In front of Cemetery Ridge, along this shelf of land overlooking the Trostle farm, Lt. Col. McGilvery assembled seventeen guns to delay the Confederate advance. Off the picture to the left, the 21st Miss. briefly captured one of the batteries, but it was later retaken during the Union counterattack.
Willard's Brigade and the 1st Minnesota
The Union situation was desperate. Defeated Federal troops had streamed back to Cemetery Ridge, and the Confederates were continuing the advance. McGilvery's guns, near where is picture was taken, were under pressure, and some were briefly captured. Confederates of Barksdale's and Wilcox's brigades were advancing after their victory along the Emmitsburg Road. They reached Plum Run, at the time an area with a small thicket. (It is now being restored to its original appearance and can be seen here as the thin group of trees below the ridge.) Ordered by Gen. Hancock, a lone regiment, the 1st Minnesota, attacked to buy time. With only 46 men rallied afterward of the 262 who began the attack, the regiment suffered over 80% casualties. Willard's brigade on the ridge on the right of the picture counterattacked and pushed Barksdale back beyond the thicket. Both Barksdale and Willard were killed. Wilcox was then faced not only by artillery and the rallied troops of Humphreys' command to his front, but also by Willard on his right. Wilcox, too, fell back. But another two brigades, those of Perry and Wright are attacking further down the line.
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