The Left of the Union Army
"I took up the line because it enabled me to hold commanding ground."
-Major General Daniel E. Sickles
In a move whose merit has been debated since the battle, General Sickles, on his own initiative, positioned the 10,500 man Union Third Corps three-quarters of a mile in front of the original Union line on Cemetery Ridge. The new Third Corps' position was from the base of Little Round Top to the Peach Orchard and extended to your left a quarter-mile along Emmittsburg Road. Unfortunately, the Union line, which was a mile in length, was too long to be adequately defended by the undermanned Third Corps.
The Confederate Assault Continues
"Fourteen hundred rifles were grasped with firm hands, and as the line officers repeated the command "Forward March" the men sprang forward and fourteen hundred voices raised the famous 'Rebel Yell'....
-Colonel B.G. Humphreys, Barksdale's Brigade
On July 2nd, 1863, at 5:00, McLaws' 7,100 man division of Longstreet's Corps joined Hood's assault against the Union position. Kershaw's Brigade of South Carolinians advanced from your right toward the Rose Farm woodline. After crossing the Emmittsburg Road, Kershaw's Brigade split in two halves. The right half assaulted the Rose Farm Woods and the left section wheeled to attack the Peach Orchard.
At 5:45 P.M., Barksdale's Brigade of Mississippians advanced on the left of Kershaw and pierced the apex of the Union position at the Peach Orchard and Sherfy Farm. Barksdale's men wheeled to the left and continued to roll up the Union line along the Emmittsburg Road, finally being stopped behind the Trostle Farm.