Chapter 29

by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

Chapter 29 – This poem, Bloody Angle at Gettysburg, 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.

bloodyangle

Chapter 29 – 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 30

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