The monument to Scales’ Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia is southwest of Gettysburg on West Confederate Avenue. (West Confederate Avenue – Pt. 2 tour map)
The brigade was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Brigadier General Alfred Scales, a North Carolina lawyer and politician.
On July 1st it took part in a costly charge against the final Union line on Seminary Ridge. General Scales was badly wounded in the leg and every field officer in the brigade except two were killed or wounded.
The brigade was left in reserve on July 2nd, but on the 3rd it was included in the attack that came to be known as Pickett’s Charge. Colonel William L.J. Lowrance of the 34th North Carolina Infantry led the brigade in the charge. He had also had been wounded on the 1st, but not as severely as Scales.
It was a symptom of the health of the entire brigade – Lanes’ and Scales’ brigades together could field no more than 800 men for the assault, many wounded to some extent. Nevertheless Scales’ North Carolinians made one of the furthest advances of the charge, leading to a controversy with Pickett’s Virginians which goes on to this day over who went the farthest at Gettysburg.
From the monument:
13th 16th 22nd 34th 38th North Carolina Infantry
July 1. Crossed Willoughby Run about 3.30 P. M. relieving Heth’s line and advancing with left flank on Chambersburg Pike took part in the struggle until it ended. When the Union forces made their final stand on Seminary Ridge the Brigade charged and aided in dislodging them but suffered heavy losses. Gen. A. M. Scales was wounded and all the field officers but one were killed or wounded.
July 2. In position near here with skirmishers out in front and on flank.
July 3. In Longstreet’s assault the Brigade supported the right wing of Pettigrew’s Division. With few officers to lead them the men advanced in good order through a storm of shot and shell and when the front line neared the Union works they pushed forward to aid it in the final struggle and were among the last to retire.
July 4. After night withdrew and began the march to Hagerstown.
Present about 1250 Killed 102 Wounded 381 Missing 116 Total 599