Battle of Gettysburg Timeline (July 1st - July 3rd, 1863)


The Battle of Gettysburg became a watershed moment for the South, marking its last invasion of the North and a decisive Union victory to boot.

There are a total of (33) Battle of Gettysburg Timeline (July 1st - July 3rd, 1863) events in the CivilWarTimeline.net database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events are also included for perspective.
Civil War battle map
Union flag
Union Victory
COMMAND: General George G. Meade
FORCES: Army of the Potomac
STRENGTH: 104,256
CASUALTIES: 23,049
Confederate flag
COMMAND: General Robert E. Lee
FORCES: Army of Northern Virginia
STRENGTH: 73,000
CASUALTIES: 25,000








July 1, 1863

In the northwest of Gettysburg, at Marsh Creek at about 5:30AM, the first shots of the Battle of Gettysburg are fired between Confederate and Union forces.



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July 1, 1863

At 8:00AM, Confederate forces - as part of General Henry Heth's division - under the direction of General James J. Archer and General Joseph R. Davis march on Gettysburg.



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July 1, 1863

At 10:00AM, during the fighting at Gettysburg, Union General John F. Reynolds is killed.



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July 1, 1863

General Abner Doubleday succeeds General Reynolds following the latter's death.



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July 1, 1863

General Solomon Meredith's "Iron Brigade" repels General Archer's Confederates and captures Archer and a few hundred others.



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July 1, 1863

At 12:00PM, Major General Oliver O. Howard of XI Corps arrives.



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July 1, 1863

Confederate guns open up from Oak Hill at around 12:00PM.



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July 1, 1863

At 2:00PM Major General Robert E. Rodes moved his troops against the Union right flank.



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July 1, 1863

At 2:00PM, Union General Meade calls on General Winfield S. Hancock to succeed the slain General Reynolds.



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July 1, 1863

Upon arriving on scene at about 2:30PM, General Robert E. Lee surveys the battlefield from Herr Ridge.



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July 1, 1863

The division under the command of Union General Carl Schurz is routed at 2:30PM.



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July 1, 1863

General Lee advances General Heth and William Dorsey Pender's forces. General Heth is wounded.



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July 1, 1863

At 3:30PM General Schurz units retreat under attacks from General Jubal A. Early. Their retreat is through the town of Gettysburg itself.



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July 1, 1863

At 4:00PM General Pender pushes Union forces to retreat into Gettysburg proper as well as into Cemetery Hill.



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July 1, 1863

At 4:00PM, General Hancock arrives at Cemetery Hill.



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July 1, 1863

At 4:30PM, Union forces retreat from Gettysburg and take up fortified positions at the town's south, in Cemetery Hill.



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July 1, 1863

At 4:30PM, General Lee provides General Ewell with the option to attack Union forces at Cemetery Hill if an advantage can be had and maintained. Lee understands the Federal forces hold positions on high ground. Ewell does not move on the enemy - perhaps missing a tremendous opportunity to turn the tide of the battle on its first day.



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July 1, 1863

General Daniel E. Sickles arrives and reinforces Union numbers.



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July 1, 1863

By 6:30PM, the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg draws to a close.



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July 2, 1863

At 4:00PM, Federal positions are assailed by Confederate elements at Little Round Top and Devil's Den. Devil's Den falls to the attackers but the defenders at Little Round Top hold out.



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July 2, 1863

At 5:30PM, Wheat Field and Peach Orchard, Union-held named areas to the Southwest of Gettysburg, are attacked by forces under the command of General Lafayette McLaws.



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July 2, 1863

The ownership of Wheat Field is changed some four times before General Sickle's forces are pushed to the base of Little Round Top. The defensive stand there holds off the Confederates however.



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July 2, 1863

Union forces continue to hold primary positions though the Confederates claim some terrain against them - particularly at Cemetery Hills and Culp's Hill.



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July 3, 1863

Event person portrait
Pennsylvania resident Ginnie Wade becomes the only civilian fatality of the Battle of Gettysburg when she is struck in the shoulder by a stray bullet while kneading bread dough in the kitchen. The bullet pierced her heart - most likely killing her instantly.



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July 3, 1863

From 5:30AM until 10AM, Confederate forces make repeated attempts to unseat and drive off Union forces at Culp's Hill. Little ground is gained in the fighting.



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July 3, 1863

At about 1:00PM, 140 guns of the Confederate side open up on Union positions.



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July 3, 1863

About 80 Union artillery pieces respond to the Confederate cannon bombardment.



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July 3, 1863

Union-held Seminary Ridge is attacked by forces under the command of General Pickett, General Pettigrew and General Trimble.



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July 3, 1863

At 3:30PM, General Stannard leads his Union troops against the side of General Pickett's charging division.



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July 3, 1863

By 3:45PM, Confederate forces have advanced as much as they will in the battle as Union lines hold.



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July 3, 1863

General Farnsworth and his cavalry forces suffer considerable losses against the Confederate lines - the charge called by General Kilpatrick against General Longstreet's position southwest of Big Round Top.



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July 3, 1863

At the age of 26, cavalry General Elon J. Farnsworth is killed at the Battle of Gettysburg after a cavalry charge led by General Kilpatrick. Farnsworth protested the action but obeyed nonetheless.



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July 3, 1863

At the end of the battle to control Gettysburg (a decisive Union victory), over 57,000 persons became casualties, many wounded, with 23,055 belonging to the Union lines and as many as 28,000 suffered by the Confederacy. Wounded number over 25,000 combined. The Confederacy suffered mightily in terms of officer-level depletion.



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