East Cavalry Field

Chapter 19 – This poem, East Cavalry Field, focuses on General J.E.B. Stuart‘s attempt to attack the Union rear on the third day of battle at Gettysburg. There to stop him were Union Cavalry led by General David McMurtrie Gregg. One of the heroes of the day was General George Armstrong Custer. He led the 7th and 1st Michigan Cavalry. Their efforts, along with Cavalry from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts prevented the Confederates from penetrating into the rear of the Union defenses.

East Cavalry Field Gettysburg  General Custer

 General J.E.B Stuart

by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

Chapter 20 – East Cavalry Field Gettysburg – 3rd Day of Battle


Absent for so long

His cavalry eyes finally here

Lee gave J.E.B. Stuart orders

To attack the Union rear


So, with four worn brigades

On July 3rd

5,000 Confederate troopers

Swept northeast then southeast around Gettysburg


Down the Low Dutch Road

They launched a strike

Riding south

Headed for Baltimore Pike


For the Baltimore Pike

Would lead them clear

Right into the center

Of the Union rear


But as they approached

The Hanover road

From John Rummel’s farm

Fulminous blasts of lead explode


The 5th MICH Cavalry

Repeating rifles roaring

Spencer’s firepower displayed

Bullets zipping soaring scoring


Into this melee

J.E.B Stuart ordered a charge

Fitz Lee’s 1st VA Cavalry rode

Into a brazen bullet barrage


Galloping Rebel Troopers

Came fast pouring through

5th MICH Cavalry overwhelmed

They scattered to fight anew


Union General David Gregg

Ordered Custer to counterattack

Time for the Wolverine brigade

To give it back


General George Custer

Himself in the lead

“Come on you Wolverines

Time to make them bleed!”


Waves of horsemen collided

Furious fighting along the fence

700 riders toppled together

Wild rumble dense


Carbines, Colts, and sabers sharp

Swirling kaleidoscope of horror exploding grim

Custer’s horse was shot

Right out from under him


He grabbed a bugler’s horse

But he knew they were beat

Rebel’s won this skirmish

He ordered a retreat


But General Custer went back

For the Cavalry 1st Michigan

Led by Colonel H. Town

They charged once again


Armstrong Custer sword on high shouted

 “Come on you Wolverines”

Galloping into the fray

Fierce warriors mean


Like two forests felled at once

Colliding both sides rushed

Horses falling end over end

Riders beneath cruelly crushed


Custer had another horse

Shot from under him once more

Fighting got hand to hand

So much blood and gore


Union General McIntosh

Then struck fiercely right

As 3rd PA and New Jersey’s First

Struck left to join the fight


Now assaulted from three sides

Stuart overwhelmed withdrew

Plan to attack the Union rear

Now impossible to do


Go to Chapter 20

One thought on “East Cavalry Field

  1. Custer was relentless in his attack and counterattacks against Jeb Stuart’s Confederate Cavalry! “Ride You Wolverines” ! Was the motto of the day!

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