The monument to Garnett’s Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia is southwest of Gettysburg on the west side of West Confederate Avenue. (West Confederate Avenue – Pt. 3 tour map)
From the monument
July 2. Arrived about sunset and bivouacked on the western border of Spangler’s Woods.
July 3. In the forenoon formed line on Kemper’s left in the field east of the woods. At the cessation of the cannonade advanced and took part in Longstreet’s assault on the Union position in the vicinity of the Angle. This advance was made in good order under a storm of shells and grape and a deadly fire of musketry after passing the Emmitsburg Road. The lines were much broken in crossing the post and rail fences on both sides of that road but with shattered ranks the Brigade pushed on and took part in the final struggle at the Angle. Gen. R. B. Garnett fell dead from his saddle in front of the stone wall.
July 4. Spent the day in reorganization and during the night began the march to Hagerstown.
Present 1480 Killed 78 Wounded 324 Missing 539 Total 941
About Richard B. Garnett
Brigadier General Richard B. Garnett commanded the brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg. Garnett was a career Army officer born in Essex County, Virginia. He graduated with the West Point Class of 1841, and was appointed to the 6th United States Infantry. Garnett served in Florida, on the western plains, and was stationed as a staff officer in New Orleans during the Mexican War. He had risen to the rank of captain and was in California at the start of the Civil War.
Garnett resigned his commission in May of 1861 and spent a brief time as an artillery major before becoming lieutenant colonel of Cobb’s Georgia Legion. In November of 1861 he was promoted to brigadier general and given command of “Stonewall” Jackson’s former brigade. At the Battle of Kernstown in March of 1862 Jackson ordered Garnett to attack what he thought was retreating Union forces of equal force. In reality they were advancing forces three times stronger than Garnett’s brigade, which found itself almost out of ammunition and attacked from three sides. Garnett pulled back, saving his men but being relieved of command by Jackson and placed under arrest for neglect of duty.
Garnett’s court martial was begun but interrupted by the beginning of Lee’s Northern Virginia campaign. Lee ordered Garnett released from arrest and gave him temporary command of Pickett’s Virginia brigade in Longstreet’s Corps while Pickett recovered from a wound. Garnett commanded the brigade well at Sharpsburg (Antietam). When Pickett returned to the army he was promoted to division command and Garnett was given permanent command of the brigade. The court martial was unresolved when Jackson was mortally wounded at Chancellorsville. Although Jackson had placed a permanent stain on his record, Garnett put aside his disagreement to act as one of Jackson’s pallbearers.
At Gettysburg Garnett was suffering from a fever and from having been kicked by his horse, so that he was unable to walk. Officers in the attack had been ordered not to ride as they would be prime targets, but Garnett would not consider sitting out the charge. Feeling that his honor required it, he left the ambulance he had been riding in and led his brigade from horseback. He made it to within 20 yards of the Angle before he was killed.
Location of the monument to Garnett’s Brigade
The monument is southwest of Gettysburg on the west side of West Confederate Avenue, which is one way southbound at this point. It is about 750 feet south of the State of Virginia monument. (39°48’48.6″N 77°15’04.5″W)