucial actions on the afternoon of the second day of the battle.  Join us on Friday, April 13th as we meet at the Valentine Hall, United Lutheran Seminary Campus,  where LBG Dave Donahue will provide an overview of the artillery arm of the service.  Saturday morning will begin with LBG Ed Suplee discussing the artillery duel between Benner’s Hill and East Cemetery Hill. LBG Ralph Siegel will then present a program “Gunfight in the Peach Orchard.” After a lunch break to recharge, LBG John Archer will lead the group in a walk to discuss the fight of Bigelow’s 9th Massachusetts Battlery on the Trostle Farm. LBG Don Walters will finish the afternoon program discussing the advance of Anderson’s Division Against Union Artillery on the afternoon of July 2.   Please prepare accordingly for outdoor programs in unpredictable weather.  Registration fee includes Friday night reception with light refreshments, materials, transportation and Saturday lunch.  For more information, please see detailed program descriptions below.

********************************************************** Friday, April 13th – Lutheran Theological Seminary – Valentine Hall.

6:30 PM – Welcoming reception at the Lutheran Theological Seminary – Valentine Hall.

7:00 PM – Presentation: “Artillery Overview: Weapons, Ordnance, Staffing, Doctrine, and Tactics” with Dave Donahue

This presentation is an overview of how artillery batteries, battalions, and brigades attempted to fight on Civil War battlefields by 1863.  It emphasizes the way in which battery weapons, ammunition, manpower and horse requirements, procedures, and combat lessons influenced tactics.   The goal is to appreciate how artillery commanders and units hoped to support the infantry and cavalry units in accomplishing their mission.

Saturday, April 14th – in the Gettysburg National Military Park 

8:30 AM – Arrive and board bus for field portion of the seminar at the Soldiers National Cemetery/Ziegler’s Grove Parking Area.

8:45 AM – Bus departs for “The Artillery Duel Between Benner’s Hill, Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill” with Ed Suplee.

Around 4:00 PM on July 2nd, as General James Longstreet began the primary Confederate attack towards the left of the Union “fishhook” configuration, General Richard Ewell made an artillery “demonstration” to the far right of the Union lines to the northeast of Gettysburg. This artillery duel involved at least forty cannon on the Union side (from Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill) against at least sixteen cannon on the Confederate side (or Benner’s Hill). This short artillery battle resulted in the near destruction of the Confederate artillery position on Benner’s Hill as well as the mortal wounding of Confederate Major Joseph Latimore who commanded the Confederate guns. Latimore known as “The Boy Major” was only nineteen years old. 

10:30 A.M.  Bus departs for “Gunfight in the Peach Orchard” with Ralph Siegel.

In most artillery engagements of the war, including Gettysburg’s great “cannonade,” the guns were too distant to realistically target each other. But on July 2nd, at the Peach Orchard, the Union guns of Randolph and McGilvery, and the Confederate guns of Alexander, moved quite by accident within “direct-fire” range of each other in what may have been the largest close-action artillery fight of the entire war. A New Jersey battery would fire more rounds in four hours than any other battery on any other day of the war. A gunner in a Georgia battery would report: “The firing was the most rapid I have ever witnessed, and the earth literally vibrated under the continuous roar.”

12:00 PM – Depart for the United Lutheran Seminary for lunch. 12:45 PM – Depart for the south end and “Bigelow’s Battery – The 9th Massachusetts:” Hold at all Hazards.”  program with John Archer.

History and Gettysburg hold a number of moments where the confluence of people, place, and events can have results far beyond what was intended.  On July 2, 1863, Captain John Bigelow and the untested 9th Massachusetts Battery were last minute reinforcements to the center of Sickles’ Emmitsburg Road line. When Lee’s flank assault collapsed Sickles’ salient at the Peach Orchard, a combination of discipline and raw courage by Bigelow’s men slowed the Rebel juggernaut at the Trostle Farm. Their sacrifice may well have saved the center of the Union line from disaster. 

2:30 PM – Final Field Program:  “Anderson’s Division Moves Forward Against Union Artillery on July 2. Why?.”  program with Don Walters.

As the Confederate attack on July 2 spread north, Richard Anderson’s Division swept into action. Much has been said about the noble actions of Union infantry efforts to maintain Meade’s line of battle, which is quite proper. But too often the actions of a number of Union artillerymen are overlooked. The Seminar cadre will move north along Cemetery Ridge and discuss the work of Turnbull, Weir, Thomas, Livingston and others, as they resist the bedlam of Anderson’s attack. Included within this discussion will be Anderson’s gunners, the Sumter Flying Artillery.  

4:15 PM – Depart to return to the National Cemetery / Ziegler’s Grove Parking Area – Dismissal and Thank you. Appropriate shoes and dress are highly recommended for all field programs.  Be prepared for any type of weather.



In the event it becomes necessary for you to cancel your registration please be aware of the following policy:

  • Cancellations must be received in writing.  The date of receipt of the written cancellation will determine the amount of refund based on the following;
  • 100%: Prior to February 15, 2018
  • 50 %:  Prior to March 30, 2018
  • No Refund: Given after March 30, 2018


In consideration of the services of The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides®, their officers,  agents, and members, and/or all other persons or entities associated with those businesses (hereinafter collectively  referred to as “ALBG”) I agree as follows: 

Although ALBG has taken reasonable steps to provide me with appropriate equipment and experienced,  skilled guides so I can enjoy an activity for which I may not be skilled, ALBG has informed me this activity is not  without risk. Certain risks are inherent in each activity and cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique  character of the activity. These inherent risks are some of the same elements that contribute to the unique  character of this activity and can be the cause of loss or damage to my equipment, or accidental injury, illness, or  in extreme cases, permanent injury, trauma and/ or death. ALBG does not want to frighten me or reduce my  enthusiasm for this activity, but believes it is important for me to know in advance what to be aware of and to  expect and to be informed of the inherent risks as reasonably as possible. Most programs will be conducted on  the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park (“GNMP”). The following describes some, but not all, of  those risks.

  • Tripping, slipping and/or falling on uneven, slippery and/or brush and/or leaf-covered terrain
  • Exposure to severe weather, including but not limited to: Excessive cold, heat and/or humidity, sun,  heavy rain, thunderstorms, lightening and/or high winds 
  • Exposure to stinging insects, poison ivy and/or poison oak 
  • Traffic on GNMP and public roadways adjacent and through GNMP, which may be heavy at times and  may include, but is not limited to: automobiles, buses, motorcycles, scooters, horses, horse-drawn  vehicles, Segways and bicycles 

I am aware that outdoors programs entail risks of injury, trauma and/or death to any participant. I  understand the description of these inherent risks is as complete as is reasonably possible, and that other unknown  or unanticipated inherent risks may result in injury, trauma and/or death. I agree to assume and accept full  responsibility for the inherent risks identified herein and those inherent risks not specifically identified but may  also occur. My participation in this activity is purely voluntary; no one is forcing me to participate and I elect to  participate in spite of and with full knowledge of the inherent risks. 

I acknowledge that engaging in this activity may require a degree of skill and knowledge different than  other activities and that I have responsibilities as a participant. I acknowledge that the staff of ALBG [and the  Staff of the Gettysburg National Military Park who are publicly available to all Visitors for information at no  charge] has been available to more fully explain to me the nature and physical demands of this activity and the  inherent risks, hazards, and dangers associated with this activity. 

I certify that I am fully capable of participating in this activity. Therefore, I assume and accept full  responsibility for myself, including all minor children in my care, custody, and control, for bodily injury, death or  loss of personal property [including but not limited to automobiles, other vehicles, pets, etc.] and expenses as a  result of those inherent risks and dangers identified herein and those inherent risks and dangers not specifically  identified, and as a result of my negligence in participating in this activity. 

I have carefully read, clearly understood and accepted the terms and conditions stated herein and  acknowledge that this agreement shall be effective and binding upon myself, my heirs, assigns, personal  representative and estate and for all members of my family, including minor children.

Close and choose agree to continue with registration.