Bloody Angle

Chapter 21 – This poem, Bloody Angle, focuses on the point where Confederate forces in Pickett, Pettigrew, and Trimble’s Charge made it to the Union Center line. This happened on July 3rd, 1863 during the third day of fighting at Gettysburg. Vicious hand to hand fighting took place there. The angle or Bloody Angle refers to a wall that took an 80 yard 90 degree turn. The 4th US Artillery, Battery A, under the command of Lieutenant Cushing, with the help of the 69th PA Irish Regiment, bravely made their stand. They were totally overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of Confederates attacking. Lieutenant Cushing was killed, and the Commander of the 69th PA, Colonel O’ Kane was mortally wounded. General Webb sent the rest of the Philadelphia Brigade in to attack. General Hancock sent the 1st and 3rd brigades of the Second Division II Corps. They decimated the remaining Rebels. Confederate General Lewis Armistead was one the Rebels that made it over the wall and into the Bloody Angle. He was mortally wounded not far from where Lieutenant Cushing lay dead.

by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

Bloody Angle

Chapter 20 – Bloody Angle at Gettysburg 3rd Day


Confederates kept advancing

Screaming Rebel Yells eerie

Armistead and Garnett’s men

Still fueled by fierce fury


To the Union Center Line

For most a point of no return

Came upon a low wall angle

An 80 yard 90 degree turn


Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing

With two guns from Battery A

Of the 4th US Artillery

Stared them down that day


But he was already gravely wounded

Shot in the right shoulder

Shot again in the stomach

But he was a brave soldier


He stubbornly refused

On that 3rd day of July

To be taken to the rear

He’d rather fight or die


To 1st Sergeant Frederick Fuger

Commanding orders were given

“Back over the wall

The Rebels must be driven”


There to help them now

Was the 69th PA

A fierce Irish regiment

To meet the Rebel Gray


But they were but a few hundred

To fight this Rebel horde

Now numbering several thousand

With rifles, bayonets and swords


They met the enemy wildly

Fighting for their new land

No Irishman retreating

They bravely made their stand


Muskets were now bats

Smashing crashing heads

Pistols fired point blank

Many falling bloody dead


Bayonets pierced sides

Knifes driven into backs

But too many Rebels now

To thwart their attack


Lieutenant Cushing shouted orders

Bravely he still led

Shot point blank in the mouth

To the ground he fell dead


Sergeant Frederick Fuger

Battery A he was left to lead

The ground now bloody soaked

As men did bleed and bleed


The 69th PA fought on

Part of the Philadelphia Brigade

A Rock of Erin truly

So much courage displayed


More than 100 casualties

Either felled or slain

Their brave leader mortally wounded

Colonel Dennis O’Kane


The rest of Webb’s Philadelphia Brigade

Fired from the slope

With others charging to the wall

The Rebs began to lose hope


Hancock ordered Colonel Devereaux

To storm the Rebels at the Copse of Trees

“Get in God Damn quick!”

With the 19th MASS infantry


The rest of Colonel Hall’s brigade

And General Harrow’s brigade too

Join to attack the Rebels

Now swarmed by Union Blue


General Armistead mortally wounded

Lay near a Rebel funeral mound

Not too far away from where

Lieutenant Cushing rested sound


Rebels either lay wounded or dying

Captured or on the run

Totally overwhelmed

The battle for them was done


So, on that July day

34 stars still did spangle

Union Flag waving in the breeze

Over that Bloody Bloody Angle


Go to Chapter 22

What do you think of this poem?