The division was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Brigadier General John Gibbon (USMA ’47), a career Army officer who was born in Philadelphia but grew up in North Carolina. Three of his brothers fought for the Confederacy and his cousin, J. Johnston Pettigrew, was mortally wounded in the Gettysburg campaign fighting for the Confederacy.
Gibbon was wounded at the height of Pickett’s Charge on July 3rd and the division was taken over by Brigadier General William Harrow, the First Brigade commander. Gibbon is honored by a nearby monument.
From the monument:
Army of the Potomac
Brig. General John Gibbon
Brig. General William Harrow
July 2. Arrived between 6 and 7 A. M. and went into position on line between Cemetery Hill and Round Top. Third Division on right and First Division on left. Second Brigade constituting the right Third Brigade the left and First Brigade in reserve. Sharp skirmishing continued through the day and artillery fire at intervals until near sunset when the Third Corps having been driven back Wright’s Georgia Brigade furiously attacked the Division and was repulsed with loss including many prisoners theTwelfth Corps coming to the support of the left.
July 3. Artillery firing until 9 A. M. and sharp skirmishing during the day. At 1 P. M. Confederates concentrated the fire of over 100 guns on the Second and Third Divisions and after two hours of uninterrupted firing charged with a force of over 15,000 infantry which was repulsed with great loss of life prisoners and flags. The Division remained in position with no further engagement than skirmish firing.
Casualties including Division Staff and attached troops Killed 25 Officers 319 Men Wounded 105 Officers 1097 Men Captured or Missing 6 Officers 95 Men Total 164.