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The Peach Orchard

The Peach Orchard is a Gettysburg Battlefield site at the southeast corner of the north-south Emmitsburg Road intersection with the Wheatfield Road. The orchard is demarcated on the east and south by Birney Avenue, which provides access to various memorials regarding the "momentous attacks and counterattacks in…the orchard on the afternoon of July 2, 1863."

Peach Orchard combat began with Union artillery in the orchard counterfiring on Alexander's batteries which reduced Ames' supply of Union cannon ammunition. When Hood's Assault advanced eastward over the Emmitsburg Rd and across the slope south of the orchard, "Ames had all of his spherical case [ammunition] carried to his left section, Lt. James B. Hazelton's," to fire on the infantry, while Ames' "center and right sections continued their counterbattery fire with shot." With the Confederate left flank to the south exposed to the orchard's Union forces, the cannon and infantry in the "Peach Orchard were able to rake Kershaw's lines severely". As Union officer Watson's guns fired a last volley of canister at the Carolinians, the 2nd New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry advanced southward into "the Peach Orchard to save the [Watson] guns…crowding between the limbers and guns, reformed, and emerged at the orchard's southwest corner, its right extending to the Emmitsburg Road. "The Second opened fire on the South Carolinians in its front, the Second Battalion and the Eighth Regiment. The South Carolinians…fell back to the bottom of the slope 150 or so yards from the orchard's edge. Bailey then shifted the Second's line to the rear of some fence rails that were piled along the side of the orchard where a fence had been."

At the 6 p.m. start of McLaws' Assault, Barksdale's and Wofford's Confederate brigades charged from the west directly into the Peach Orchard.:tbd Graham's Union brigade, with the 3rd MN & 3rd MI, "held the peach orchard until nearly dusk"; and at "6:30 p.m., McLaws' Division [broke] Birney's line at the Peach Orchard". The 21st Mississippi Infantry Regiment passed through the Peach Orchard toward Bigelow's 9th Massachusetts Battery farther east.

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The Peach Orchard