The Peach Orchard

View From Seminary Ridge

     This is the view from the tower on Seminary Ridge near where Kershaw and Semmes of McLaws' division began their advance.  Off the picture to the right was the jump off point of Hood's division, which was the first to advance.  Hood was wounded early in the battle and was replaced by Law, resulting in some confusion and lost opportunities.  Law's brigade climbed Round Top and continued toward Little Round Top, whose rocky face can be seen above the Rose Farm.  Stony Hill, to the left of the Rose Farm, would be attacked by Kershaw and Semmes.  The woods further to the right were entered by the brigades of G.T. Anderson, Benning, Robertson, and Law.  These troops attacked Devils Den, the Wheatfield, and Little Round Top.

    The Peach Orchard, larger at the time, was the location of the vulnerable Union salient created when Sickles moved forward off of Cemetery Ridge to the Emmitsburg Road.  After a bombardment by 60 Confederate guns, and with their comrades to the right developing the attack and diverting attention, Kershaw, followed by Semmes, advanced across the Emmitsburg Road around the flank of the Peach Orchard salient.  Kershaw's right attacked Stony Hill, attacking Tilton's brigade in flank and pushing it back while his left flank troops wheeled to the left in an unsuccessful attack on Union artillery along the Wheatfield Road.

    Now the time was right to attack the Peach Orchard directly.  Barksdale's brigade supported by Wofford attacked next.  The rightmost regiment, the 21st Mississippi, hitting the area now planted with peach trees, punched through the Union line, paving the way for the rest of the brigade, which extended to the Sherfy farm.  Barksdale then wheeled left to attack the exposed flank of the Union troops along the Emmitsburg Road.     

West of the Peach Orchard

    This is the ground level view from the area north of the tower.  On the left of the picture, Barksdale's brigade advanced from Seminary Ridge toward the Peach Orchard, from left to right of the picture, on the far side of the road.  Later, Confederate troops beyond the Spangler farm advanced on the Emmitsburg Road further north.  In actions discussed previously, Kershaw and Semmes had advanced over the ground on the right of the picture toward the Rose farm.

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