Confederate Headquarters – Longstreet’s First Corps

The monument to Hood’s Division of the Army of Northern Virginia is south of Gettysburg on South Confederate Avenue. (Tour map: South Confederate Avenue)

The division was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Major General John B. Hood (USMA ’53), a career army officer. He was possibly the finest brigade and division commander in the Confederacy but his independent army command in the last year of war was a disaster.

Hood’s Division was the right flank of Longstreet’s attack on July 2nd. Its intended objective was the subject of hot debate between Lee and Longstreet, with Hood desperately and unsuccessfully protesting the final decision.

The attack had barely begun before Hood was struck down by an artillery shell. It took time for senior brigade commander Evander Law to find out he was in charge and he never firmly established control over the division, leaving the attack poorly coordinated and unsupported.

Nevertheless Hood’s men swept Union forces out of the Devil’s Den and nearly took Little Round Top before Union counterattacks forced them back.

On July 3rd Hood’s Division was left out of the Pickett’s Charge because of the heavy losses it had taken the previous day, but it was kept busy holding the flank against Union skirmishers and a disasterous cavalry charge led by Union General Elon Farnsworth.

Monument to Hood's Division of the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg

From the monument:

C. S. A.
Army of Northern Virginia
First Army Corps
Hood’s Division
Maj. Gen. J. B. Hood Brig. Gen. E. M. Law

Law’s Brigade Brig. Gen. E. M. Law
Col. James L. Sheffield
Robertson’s Brigade Brig. Gen. J. B. Robertson
Anderson’s Brigade Brig. George T Anderson
Lieut. Col. William Luffman
Benning’s Brigade Brig. Gen. Henry L. Benning
Artillery Battalion Four Batteries Major M. W. Henry

July 1. On the march to Gettysburg. Encamped about four miles from the field with the exception of Law’s Brigade left on picket at New Guilford.

July 2. Law’s Brigade joined from New Guilford about noon. The Division was formed on extreme right of the Army and then directed to drive in and envelop the Union left. About 4 P. M. the batteries opened and soon after the Division moved forward. After a severe struggle the Union line retired to the ridge in rear. The ground fought over was obstructed by stone fences and very difficult. The movement was partially successful the battle continuing until nearly dark. The advance gained was held.

July 3. Occupied the ground gained and with the exception of resisting a Cavalry charge and heavy skirmishing was not engaged.

July 4. The Division took up the line of march during the night.

Casualties Killed 343 Wounded 1504 Missing 442 Total 2289

Major General (later Lieutenant General) John Bell Hood

Major General (later Lieutenant General) John Bell Hood