Gettysburg - Cavalry Fight

July 3, 1863

     As part of Lee's attack plan for the third day, Stuart's newly arrived cavalry was sent around the left flank and into the Union rear.  Here they would assist the hoped for pursuit of the Union army.  As Stuart's 6,000 men reached Cress's Ridge, they came upon David Gregg's division of Union cavalry reinforced by Custer's brigade.

From Cress's Ridge

     Gregg was deployed along a small ridge in the distance - shown on the picture near "Monument."  Stuart and Gregg dispatched dismounted skirmishers which exchanged fire around the Rummel Farm, shown in the middleground.  Stuart deployed his horse artillery along Cress's Ridge to support them and to duel Union horse artillery in the distance as the mounted troopers took cover behind the ridge.  The Union cavalrymen were equipped with repeating rifles and the Confederates made no progress.

     Stuart knew he had to push the Union cavalry aside if he was to contribute to Lee's attack.  He formed two of his brigades into a large column and attacked.  The column passed the Rummel Farm and into the fields beyond.  Custer hit the Confederates head on.  Additional Union units struck the Confederate flanks, and a confused fight ensued in which the Confederates were repulsed.  Finally, after three hours of fighting, Stuart withdrew.  

Back to Gettysburg