The 3rd Division was commanded at Gettysburg by Brigadier General Alexander Hays (West Point Class of 1844) He was a Mexican War veteran who had worked as an engineer on bridge and railroad projects in Pennsylvania. Hays had commanded the 3rd Brigade of the division until three days before the battle, when Major General William French was transferred. When Hays took over the division Colonel George Willard took over his brigade. General Hays is honored at Gettysburg with a nearby monument.
From the monument
Army of the Potomac
Brig. General Alexander Hays
July 2. About 8 A. M. took position on Cemetery Ridge relieving Second Division First Corps and at noon advanced to the stone wall in front. Late in the day the Third Brigade went to the support of the Third Corps on the left and became engaged with Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade capturing many prisoners. At dark Col. Carroll with the 4th Ohio 7th West Virginia and 14th Indiana of First Brigade went to support of Eleventh Corps on East Cemetery Hill and remained until the close of the battle.
July 3. The Bliss Barn in front occupied by sharpshooters was burned by order of Gen. A. Hays. At 1 P. M. a heavy artillery fire from the Confederate line was concentrated on the positions of Second and Third Divisions of the Corps for two hours followed by a charge of more than 15,000 infantry which was repulsed with loss the Division capturing about 1500 prisoners and 15 stand of colors. The muskets found on the field after the charge numbered about 3500.
July 4. Sharp skirmishing in front all day.
Casualties Killed 20 Officers 218 Men Wounded 75 Officers 912 Men Captured or Missing 1 Officer 65 Men Total 1291
Locastion of the monument
The monument is south of Gettysburg on the east side of Hancock Avenue. It is about 50 yards south of the Bryan Farmhouse. (39°48’54.5″N 77°14’06.7″W)