The monument to the 1st Brigade of the 2nd Division, 5th Corps is south of Gettysburg on Houck’s Ridge along Ayers Avenue. (Ayers Avenue – Loop tour map)
On the afternoon of July 2nd the regulars moved west from Little Round Top across Plum Run and into the Wheatfield as Caldwell’s Second Corps Division was being pushed out.
They came under heavy attack from Wofford’s Georgia Brigade and were forced to pull back. The brigade suffered 50% casualties, but its disciplined, fighting withdrawal back to Little Round Top took the momentum out of Wofford’s attack and earned admiration from onlookers on Little Round Top.
From the monument
July 2. Moved left in front with the Division late in the day from the Baltimore Pike near Rock Creek to Little Round Top and Third Corps line. Halted on north slope of Little Round Top. Third Brigade in advance went to the support of Third Brigade First Division. The Brigade preceded by Second Brigade advanced across Plum Run Valley and on to the hill beyond and formed line in rear of Second Brigade facing the Wheatfield through which First Division Second Corps was advancing perpendicular to the line of the Brigade. Later advanced supporting Second Brigade towards left when Union forces on the right and front having been driven back by superior numbers the Brigade retired under a heavy musketry fire on its front and flank to Little Round Top and at night to the woods on the east side.
July 3. Remained in same position.
July 4. Made a reconnaissance to the front supported by Second Brigade First Division Sixth Corps forcing in the Confederate pickets and drawing the fire of artillery.
Casualties Killed 1 Officer 45 Men Wounded 13 Officers 305 Men Captured or Missing 18 Men Total 382
Colonel Hannibal Day
Colonel Hannibal Day commanded the brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg. Colonel Day (West Point Class of 1823) was a career Army officer from Vermont, the son of an army surgeon who grew up in army camps around the country. By the time of the battle he had served in the army for 40 years and was colonel of the 6th United States Infantry Regiment. Day commanded one of two brigades of United States Regular infantry in the Army of the Potomac. He was the second oldest general in the Union army at Gettysburg, behind George Green. Green was his classmate at West Point, and one of Day’s sons would marry Greene’s daughter.
Location of the monument to the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Corps
The monument is south of Gettysburg on Houck’s Ridge. It is on the outside of the Ayers Avenue Loop overlooking the Valley of Death.