Saturday, April 9, 2011
Gettysburg - Union Defense of Devil's Den
Saturday Afternoon Session - LBG John Winkelman
The morning session followed the attack of Hood's division, with an emphasis on Robertson's Texas brigade, and a particular focus on the 1st Texas regiment. The afternoon session was similar in that it nominally covered the Union defense of Devil's Den, but really focused primarily on Ward's brigade and Smith's Battery. In fact, while the program was subtitled "The Struggle for Devil's Den", it just as easily could have been called "The Struggle for Smith's Battery".
As in the morning session, there was a tremendous amount of great detail, and in addition to the very knowledgeable session leader, there were a half dozen other guides tagging along in support and contributing as well. Most of the walk was spent on and in the immediate vicinity of Houck's Ridge, but we began by following the route Ward's brigade would have taken to arrive on the field in this location. We started at the brigade bivouac in the yard of the G Weikert house a ways to the northeast. We walked the short distance down the farm lane to the J Weikert house, and then continued southwest across Plum Run. We then skirted the eastern edge of the Wheatfield and into the east end of the Rose Woods. Here we saw where the right flank of the brigade (99th PA and 20th IN) would have been posted in the woods, where they would end up facing the 3rd Arkansas. We then continued on to the top of Houck's Ridge. Most of the rest of the session was conducted from this location with brief side trips up and down the various slopes of the ridge as we tracked the progress of the battle.
Once again I will not outline the history here, but have attached another batch of photos of some of the more important and interesting views.