Gettysburg Seminar Papers

The Army of the Potomac in the Gettysburg Campaign

Divisional Command in the Army of the Potomac
Kavin Coughenour

"Division — a major administrative and tactical unit/formation which combines in itself the necessary arms and services required for sustained combat, larger than a regiment/brigade and smaller than a corps." [1]

Throughout history, the way armies around the world designed and organized their forces determined in great measure how they waged battles and campaigns. The modern United States Army definition of a division quoted above describes the essence of the divisional formations organized for combat during the American Civil War.

During the first three days of July 1863 at the battle of Gettysburg, the Federal Army of the Potomac deployed nineteen infantry divisions into combat against the nine infantry divisions of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. By the time of the American Civil War, the division had evolved into a very powerful combat formation in most European armies. How did divisional combat formations evolve throughout world military history? How were divisions organized and operated during the American Civil War? Finally, how did the Civil War division function within the command and control structures of the time? This paper explores these questions through an examination of the combat record of Maj. Gen. Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, commander of two divisions in the Army of the Potomac during the war.

In European armies during the early part of the eighteenth century, the term "division" was used to describe a portion of a battalion. That part of a battalion constituting a "division" varied among the European armies during the early eighteenth century. Generally, battalions made up of four or eight companies were divided into four "divisions" and battalions made up of six companies were divided into three "divisions." For example, in 1749 a standard infantrie francaise battalion consisting of twelve fusilier companies and one grenadier company was divided into six divisions. In the 1750s the term "division" in the French army would take on a new meaning by Aminius-Maurice, comte de Saxe, marechal de France, was one of the most successful generals of the War of Austrian Succession (1741-1748). Marshal Saxe won his battles using a field army that fought in a single mass formation. "At best, they were divided only temporarily into wings or what might be called divisions; but because these formations had no ongoing identity they could develop little inner cohesion and only a limited capacity for independent maneuver." [3] Marshal Saxe recognized this organizational weakness and offered a solution in a treatise entitled Mes Reveries published in 1756, six years after his death. Deploring the historical European practice of recruiting volunteers by fraud and impressment, he envisioned a system of universal service for manning French armies. Citizen-soldiers enlisted under Marshal Saxe's plan would be trained and organized in tactically self-sufficient units made up of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Saxe felt that ten of these legions, totalling 34,000 foot soldiers and 12,000 horse soldiers, would be suitable for France's military needs. In Mes Reveries he concluded that "a general of parts and experience, commanding such an army, will always be able to make head against one of a hundred thousand for multitudes serve only to perplex and embarrass." [4] While Saxe advocated the creation of divisions within armies, the implementation of his ideas would became the achievement of another marechal de France.

During the Seven Years War (1756-1763), Victor-Francois, duc de Broglie marechal de France produced one of the few French victories of the conflict against the Prussian army of Frederick the Great at Bergen in 1759. This victory was possible because Marshal Broglie had applied Saxe's theory of concentrating divisions. Unfortunately for Broglie's fortunes, he ran afoul of King Louis XV (and the King's powerful mistress Madame de Pompadour) and was dismissed from army command in 1761. Marshal Broglie reversed his fortunes in the late 1760s with the help of Etienne Francois, duc de Choiseul, the French War Minister, and became the principal supporter of the creation of divisions in the French Army. Since the creation of divisions can be viewed as one of the most important innovations in tactics and organization of combat forces in the Western world, Marshal Broglie aptly deserves the title of "father of the modern division." [5]

Broglie's concept was to organize divisions as permanent formations in the French army; however, the tactical consequences of such an organization were far more complex than the simple nature of his idea. An army marching in divisional formations could quickly advance over multiple roads on a very wide front as it sought contact with the enemy, while at the same time reducing its logistical problems. Since the division was a "micro" army having proportionate shares of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, a single division could, upon first contact with the enemy army, sustain itself in combat until reinforcing divisions arrived. Single or multiple divisions might also hold the attention of the enemy in the front while additional divisions maneuvered around the flanks of the enemy or even cut the enemy line of communications (i.e., supply line). Division commanders could operate independently, therefore, simplifying the command and control problems of the army commander. These were the theoretical products of Marshal Broglie's simple operational idea. [6]

A young protege of Marshal Broglie, Jacques Antoine Hippolyte, comte de Guibert, Colonel, would further explore the potential of a division in combat in his famous Essai general de tactique published in 1772. Although Guibert's essay does not advocate the new permanent divisions over the temporary tactical division formations of the past, he did recognize that the divisional formations would permit a higher degree of mobility for strategic maneuver. Guibert also theorized about the formation of a citizen's army in France. Guibert's citizen's army would harness the energy of the nation and return the French to the glory it enjoyed before the Seven Years War. In 1773 he travelled to Prussia and discussed the art of war with the Prussian King, Frederick the Great.

Thereafter, Guibert developed a keen interest in the Prussian system of a small, highly trained, professional army. He was employed by the French Minister of War, Claude Louis, comte de Saint Germaine, from 1775-1777 in reforming the French Army through the introduction of Prussian standards of training and discipline. Interference by King Louis XIV; rumblings of discontent in the Army; and the resignation of Saint Germaine led to the failure of the reforms. Guibert, however, was promoted to marechal-de-camp (equivalent of Major General) and exiled to provincial duty.

Although he recanted his earlier ideas of a citizen's army in a second work entitled "Defense du systeme de guerre moderne" written in 1779, his original ideas would inspire conscription (levee en masse) during the French Revolution. [7] The levee en masse proclaimed on August 23, 1793 provided the manpower for the French Revolutionary Wars and for the armies which Napoleon Bonaparte used to terrorize Europe from 1797 to 1815.

Formalization of the division concept in the French Army began just before the outbreak of the French Revolution with the publication of the ordonnance of March 17, 1788 that specified that infantry and cavalry brigades be organized in two regiments.

While this feature of the ordonnance was found unworkable, the Army eventually organized into the twenty-one administrative divisions authorized by the ordonnance. These divisions were suitable for meeting French wartime requirements. The typical French division of 1793 was organized into two brigades comprised of twelve infantry battalions, two cavalry squadrons, and twenty-two cannons. A further refinement in 1794 found French divisions organized into three "demi-brigades." During the Napoleonic period the French divisional system assumed greater importance. [8]

During the French Revolutionary Wars, flexible French divisions outmaneuvered their adversaries. However, when acting alone, a division had a serious limitation. A division lacked the manpower and combination of arms to continue sustained combat when it met in battle a significantly larger enemy force. Napoleon recognized this limitation in 1805 and introduced the corps d'armee—the next stage in the hierarchical organization of the French Army. The corps d'armee (army corps) was much more than a division could be because it was a miniature army. Up to this point, the French had combined all the combat arms (infantry, cavalry, artillery) into the division.

With the formation of the army corps, the French now discarded the combination of the infantry and cavalry in the division. Now, the mobile independent cavalry division could exert an impact on the battlefield that it could not have otherwise. The army corps generally did not have a fixed organization, but it was always organized around a number of infantry divisions, a division or brigade of cavalry, and a battery of twelve-pound guns, controlled by the corps commander, and supporting logistical services. The infantry division retained its own artillery. The army corps provided the army commander great maneuvering flexibility and it had the ability to stand up in a fight against a force of superior size. More importantly, the army corps concept fit superbly into Napoleon's favorite form of attack known as la manoeuvre surles derrieres (cutting off an enemy from his line-of-communications). [9]

The wartime use of the army corps organization would not be used in the American Army until the Civil War. However, the use of divisional organizations can be traced to the American Revolution. General George Washington organized the thirty-eight regiments of the Continental Army in 1775 into six brigades (each with generally six regiments), and then into three divisions (each with two brigades). However, the divisions and brigades of the Continental Army functioned only as administrative headquarters. The Continental Army "battalion" was the basic maneuver unit on the battlefield against the British. Battalions were comprised of the same men that formed the "regiments" recruited by the individual colonies. The "regiment" became an administrative term for men who fought in the tactical "battalion." Washington molded his tactics on his contemporary understanding of European warfare. Since the development of the "division" was a post-French Revolution innovation, Washington's Continental Army did not fight by divisions and brigades, but rather, as a tactical whole. [10]

In its next encounter with the British during the War of 1812, the U.S. Army did not adopt the division and army corps organizations already implemented by the European armies. On June 18, 1812, the day Congress voted for war, the Regular Army consisted of seventeen infantry regiments, four artillery regiments, and two dragoon regiments. Later that month, the number of infantry regiments was increased to twenty-five by standardizing the size of a regiment at ten companies of ninety privates each. The Army fought the major engagements of the War of 1812 in much the same tactical manner as the Revolutionary War without divisions per se. Maj. Gen. Jacob Brown led an American field army composed of two Regular Army brigades across the Niagara River in July 1814 and defeated British regulars at the battle of Chippewa. The War of 1812 ended on favorable terms for the United States, but it spawned a hundred-year long debate within the nation concerning the efficacy of a large-standing peacetime regular army versus the traditional militia-based citizen's army. [11]

American soldiers fighting in the Mexican War from 1846-1848 would be the first American soldiers systematically organized into combat divisions. These divisions proved to be the type of self-supporting tactical organizations that the Army needed to fight the campaigns of the Mexican War which were fought over long distances, in rugged terrain, and under harsh climatic conditions. Army divisions proved their worth as units of tactical maneuver. [12]

Although the division proved to be an effective tactical innovation during the Mexican War, the Army found that it was difficult to identify officers who were capable of leading a sophisticated combat formation as large as a division. Most division commanders were appointed because of Regular Army seniority or political connections. The strength of the American Army in Mexico centered around its young officers, especially graduates of West Point, and its enlisted soldiers. The army proved that small cadres of officers and non-commissioned officers who knew how to soldier could make efficient soldiers out of volunteers in short order. [13] Regimental and divisional staff duty in Mexico prepared Lee, McClellan, Grant, Meade, and many others for brigade, division, corps, and army command thirteen years later.

At the close of the Mexican War, brigades and divisions were quickly disbanded because they were viewed by the War Department as temporary wartime tactical organizations that the government could ill afford in peacetime. The small Regular Army returned to regimental garrison duty at camps and forts around the United States and along the frontier. For administrative purposes, the War Department divided the country into large territorial departments to which the regiments would be assigned. These military departments persisted throughout the Civil War and existed simultaneously with the tactical armies, corps, and divisions that operated within their borders. This perplexing system created an unwanted administrative burden to tactical field commanders who were also appointed commanders of the military departments. [14]

The organization and administrative operation of the U.S. Army from 1821 to 1881 was based on a one-volume set of periodically revised 'General Regulations' issued by the War Department. Rapid expansion of the Army for the Civil War forced the War Department to update the 1857 version of the "General Regulations" and issue the Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1861 on August 10, 1861. While the majority of the 559 pages of this document are consumed with the vast administrative details of running an army, Article XXXVI, entitled Troops in Campaign specifies that "the formation by divisions is the basis of the organization and administration of armies in the field." Furthermore, Article XXXVI states that "a division consists usually of two or three brigades, either of infantry or cavalry, and troops of other corps in the necessary proportion" and that "a brigade is formed of two or more regiments." [15] These doctrinal definitions provided the Union Army a framework for mobilization as it organized brigades and divisions to provide tactical control to the multitude of state-raised regiments of volunteer soldiers. During the course of the war, brigades usually consisted of from two to six regiments and divisions were formed with two or more brigades. The most common alignment during the war was five regiments to a brigade and three brigades to a division. [16]

While the division would remain an important tactical organization throughout the war, by 1862 it would be eclipsed as the basic larger unit formation of the army by the army corps made up of two or more divisions. As early as July 19, 1861 a War Department order contained language about the formation of "Corps d'Armee" on the French model. Late in 1861, President Lincoln recommended to General McClellan that the fifteen divisions of the ponderous Army of the Potomac would operate better if organized into army corps. While Lincoln ordered McClellan to organize army corps in March 1862, Congress did not authorize the President to form army corps at his discretion until July 17, 1862. McClellan demurred over the formation of army corps because he felt that there were no officers who had proven themselves as corps commander material. It would also prove difficult to find officers who could handle both the administrative and combat duties associated with a large division. [17]

The U.S. Army combat division of today has much in common with the Civil War division of 1863. The modern division "consists of a relatively fixed command, staff combat support, and combat service support structure to which maneuver battalions are assigned." [18] The Civil War division had a similar structure which consisted of a command group, a general staff, logistical support organizations, and two to five maneuver infantry brigades. Artillery support for infantry divisions varied between the Union and Confederate armies. At Gettysburg each Confederate division had an organic artillery battalion, while Union divisions were allocated artillery support as needed from their corps artillery brigades or the army artillery reserve.

The command group of the Civil War division consisted of the division commander and his personal staff, normally a variable number of commissioned officer Aides-de-camp (ADCs). The division commander was assigned to his duties by the general commanding-in-chief of the army or directly by the War Department. [19] He discharged his command responsibilities through an established organization of command delegations called a chain-of-command. Army Regulations granted General Officers the authority to appoint their own ADCs. [20] It was common practice for Civil War generals to appoint friends or family members as ADCs. In a time when the speed of communications on the battlefield was only as fast as a horse, the ADCs performed the critical function of receiving and distributing the commanding general's orders to the brigade commanders or delivering messages to adjacent or higher headquarters.

The General staff of the division existed for one purpose—to assist the division commander in accomplishing whatever mission he was given to accomplish. The evolution of the Civil War division staff began during the American Revolution when Washington organized administrative and logistical staffs for the Continental Army based on British precedents. [21] While the Army had developed some rudimentary principles concerning the organization and functions of a division staff as a result of the Mexican War experience, this experience had not been documented in any sort of War Department manual or regulation by the start of the Civil War.

In 1855 the War Department sent a Commission of officers to observe the European armies, then engaged in fighting the Crimean War. The Commission produced voluminous reports on their observations of the organization and war fighting techniques of the British, French, and Russian armies. The individual reports of Maj. Alfred Mordecai, Ordnance Corps, and Capt. George B. McClellan, Corps of Engineers, contained detailed descriptions of the type of military staffs used by these armies. Subsequent development of military staffs in Civil War field armies can be linked to the observations of the European Commission. [22]

During the Civil War, the maintenance and business management of the U.S. Army came from the various bureaus of the War Department. These bureaus included the Adjutant General, the Quartermaster General, the Surgeon General, the Judge Advocate General, the Chief of Ordinance, the Commissary General, the Paymaster General, the Chief of Engineers (the Corps of Engineers was consolidated with the Corps of Topographical Engineers on March 3, 1863), the Chief Signal Officer, and the Provost Marshal General. [23] Staff officers in the field armies were the representatives of the various military bureaus of the War Department. Since there could be only one chief of a bureau for the entire War Department, all officers serving similar functions on the military staffs of the field armies, corps, divisions, and brigades throughout the Army used the title "Assistant" in front of their job title. This technical channel of staff hierarchy gave the field staff officer a link with his bureau in the War Department.

The Army was a bureaucracy that required tons of paper reports to make it function. Feeding this paper mill were the field staff officers who were required by the General Regulations of 1861 to submit countless forms, returns, reports and requisitions to administer and maintain their units. For instance, a brigade assistant adjutant general (AAG) would submit monthly strength returns (reports) through the division and corps AAG where they were consolidated by the army AAG for submission to the War Department. [24] Divisional staff officers like the Assistant Quartermaster, the Assistant Commissary officer, the Assistant Ordnance officer, and the Medical Director submitted similar reports in order to provide logistical support to the maneuver brigades of the division. The combat efficiency of the division could be measured by the quality of the division staff. Perhaps the greatest challenge to a Civil War division commander was to train and nurture his staff so that it could perform well during combat conditions.

Andrew Humphreys

By virtue of the solid combat performance of the Second Division, Third Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, it is apparent that Brigadier General (BG) Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, the division commander, understood the importance of a well-trained and motivated battle staff. At Gettysburg his staff would serve him well during some of the most ferocious fighting encountered by an infantry division during the course of the war. Finding officers capable of training battle staffs and maneuvering infantry divisions on the battlefield proved difficult for Civil War armies simply because no pool of large unit leaders existed at the outset of hostilities. Humphreys' rise to divisional command was typical of many Regular and Volunteer officers swept up in the rapid expansion of the Army. A Captain in the pre-war Regular Army, Humphreys ascended to command of an infantry division without the benefit of even regimental command experience and without Mexican War combat experience. In spite of rapid wartime promotions, however, the road to divisional command for many Regular officers was very long. Humphreys commanded his first division in combat after twenty-nine years service in the Regular Army.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 2, 1810, Humphreys was fifty-two years old at the time of the Gettysburg Campaign. His father, Samuel, and grandfather, Joshua, were both naval architects and ship builders. His grandfather drew the plans for the frigate Constitution, better known as Old Ironsides. [25] A full summary of Humphreys service record is shown in Figure 1. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1831, finishing thirteen in a class of thirty-three. The same day he was appointed a brevet Second Lieutenant of Artillery and, subsequently, assigned for duty with the Second Artillery Regiment at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina.

1827-1831 Cadet. USMA, West Point, NY - Graduated Class of '31 [13/31]
1831(July 1) Appointed Brevet 2nd Lt., Artillery, 2nd Arty Regt., Ft. Moultrie, SC
1832(Jan 6-Apr 18) Detailed to duty at USMA (Dept. of Engineering), West Point, NY
1832 Brevet 2nd Lt., Battery B, 2nd Arty Regt., Cherokee Nation, SC
1833 Acting Assistant Quartermaster, Augusta Arsenal, GA & Ft. Marion, FL
1834-35 Duty with Corps of Topographical Engineers surveying roads in FL
1836(Apr-Sep) Seminole Indian War service

(Aug 16) Promoted to 1st Lt., Artillery

(Sep 30) Resigns Commission
1837-38 Break in active service - Civil Engineer, Chicago, IL
1839(Jul 7) Commissioned 1st Lt., Corps of Topographical Engineers, Washington, DC
1840 Assistant at Topographical Bureau, Washington, DC
1841-42 Map Survey in Florida
1842-44 Assistant at Topographical Bureau, Washington, DC
1844-48 Assistant-in-charge, Coast Survey Office, Washington, DC
1848(May 31) Promoted to Capt., Corps of Topographical Engineers
1849-61 Detailed to Mississippi River Delta topographic/hydrographic survey
1853-54 Visits Europe to study means to protect river deltas from inundation
1854-61 Assigned to War Department in charge of exploration from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean
1856-62 Member of the Lighthouse Board
1861(Aug 6) Promoted to Maj., Corps of Topographical Engineers
1861(Dec 1) Engineer Staff Officer to Army General-in-Chief, Washington, DC
1862(Mar 5) Appointed as Col., U.S. Volunteers and additional Aide-de-camp

(Mar 5-May 4) Chief Topographical Engineers, Army of the Potomac
1862(Apr 28) Promoted to Brig. Gen., U.S. Volunteers

(Sep 12) Commanding General, 3rd Div., Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac

(Dec 13) Brevetted to Col., U.S. Army for bravery at Fredericksburg
1863(Mar 3) Promoted to Lt. Col., Regular Army, Corps of Engineers

(May 23) Commanding General, 2nd Div., Third Corps, Army of the Potomac

(July 8) Promoted to Maj. Gen., U.S. Volunteers

(July 9) Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac
1864(Nov 25) Commanding General, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac
1865(Mar 15) Brevetted to Brig. Gen., U.S. Army for bravery at Gettysburg

Brevetted to Maj. Gen., U.S. Army for bravery at Sailor's Creek

(May 23) Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac, Washington, DC

(Jun 27) Demobilization of the Army of the Potomac

(Jun 28-Dec 9) Commander, District of PA, Middle Department
1866 Placed in charge of the Mississippi Levees

(May 31) Mustered out of volunteer service

(Aug 6) Appointed to command of the Corps of Engineers with rank of Brig. Gen. & Chief of Engineers
1879(Jun 3) Retired from active service in the U.S. Army
1883(Dec 27) Dies of stroke at age 73 and buried in Congressional Cemetery, Wash, DC


Indian Wars: Seminole War (Dec 28, 1835 - Aug 14, 1842)
Civil War: Peninsula (Mar 17 - Aug 3, 1862), Antietam (Sep 3-17, 1862), Fredericksburg (Nov 9 - Dec 15, 1862), Chancellorsville (Apr 27 - May 6, 1863), Gettysburg (Jun 3 - Aug 1, 1863), Bristoe (Sep 14 - Oct 14, 1863), Mine Run (Oct 15 - Dec 2, 1863), Wilderness (May 4-7, 1864), Spotsylvania (May 8-21, 1864), Cold Harbor (May 22 - Jun 3, 1864), Petersburg (Jun 4, 1864 - Apr 9, 1865); Appomattox (Apr 3-9, 1865)


Honorary Doctor of Laws, Harvard College, 1868
Member, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA
Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Boston, MA
Corporator, National Academy of Sciences
Honorary Member, The Imperial Royal Geological Institute of Vienna
Honorary Member, The Royal Institute of Science and Art of Lombardy, Italy
Corresponding Member, The Geographical Society of Paris
Corresponding Member, The Austrian Society of Engineer Architects


Report upon the Physics and Hydraulics of the Mississippi. Co-authored with Henry L. Abbot. War Department, Corps of Topographical Engineers, 1861.

The Pennsylvania Campaign of 1863. The Historical Magazine, Volume VI, Second Series, Morrisania, New York, 1869.

From Gettysburg to the Rapidan, The Army of the Potomac - July 1863 to April, 1864. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1883.

The Virginia Campaign of '64 and '65, The Army of the Potomac and The Army of the James. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1883.

In 1836, following limited service in the Seminole Indian War, he resigned his commission in the Regular Army and became a Civil Engineer in Chicago, Illinois. Humphreys reentered the Army two years later in 1838 and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Corps of Topographical Engineers. [27] In 1838 the Corps of Topographical Engineers, informally known as "topogs", was established as a separate corps when thirty-six authorized officers were placed on the same footing with the more numerous Corps of Engineers. "Topogs" were responsible for the topography, mapping, and civil engineering works authorized by Congress. After this realignment, the larger Corps of Engineers would concentrate on providing combat support to the field armies and in building coastal fortifications. [28]

Andrew Humphreys' duties as a "topog" at the War Department kept him out of the Mexican War and denied him important combat experience. Between 1849 and 1861 he attained prominence as a Civil Engineer when he was placed in charge of the topographic and hydrographic survey of the delta of the Mississippi. The publication of Humphreys' Report Upon the Physics and Hydraulics of the Mississippi (which he wrote with 1st Lt. Henry L. Abbot) in 1861 by the War Department resulted in world-wide acclaim for his Civil Engineering accomplishments. [29] Promoted to Major of Topographical Engineers on August 6, 1861, Humphreys began his war service in Washington as the Engineer Staff Officer to the Army General-in-Chief McClellan. Promoted to temporary Colonel on March 5, 1862, he served as Chief Topographical Engineer of the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsular Campaign.

Humphreys combat performance as the Chief Topographical Engineer of the Army of the Potomac greatly impressed General McClellan. Observing that Humphreys had the technical expertise and leadership potential to command a large combat unit, McClellan supported Humphreys' promotion to Brigadier General of U.S. Volunteers dating from April 28, 1862. Three months later Humphreys was selected to command the Third Division, Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac at the outset of the Antietam Campaign. [30]

Humphreys first experience as a division commander would be frustrating. With the battle of Antietam imminent he assumed command of his division on September 12, 1862, at Alexandria, Virginia. The two infantry brigades constituting his division were made up of untrained rookie soldiers from Pennsylvania. Seven of the eight infantry regiments in the division had entered Federal service during the first week of August and half of them were equipped with Austrian rifles that were inoperative. Humphreys drove these troops on a long and rugged road march to join the Army of the Potomac arriving at Frederick, Maryland, September 16. On September 17, Humphreys received orders to join the Army by 2:00 P.M. the next day as the battle raged at Antietam. Notifying General McClellan that his division would march all night, but would arrive fit for combat, Humphreys lived up to his promise. After a difficult all night twenty-three mile march, his division, missing only 600 of 6,600 soldiers to straggling, was ready for combat as part of the Army's reserve by 10:00 A.M. on September 18.

Humphreys was outraged by McClellan's initial battle report because the report stated that Humphreys Division of rookie soldiers arrived unfit for combat. Humphreys request for a War Department court of inquiry to clear his reputation forced McClellan to amend his first report accordingly. [31]

Humphreys received a bloody baptism of fire on December 13, 1862, at the battle of Fredericksburg for at 5:00 P.M. his division was used as the fifth, and final, attacking column in the ill-fated attempt of the Union Army to storm Confederate positions along the stone wall at the base of Marye's Heights. Capt. Carswell McClellan, one of Humphreys' ADCs, described his division commander in the assault as follows

Colonel Allabach having been directed to form his brigade in two lines, General Humphreys rode out into the field to observe the ground more closely. As he did so, Colonel Barnes, commanding the First Brigade of General Griffin's division, walked over from beyond the left of our line and met him. After exchanging a few words with Colonel Barnes, and after again glancing over the, General Humphreys, while riding back toward his troops, said to his adjutant general; 'M—, the bayonet is the only thing that will do any good here,—tell Colonel Allabach so, and direct him to see that all muskets are unloaded.' Colonel Allabach, a sturdy graduate from the 'Bloody Third' U.S. Infantry of the Mexican war, rode through his command with his staff as the formation was being completed, and had the muskets 'rung' to prove them all unloaded, then, with the brigade formed, the front line at 'charge bayonets' and the second line at 'right shoulder arms,' he reported his command ready to move forward. As the bugle sounded the charge, General Humphreys turned to his staff and bowing with uncovered head, remarked as quietly and pleasantly as it inviting them to be seated around his table; 'Gentlemen, I shall lead this charge; I presume of course, you will wish to ride with me.' [32]

Despite his personal bravery, both of Humphreys' brigades quickly gave way when exposed to the full force of the Confederate fire and sustained losses that included 1,760 killed, wounded, and captured soldiers, slightly less than fifty percent of the division. [33]

At the battle of Chancellorsville in early May 1863, Meade's Fifth Corps, to which Humphreys Division was assigned, was used sparingly. Humphreys main action came at the end of the battle as the Fifth Corps was ordered to cover the withdrawal of Hooker's defeated army back across the Rappahannock River. Fortune smiled on Humphreys Division at Chancellorsville, however, because it sustained only 277 casualties (22 killed, 197 wounded, and 55 missing). [34] This was welcome news to the men of Humphreys Pennsylvania regiments because their terms of service expired at the end of May.

Humphreys Third Division was dissolved on May 23, 1863 (a month later the Pennsylvania Reserve Division from the XXII Corps would reconstitute this division in the Fifth Army Corps). [35] Humphreys, now with nearly nine months of command experience, would not remain idle On May 23, 1863 he assumed command of the Second Division, Third Army Corps, replacing Brig Gen Hiram G. Berry who had been killed-in-action at Chancellorsville. He entered the Gettysburg Campaign commanding his second division of the war. [36]

What sort of man was Andrew A. Humphreys at the onset of the Gettysburg Campaign? Physically he closely resembled his grandfather, Joshua Humphreys, who was described as being

of short stature, about five feet eight inches in height, large chest, long body and arms, with short legs. His bones were those of a man of six feet. His head was large, beautifully shaped, surmounted in his old age by a thick mane of curling gray hair. His eyes were steel gray in color, large and open, and exceedingly piercing; his mouth large, well-shaped and firm; nose, large and of Grecian form... [37]

Andrew A. Humphreys

All these features are clearly visible in the June 1862 photograph of a newly-minted General Humphreys shown in Figure 2. Unlike the formal studio portraits of the era, this photograph shows a grizzled Humphreys wearing an non-regulation campaign uniform—a private's sack coat with general epaulets sewn on the shoulders. [38] It is very likely that this photograph approximates Humphreys' actual field appearance at Gettysburg.

Positive and negative insights into Humphreys personality were recorded by a number of observers. 1st Lt. Henry L. Abbot, Humphreys' pre-war Civil Engineering colleague, wrote that "General Humphreys exerted a personal magnetism which can hardly be expressed in words. His manners were marked by all the graceful courtesy of the old school, while the unaffected simplicity and modesty of his character, and the force and vigor of his ideas, left an impression not easily effaced." [39]

Col. Theodore Lyman, a Volunteer ADC for Meade, observed that "he [Humphreys] is a an extremely neat man, and is continually washing himself and putting on paper dickeys. He has a great deal of knowledge, beyond his profession, and is an extremely gentlemanly man." [40] Lyman also commented that "he is most easy to get on with, for everybody; but, practically, he is just as hard as the Commander [Meade], for he has a tremendous temper, a great idea of military duty, and is very particular. When he does get wrathy, he sets his teeth and lets go a torrent of adjectives that must rather astonish those not used to little outbursts." [41]

Another observer, Charles Dana, was more succinct about Humphreys' outbursts by stating that "he was one of the loudest swearers I ever knew." [42] A less admiring portrait was provided by Maj. Gen David Bell Birney who secretly confided to a friend that " what we call an old granny, a charming gentlemen, fussy and numbed to troops. [43]

Humphreys possessed a keen intellect and extraordinary soldiering skills. Dana found Humphreys to be a formidable general and considered him a complete package—a strategist, tactician, and an engineer. More importantly, Humphreys was a "fighter," a trait which Dana found rather exceptional for an engineer. [44] Lyman reported that Humphreys considered professional soldiering as a "godlike occupation" and that "war is very bad in sequel, but before and during a battle it is a fine thing!" [45] However, Humphreys pre-war experience in the Topological Engineers did little to prepare him for leading a large division. He, like thousands of Volunteer officers, probably learned the mechanics of maneuvering troops in battle by judiciously studying the popular tactical handbooks of the day (such as Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics or Brig. Gen Silas Casey's Infantry Tactics); by subjecting his division to monotonous battle drills; and, most importantly, by experiencing the crucible of combat.

There are differing views of Humphreys as a military leader. Henry Abbot provides the following insights into Humphreys military leadership style

In official relations General Humphreys was dignified, self-possessed and courteous. His decisions were based on full consideration of the subject and, once rendered, were final. He had a profound contempt for every thing which resembled double-dealing or cowardice. He scorned the arts of time servers and demagogues; and when confronted with meanness, took no pains to conceal his indignation no matter what might be the rank or position of the offender. He felt the warmest personal interest in the success of his young associates, and often did acts of kindness of which they learned the results but not the source. [46]

Conversely, Harry Pfanz, noted Civil War historian, concluded that Humphreys "had little charisma and was not a popular commander" and that he earned the sobriquet of "Old Goggle Eyes" because he wore spectacles and was a strict disciplinarian. [47] How volunteer soldiers and young staff officers of Humphreys division reacted to Humphreys brand of leadership would be shown on the fields of Gettysburg.

Humphreys left a splendid official report describing his actions during the battle. Of all the battle reports written during the war, Humphreys Gettysburg report is a model of clarity and completeness. In the report Humphreys made a great effort to officially recognize the key combat leaders of the division and all of his divisional staff officers. Recognizing the unique quality of the report, the editor of The Historical Magazine first published it in 1869. Humphreys was nonplussed about the notoriety of the report because in a letter which accompanied the article he stated

my official Report is, of course, a lifeless affair, an exact statement of facts which have a certain value, but that which makes the thrilling interest of a battle is the personal incident; and of that I could, if I had some leisure, tell a good deal, but I feel fatigued, and unwell, and quite unable to attempt a description of what took place at Gettysburg, under my own eye. A battle so lifts a man out of himself that he scarcely recognizes his identity when peace returns, and with it quiet occupation. [48]

Despite Humphreys later reservations, his Gettysburg report with its first-hand impressions of the battle provides a clear picture of a Civil War division in action. Twenty years later, in 1889, Humphreys' report was again published as part of the War Department's official compilation of Civil War records. [49]

Humphreys Division entered the campaign as the second of two divisions that constituted the Third Army Corps commanded by Maj. Gen. Daniel Sickles. Humphreys had little direct contact with his new corps commander during the early stages of the campaign because Sickles was on leave in New York City recovering from the effects of a minor wound from Chancellorsville, [50] By virtue of seniority General Birney, the First Division Commander, was "acting" corps commander during much of the approach march. General Sickles resumed command of the Third Corps at Frederick, Maryland on June 28, 1863. The absence of the corps commander and the rapid movement of the Army of the Potomac into Pennsylvania provided Humphreys little opportunity to observe the charismatic Dan Sickles in command. Humphreys was an outsider in the Third Corps simply because he was a career officer. Volunteer officers like Sickles and Birney were known to have ridiculed the fighting abilities of West Point trained regulars like Humphreys. Conceivably, Sickles and Birney were even intimidated by Humphreys intellectual skills and his reputation as a disciplinarian.

When Humphreys' Division left its camp at Falmouth, Virginia, on June 11, 1863, it was organized into three maneuver brigades. The First Brigade, commanded by Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Carr, made up of seven regiments (a total of seventy companies), had a reported field strength on June 30, 1863 of 2,241 soldiers (164 officers & 2,077 enlisted men), but engaged only 1,718 soldiers in the battle. Col. William R. Brewster's "Excelsior Brigade" (the Second Brigade) consisted of six New York regiments (sixty companies) and engaged 1,837 soldiers in the battle from a reported June 30 strength of 2,269 (140 officers & 2,129 enlisted men). The Third Brigade, commanded by Col. George C. Burling, made up of six regiments (fifty-nine companies), had a reported field strength on June 30 of 1,606 soldiers (105 officers & 1,501 enlisted men), but engaged only 1,365 soldiers in the battle.

Humphreys total divisional strength, as reported by pay day muster on June 30, was 6,120 soldiers (413 officers & 5,707 enlisted men), but only 4,924 soldiers would actually fight at Gettysburg. [51] The disparity in numbers between men assigned on June 30 and those who actually fought two days later is a reflection of the severity of the division's exhaustive road march into the battle area. Even Humphreys, the strict disciplinarian, found it difficult to keep his division intact on the approach march.

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Assisting Humphreys in managing the division and controlling it in combat was his general staff. The division staff also performed critical logistical functions. An organizational chart of Humphreys' staff during the Gettysburg Campaign is shown on page 149. In battle the division commander relied heavily on his ADCs to transmit and deliver orders to subordinate commanders and to perform tactical trouble shooting as required. ADC duty was especially hazardous as mounted officers made lucrative targets for enemy marksmen. While the ADC had no command authority, he was the personal representative of the division commander. Orders given through an ADC had to be followed as if the order was given by the division commander himself. The photograph shown on page 154 was taken in September 1863 and shows General Humphreys posing with three of the four young ADCs who served him at Gettysburg. [52] Humphreys' Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Capt. Adolfo Cavada, also performed duties similar to an ADC at Gettysburg.

At Falmouth, Virginia, on June 11, 1863, Humphreys' Division began a series of long, hot forced marches as the Army of the Potomac raced for a showdown with Lee's army. As his division passed through Frederick, Maryland, on June 28, Humphreys was summoned to army headquarters for an interview with the new army commander, General Meade. Meade, who had relieved Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker of command of the army that very same day, wanted Humphreys to be his Chief-of-Staff. Humphreys declined the post and told Meade he could be of greater service in command of his division during the impending battle. [53] Two more days of road marches brought Humphreys' Division to Emmitsburg, Maryland, on the morning of July 1 in the van of the Third Army Corps.

Leading elements of Meade's Army of the Potomac and Lee's Army of Northern Virginia collided earlier that morning a few miles north of the Pennsylvania border at Gettysburg and by late afternoon a full-blown battle was raging. Humphreys halted the division one mile north of Emmitsburg at about 11:00 A.M. and awaited further orders from Third Corps. [54]

Shortly thereafter, Humphreys received orders through Third Corps directly from General Meade to perform a reconnaissance of the ground north of Emmitsburg. Meade was using Humphreys' topographical engineering experience to explore optional battle lines for the army because he had not yet decided to fully concentrate the army at Gettysburg. Humphreys left the division under the temporary command of General Carr, First Brigade, and accompanied by his Capt. Cavada, proceeded to examine the ground north of Emmitsburg. At about 3:00 P.M., General Carr received orders from Third Corps Headquarters to "move with the utmost dispatch" to Gettysburg and to report to General Howard "who was engaged with the enemy there." [55] This order also directed the Second Division to leave a brigade and an artillery battery at Emmitsburg to guard a possible enemy advance from the west along the Waynesborough Road. Accordingly, Colonel Brewster's Third Brigade and Smith's Battery stayed behind at Emmitsburg as the First and Second Brigades started the twelve-mile road march to Gettysburg. [56]

To expedite rapid movement of the Third Corps, Birney's Division marched north on the main road from Emmitsburg while Humphreys' Division was directed to a country wagon road angling off to the northwest of the Emmitsburg Road. Humphreys finished his reconnaissance mission and, according to Cavada, "with some difficulty the Genl. & staff made their way through the mass of men struggling forward" to overtake the First Brigade a mile north of Emmitsburg and resume command of the division. [57]

Along the way, Humphreys received some combat intelligence and more orders from the Third Corps. He saw a copy of a dispatch from General Howard that warned Sickles to guard his left from the enemy as he approached Gettysburg. He was also told by a local citizen that there were no Union troops west of the Emmitsburg Road (only partially true considering the location of Buford's Cavalry Division). Finally, a Third Corps staff officer arrived with orders directing Humphreys to "take position on the left of Gettysburg as he came up." Thus far, the column had been guided by Dr. Anan, a civilian doctor, but as the division approached Marsh Creek, it was met by an additional guide, Lieutenant Colonel Hayden, Third Corps AIG. At a fork in the road short of Marsh Creek, Hayden insisted the division take the left fork. Hayden claimed that General Sickles had directed him to lead Humphreys Division into Gettysburg along the Fairfield Road past the Black Horse Tavern. [58] Based on previous instructions and a keen sense of terrain, Humphreys objected to this move, but finally deferred to the judgment of the corps staff officer who was supposed to know where he was going. Reluctantly, Humphreys ordered the brigade's columns to close up but to move on quietly in the darkness of the evening. [59]

After crossing and recrossing Marsh Creek a number of times, the column turned onto the Fairfield Road about three miles west of Gettysburg. After proceeding about a mile, Hayden who was 200 yards in advance of the column with the guides, rode back to Humphreys and informed him that there were enemy pickets directly ahead on the Fairfield Road. Given Humphreys' penchant for use of invective language, it is interesting to ponder his first words to Hayden in response to this startling news. Alas, the historical record provides no clue. Humphreys halted the division column and rode forward to the Black Horse Tavern with Hayden, Dr. Anan, and ADCs McClellan and Humphreys to sort things out.

Humphreys later recorded that "before reaching the Tavern that night, I enquired as to the character of the keeper, and learned that his sympathies were not with us, or not very strongly, at least; and I therefore relied on what a young man, by the name of Boling, (a wounded Union soldier, home on leave,) who was there, told me of the enemy." [60] Confirming the presence of enemy troops ahead from a captured Confederate artilleryman, Humphreys quickly realized his division was in the wrong place, so he returned to the head of the column and ordered the division to face about quietly and retrace its steps. In 1869, Humphreys visited Mr. Bream, the tavern owner, and later wrote that

Bream says my troops made a great noise coming up, talking, etc., but went away so quietly he did not hear them. Now this is not true; and I told him so. I knew I was coming upon the enemy, and gave the caution to be quiet. What he heard was the noise of horses, and artillery, and ambulances, crossing and wading up Marsh run (or Creek) which has a rocky bottom, and that unavoidable noise that troops make in crossing a deep wading-stream of irregular depth. Now the ambulances and artillery did the same thing in returning, and so did some of the Infantry; the other and greater part of the Infantry did not recross but kept along the bank. [61]

Humphreys pondered his good fortune to have survived this incident because he also recorded that

the more intelligent of the two [Bream] sons mentioned to me, that the enemy's picket line was about two hundred feet from us, and would have given the alarm in ample time to the main body, had I attempted to surprise. I was right in not attempting it. The sons (indeed Bream himself) mentioned that I had not been gone ten minutes when a party of twenty or thirty of the enemy came up to the tavern and passed the night there. The chance of war; the day had been rainy and sultry, and the men longed for a few minutes more at each halt. Had I rode up to the Black Horse tavern fifteen minutes later, with my party of five or six, virtually unarmed, what might not have been the result of a deliberate volley from twenty or thirty muskets or rifles at a distance of twenty feet?" [62]

The division countermarched by recrossing Marsh Creek and marching along the road on the west bank of the creek. In moonlight Humphreys' brigades crossed to the east side of Marsh Creek at the Sachs covered bridge, forded Willoughby Run, passed Pitzer's Schoolhouse and proceeded up the gentle western slope of Seminary Ridge. [63] Stopping at a farmhouse (possibly the James Flaharty property) a mile beyond the schoolhouse Humphreys learned from the occupants that enemy troops occupied Pitzer's Woods a third of a mile beyond the house. As a precaution an infantry company was thrown out 200 yards in advance of the division and the march proceeded along the Millerstown Road (in his report Humphreys called this the Marsh Creek Road). The way was clear and at the intersection of the Emmitsburg Road at the Peach Orchard Union cavalry videttes were contacted. [64] The division turned north on the Emmitsburg Road and were guided into their place in the Third Corps sector along Cemetery Ridge by Lieutenant Colonel Hart, the Third Corps AAG.

Humphreys' fatigued division ended its very eventful approach march to Gettysburg and quickly went into bivouac at 1:30 A.M., July 2. [65] Most of Humphreys' soldiers probably felt like Capt. Cavada who recorded that "overcome with fatigue & sleepiness I threw myself under the nearest tree amid the wet grass, and in spite of rain & mud was soon lost to everything around me." [66] After the travails of the days march, Humphreys had good reason to question the judgement of Third Corps staff officers, like Lieutenant Colonel Hayden, who had almost led his division to disaster along the Fairfield Road.

The Second Division commander and his staff were up and working at dawn on July 2. In his official report Humphreys stated that his "division was massed in the vicinity of its bivouac, facing the Emmitsburg road, near the crest of the ridge running from the Cemetery of Gettysburg, in a southerly direction, to a rugged, conical-shaped hill, which I find goes by the name of Round top, about 2 miles from Gettysburg." [67] Early morning orders from Third Corps required Humphreys' Division to relieve the corps picket line. Capt. Cavada led the relief regiment forward and recorded that "our picket line at that hour of the day was placed about one hundred yards beyond the Gettysburg and Emmetsburg road and following its course for about a mile southward." [68]

Burling's Third Brigade was ordered to rejoin Humphreys' Division directly by General Meade's headquarters at 1:30 A.M. on July 2. Due to darkness, however, Burling did not begin his march to Gettysburg until 4:00 A.M. Burling's route of march was straight up the Emmitsburg Road, but it took him five hours to cover the twelve miles. He arrived into Humphreys' bivouac position at 9:00 A.M. and was massed in column of regiments behind the First and Second brigades. [69] Humphreys' now intact division remained in this bivouac position until shortly after midday.

During the morning of July 2, events unfolded south and west of the Emmitsburg road that would cause General Sickles to embark on a maneuver that stands today as the most controversial movement of the battle—the occupation of the Peach Orchard line. [70] With the departure of Buford's cavalry screen at 11:30 A.M. on the left of the Third Corps line and with enemy reported moving at 12:00 P.M. in the vicinity of Pitzer's Woods by Col. Berdan's reconnaissance-in-force, Sickles became uncomfortable with the placement of his corps along Cemetery Ridge. In Sickles judgment, the high ground along the Emmitsburg Road was a better place to deploy his corps. He had learned a painful lesson two months earlier at Chancellorsville when his corps was ordered to abandon the high ground of Hazel Grove, the loss of which spelled doom for the Army of Potomac that day.

Accordingly, without obtaining the implicit permission of the army commander, Sickles began moving Birney's division to the left and forward to the Emmitsburg Road shortly after 12:00 P.M. By 1:00 P.M. Birney had advanced Ward's Brigade to the vicinity of Houcks' Ridge, de Trobriand's Brigade to the stony hill above Rose's wheatfield, and Graham's Brigade to the Peach Orchard. Never during his decision process for this movement did Sickles seek the technical advice of Humphreys, a premier topographical engineer. Perhaps Sickles isolated Humphreys from the decision process because he felt that Humphreys would have argued against creating a salient at the Peach Orchard and isolating the Third Corps from the rest of the army. Perhaps Sickles was simply guilty of the old army adage—"if you don't want the answer, don't ask the question!..."

At 11:00 A.M. Sickles ordered Humphreys to send a regiment to the skirmish line along the Emmitsburg Road and Humphreys complied by sending the First Massachusetts of Carr's brigade to relieve the Fourth Maine of Ward's Brigade which immediately returned to its parent brigade. Humphreys reports that

shortly after midday, I was ordered to form my division in line of battle, my left joining the right of the First Division, Major-General Birney commanding, and my right resting opposite the left of General Caldwells's division of the Second Crops which was massed on the crest near my place of bivouac. The line I was directed to occupy was near the foot of the westerly slope of the ridge (Cemetery Ridge)..., from which foot-slope the ground rose to the Emmitsburg road, which runs on the crest of a ridge nearly parallel to the Round Top ridge. This second ridge declines again immediately west of the road, at the distance of 200 or 300 yards from which the edge of a wood runs parallel to it." [71]

This line would be Humphreys' first position of the day. Map 1 shows how Humphreys deployed Carr's Brigade in line of regiments as the first line, Brewster's Brigade in line of battalions 200 yards in rear of the first line, and Burling's massed brigade as the third line 200 yards in rear of the second line. [72] This deployment left a gap of 500 yards from the right of Carr's brigade to the left of Gibbon's massed division. At the time this gap did not concern Humphreys because he considered this first position as a temporary deployment and, besides, he could plug the gap with troops from second and third line. [73]

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Humphreys described the ground in front of this initial position as open, but he took steps to remove obstacles by having fences torn down. Battery K, Fourth U.S. Artillery (Seeley's) was provided to support Humphreys from the Third Corps Artillery Brigade. Furthermore, Humphreys ordered Colonel Brewster to strengthen the division skirmish line along the Emmitsburg Road in front of Carr's brigade. Brewster reports he was to hold the ground "at all hazards" and advanced the 73rd New York to positions around the Klingel house. [74]

Left to right: Lt. Henry C. Christiancy, Lt. Henry H. Humphreys, General Humphreys, Capt. Carswell McClellan, and an unrecognized officer.

Just as these dispositions were complete Humphreys received an order from Sickles that would profoundly affect his ability to hold the ground along his division's sector later that afternoon. That order directed him to send Burling's Third Brigade to the First Division as a reserve to Birney's badly extended division. Capt. Cavada recorded in his diary that "Genl. H— directed me to select a position for one of our Brigades (the 'Jersey' commdd [sic] by Col. Burling) in rear of Birney's right and lead them to the place. I placed the Brigade in a rocky wood of large growth about a third of a mile to the left of the "big barn", a crumbling stone wall about 3 ft high serving as a cover. This done I returned to our Div. now reduced to two small Brigades." [75] One order, obediently followed by Humphreys, reduced his combat strength by one-third! Burling's regiments would be committed into combat in a piecemeal fashion by Birney prompting the following comment in Burling's after action report: "my command being now all taken from me and separated, no two regiments being together, and being under the command of the different brigade commanders to whom they had reported, I, with my staff, reported to General Humphreys for instructions, remaining with him for some time." [76] At the end of the fighting on July 2, Burling collected what was left of his regiments and rejoined the Second Division by 9:00 A.M. on July 3.

In the hour preceding 4:00 P.M., a rapid series of events transpired that ultimately led to a Third Corps order for Humphreys to advance his division to a line along the Emmitsburg Road. Things began to heat up at 3:00 P.M. when Army Commander Meade was apprised by his staff that one of Sickles divisions (Birney's) was occupying a line well forward of the intended line along Cemetery Ridge to the Round Tops. An irate General Meade decided to ride to the left and examine Sickles advanced line for himself. Before departing headquarters at the Leister House, Meade ordered Sykes' Fifth Corps, the army reserve corps, to begin moving to the endangered left flank. Furthermore, as Meade and his staff entourage rode south along Cemetery Ridge on the way to an interview with Sickles near the Peach Orchard, he diverted his Topological Engineer, Brig. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren to the summit of Little Round Top to examine the situation there. Warren's timely action on Little Round Top made him a hero of the battle.

At the Peach Orchard salient, Meade had a spirited conversation with Sickles just as Longstreet's pre-infantry assault fire began to pour into the Third Corps positions. After Meade explained to Sickles that the Peach Orchard position was neutral ground, Sickles asked if he should begin moving his troops back. Meade replied that "you cannot hold this position, but the enemy will not let you get away without a fight, & and it may as well begin now as at any time." [77] Sickles, assuming he now had Meade's unwilling support to keep his corps on the advanced line, ordered Humphreys' Division to move forward to the Emmitsburg Road at 4:00 P.M. Humphreys' troop dispositions were complete.

Map 2: Humphrey's Division, July 2, 1863 1600-1700 hours (Second Position)
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Humphreys' ADCs carried orders to the brigade commanders to begin a forward movement of about 300 yards with Carr's brigade advancing in line and Brewster's Excelsior brigade advancing in battalions in mass. As the brigades began moving forward, Humphreys received an order from Major Ludlow of Meade's staff

to move at once towards the Round Top and occupy the ground there, which was vacant. Some reference was made at the time, also, I think, to the intended occupation of that ground by the Fifth Corps. I immediately gave the Order, by my Aides, for the Division to move by the left flank—a movement that was made at once, and with the simultaneousness of a single Regiment. The order given, I turned to Colonel _______[Major Ludlow],...and requested him to ride to General Meade and inform him that the execution of his Order, which I complying with, would leave vacant the position my Division was ordered to occupy; pointing out, at the same time, where the left of the Second Army Corps was; etc. I then turned my attention to guiding my Division by the shortest line towards the Round Top, which being done, to expedite matters I rode full speed towards where I supposed General Meade to be, but met Colonel ______[Major Ludlow] returning from him; who informed me General Meade recalled his Order; and that I should occpy the position General Sickles had directed me to take. In a second, the Division went about face; retrod the ground, by the right flank, that they had the moment before gone over by the left flank; and, then, moved forward to their position along the Emmitsburg-road. The whole thing was done with the precision of a careful exercise; the enemy's artillery giving effect to its picturesqueness. The Division, Brigade, and Regimental flags were flying of course. [78]

This divisional march and countermarch, so eloquently described by Humphreys, was the movement that the rest of the army perceived as the mass movement of the entire Third Corps to its advanced position at 4:00 P.M. Second Corps commander, Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, observing the spectacle of Humphreys' advance, was quick to recognize the danger of the move and quipped to his staff "wait a moment, you will soon see them tumbling back." [79]

Humphreys advanced the division to its second position of the day in two lines (see Map 2). Carr's brigade, the first line, was placed just behind the crest along which the Emmitsburg Road runs. The right of Carr's brigade line was held by the 26th Pennsylvania about 300 yards south of the Codori barn and he extended his remaining regiments south along the Emmitsburg Road past the Klingel House. Humphreys placed Seeley's Battery K, Fourth U.S Artillery equipped with six, twelve pound smoothbore "Napoleons" to the right of the Rogers House. During his forward deployment Humphreys sent an ADC to Third Corps headquarters to inquire whether he should attack. The response was for him to remain in place. [80]

Since Humphreys could not cover the entire division sector with only Carr's brigade, he extended his line by inserting Brewster's Second brigade regiments where needed. The 73rd New York was relieved by Carr's men at the Kingel House and formed to the left of the second line. The 72nd New York took position on Humphreys' left by Trostle's lane tying in with General Graham's right near the Sherfyi House. The 71st New York formed to the right of 72nd New York and linked up with Carr's left regiment, the 11th New Jersey. The 74th New York was sent to support the right of Carr's line and formed up behind the 26th Pennsylvania. The 70th and 120th New York regiments remained on the second line as division reserve. [81]

Between 4:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. Humphreys heard the roar of musketry and cannon fire as Birney's division became decisively engaged with Hood's Division, the first echelon of Longstreet's Corps attack. During this time Humphreys says that the enemy made demonstrations to his front, but did not drive in his pickets. He was probably observing McLaws' Division, Longstreet's second echelon, forming up prior to its attack at about 5:00 P.M. About this time the 5th New Jersey, Colonel Sewell in command, of Burling's Brigade returned to Humphreys' control and he immediately sent it to replace the pickets in front of Graham's Brigade which overlapped the division left flank. Within minutes of the deployment of the 5th New Jersey Humphreys received an urgent order from Sickles to reinforce Graham with a regiment. Although Colonel Sewell reported that the enemy was driving in the pickets and advancing in two lines (Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade) Humphreys obediently stripped his division reserve and sent the 73rd New York to Graham. Simultaneously, Humphreys sent ADC Lt. Henry Christiancy to the Second Corps headquarters to request a reinforcing brigade from Hancock. By this time Humphreys was well aware that Caldwell's Division had passed behind him on its way southward to shore up General Sickles' beleaguered left flank. [82]

Immediately to Humphreys' front, Wilcox's Alabama and Lang's Florida Brigades of Anderson's Division (Hill's Corps) made final preparations for an all out assault against the Enmitsburg Road. Earlier, as he deployed along the Emmitsburg Road, Humphreys saw the immediate need for more artillery support because his division was receiving fire from Confederate batteries that were engaging Sickles artillery positions in the Peach Orchard. Sending ADC Lt. Christiancy to the rear in search of more guns, Humphreys and ADC Capt. McClellan found a better position for Seeley's battery by moving it to the left of the Rogers House.

Lt. Christiancy was successful in his search for more artillery support, and in short order, Tumball's Battery (F & K, Third U.S. Artillery) from the army artillery reserve assumed the previous firing positions of Seeley's Battery to the right of the Rogers House. As the enemy infantry began to advance on Humphreys' line, Seeley's and Tumball's batteries opened fire. [83] During this time Capt. Cavada observed that "Genl. H__ in the midst of this hail storm moved around among the troops, and himself looked to the fire of the batteries, (Seeley's & Turnbull's) stepping between the guns and giving his directions, wholly intent upon the work & heedless of the murderous missles that were felling the very gunners around him." [84]

At this critical juncture General Sickles was severely wounded near the Trostle farm and relinquished command to General Birney whose own division was about to disintegrate. Birney later claimed that he personally observed a gap between Humphreys' left brigade (Brewster) and Graham's Brigade through which the enemy were about to pour. Birney then ordered Humphreys to change his divisional front to cover this threat. Humphreys later reported that the gist of this verbal order was "to throw back my left, and form a line oblique to and in rear of the one I then held, and was informed that the First Division would complete the line the Round Top ridge. This I did under a heavy fire of artillery and infantry from the enemy, who now advanced on my whole front." [85]

Humphreys later characterized Birney's concept as "all bosh" because in actuality there was "nobody to form the new line but myself—Birney's troops [having] cleared out." [86] His worst fears came true when Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade aided by Wofford's Georgians overran Graham's line at the Peach Orchard, thereby depriving Humphreys of any support on the left of his new oblique line. [87] Barksdale could assail Humphreys' left while Wilcox and Lang could concentrate their assaults on Humphreys' front and right. However, at this time Humphreys had to direct his personal attention to his left. He considered the division's right flank relatively secure because ADC LT Christiancy had returned from Hancock's Corps leading two regiments of reinforcements (the 15th Massachusetts and the 82nd New York) which were posted about 800 feet north of the division right flank near the Cordori farm.

Increased pressure from Barksdale's and Wilcox's brigades of McLaws' Division along the picket line began to force Sewell's 5th New Jersey back to Humphreys' main line of resistance. Capt Cavada vividly recorded what happened next:

our left (Birney) seemed to be pressed back, and beyond our Corps, where the 5th Corps was engaged, a terrible pounding and crashing was going on. The breeze blowing southward carried the heavy sulphurous smoke in clouds along the ground, at times concealing everything from my view. Our skirmishers now began a lively popping, the first drops of the thunder shower that was to break upon us. An aide from Genl. Birney rode up to Genl. H_ with the report that heavy masses of the enemy were gathering in our front & to prepare for an attack. As everything was ready we sat quietly on our horses, dodging the shot and shell that skimmed along. Our skirmishers were hotly engaged now and moving back, slowly. Our own batteries silently awaiting the assault. A copious shower of shell and canister from the enemy was followed by a diabolical cheer and yells, and "here they come" rang along our line. [88]

Despite intense pressure from Barksdale's Mississippians, Humphreys and his battle staff were able with great difficulty to form the new oblique line. Later, Humphreys modestly confided to a friend that this movement was accomplished in "pretty good order under heavy close fire of artillery and infantry...." [89]

In reality, however, the "close fire" was so intense that ADC Capt. Henry Chester, seated on his horse immediately beside his Commanding General was mortally wounded, shot through the bowels. While Humphreys supported Chester in his saddle, he ordered his son Henry to accompany Chester to the rear for medical aid. Henry Humphreys turned Chester over to an orderly and quickly returned to the firing line. [90]

Shortly after this incident Humphreys, having supervised the formation of the oblique line, was leaving the vicinity of the Peach Orchard, but found himself isolated about eighty yards between his line and the enemy advancing from Warfield Ridge and up the Emmitsburg Road. Humphreys' horse was struck by fire and pitched forward and threw the general out of his saddle. One of the ADCs (probably his son Henry) offered his own wounded horse to Humphreys, who declined the offer. The ADC did retrieve the general's saddle pistol holsters but not the saddle bags containing some important military documents. As Humphreys and the ADC walked back to the division line, Humphreys' orderly, Pvt. James F. Diamond, Sixth U.S. Cavalry, gave his horse to the General. The courageous Diamond was never seen again becoming one of the countless identified corpses on the battlefield. [91]

Humphreys nonchalantly described the situation in his battle report by stating that "my infantry now engaged the enemy's but my left was in the air (although I extended it as far as possible with my Second Brigade), and, being the only troops on the field, the enemy's whole attention was directed to my division, which was forced back slowly, firing as they receded." [92] In effect, Humphreys' two-brigade line would now be struck by three Confederate brigades nearly simultaneously: from the left by Barksdale, at his center by Wilcox, and on the right by Lang. Humphreys now received a critical second order from one of Birney's staff officers ordering him to withdraw his division from the Emmitsburg Road line back to the Cemetery Ridge line. Carr's Brigade received the withdrawal order directly from the acting corps commander.

Birney, having the broader perspective of a corps commander, realized that the Third Corps could no longer hold Sickles' advanced line because of Confederate successes on the far left at Devil's Den and in the Rose wheatfield. Accordingly, he ordered Humphreys to withdraw. Humphreys, however, had the more narrow view of the action only along his division sector. Humphreys had great confidence in the fighting ability of his soldiers and preferred to fight it out along the Emmitsburg Road line. Paramount in his mind was the avoidance of heavy casualties that would result if his division had to withdraw in the face of an all-out Confederate assault. [93]

Both of Humphreys' brigade commanders later sustained this opinion of the withdrawal order. Carr on the right would report that "notwithstanding my apparent critical position, I could and would have maintained my position but for an order received direct from Major General Birney, commanding the corps, to fall back to the crest of the hill in my rear. At that time I have no doubt that I could have charged on the rebels and driven them in confusion, for my line was still perfect and unbroken, and my troops in the proper spirit for the performance of such a task. In retiring, I suffered a severe loss in killed and wounded." [94] Col. Brewster concurred by stating in his battle report that "up to this time we had not been engaged at all, but now the troops on our left being obliged to fall back, the enemy advanced upon us in great force, pouring into us a most terrific fire of artillery and musketry, both upon our front and left flank. Our men returned it with great effect, and for some time held the enemy in check, but the troops on our left being, for want of support, forced still further back, left us exposed to an enfilading fire before which we were obliged to fall back, which was done in good order, but with terrible loss of both officers and men." [95]

Capt. Cavada observed things quite differently from Brewster because he recorded in his journal that when "our batteries opened, our troops rose to their feet, the crash of artillery and the tearing rattle of our musketry was staggering, and added to the noise in our side, the advancing roar & cheer of the enemy's masses, coming on like devils incarnate. But our fire had not checked them and our thin line showed signs of breaking. The battery enfilading us redoubled its fire, portions of Birney's command were moving to the rear broken and disordered. Our left regiments took the contagion and fled, leaving a wide gap through which the enemy poured in upon us. In vain did staff officers draw their swords to check the flying soldiers, and endeavor to inspire them with confidence, for a moment the route was complete." [96] As Brewster's brigade fell back on the left in some disorder, Cavada also observed that Carr's brigade "had not been materially broken by the enemy's desperate charge and continued to pour its fire on the victorious Rebels." [97]

However, Carr's success along the Emmitsburg Road would be very short-lived. Soon his regiments were involved in desperate firefights as they fell back slowly. For example, the 11th New Jersey, the left regiment of the brigade, was decisively engaged with Barsdale's Mississippians and, as a consequence, would sustain sixty percent casualties in the fight. Leadership losses were especially severe in this regiment with the regimental commander, Col. Robert McAllister, being wounded and Maj. Phillip J. Kearny being mortally wounded. This regiment had five commanders that afternoon with command finally settling on the regimental adjutant, Lt. John Schoonover. [98] Likewise, Seeley's and Tumball's artillery batteries suffered severe casualties as they fell back with the infantry covering the fighting withdrawal—both young battery commanders being wounded in the process. As he was carried off the field by two infantry soldiers Seeley later recalled that "a short distance from me—in the midst of the tornado—Genl. A.A. Humphreys—I think, bareheaded, and unattended—was endeavoring to rally (with only partial success, I judge) the retreating infantry of the 3rd Corps. I believe it to be almost an impossibility to rally the most staid veterans under such afire as our troops were then exposed to." [99]

As Seeley observed, Humphreys was conspicuous by his inspiring presence all along the divisional front during its fighting withdrawal to Cemetery Ridge. With sheer force of will and iron discipline, and most probably with a fair share of swearing for which he was famous, Humphreys rode along the line ordering parries where needed and generally inspiring an orderly withdrawal of his brigades. As motivational insurance Humphreys placed behind his line a detail of seventy soldiers from the Division Provost Guard with fixed bayonets to deter any unwounded shirkers or cowards from fleeing to the rear. The Provost Guard detail suffered heavy casualties performing this essential combat function. [100]

Humphreys considered this fighting withdrawal as an orderly movement and not a rout! He wrote to his wife after the battle that "the fire we went through was hotter in artillery and as destructive as at Fredericksburg...twenty times did I bring my men to a halt and face about [to fire], myself and H___ [his son Henry] and others [his staff] forcing the men to it." [101] Years later, Humphreys would explain that "I did not fall back rapidly because I disliked to fall back at double quick before the enemy, and besides I did not suppose I could rally my troops, or that any troops could be rallied at the place where the line was to be formed, if the movement backward was made rapidly." [102] His presence must have been inspiring to the soldiers of his division. General Carr also praised Humphreys by recording that "I must be pardoned, perhaps, for referring in my report to the conspicuous courage and remarkable coolness of the brigadier-general commanding the division during this terrific struggle. His presence was felt by the officers and men, as the enthusiastic manner in which he was greeted will testify." [103] Humphreys was a fighting general who led by personal example!

Humphreys' personal courage and sheer will inspired his retreating regiments to maintain their unit integrity long enough to reach the main line of resistance along Cemetery Ridge (see Map 3). However, Humphreys' Division paid a great human price during the fighting withdrawal that included at least 1,500 soldiers laying dead or wounded from the Emmitsburg Road back to Cemetery Ridge—a distance of less than 800 yards. The fact that the number of men captured in the withdrawal was low is a tribute to the tactical control exercised by Humphreys. General Hancock rode by Humphreys' Division on his way to superintend the Third Corps front and later recalled that "there seemed nothing left of the division but a mass of regimental colors still waving defiantly." [104]

Map 3: Humphreys' Division, July 2, 1863 1900 hrs (Third Position)
(click on image for a PDF version)

Hancock ordered Humphreys to form his division in the position left vacant by Caldwell. Humphreys and his staff officers immediately complied his Hancock's order and went about the business of reconstituting the regiments into brigade formations. Meanwhile, Hancock ordered Willard's brigade to plug the gap left by Birney's retreating division and he ordered the heroic First Minnesota Regiment into the teeth of Wilcox's final surge at Cemetery Ridge. Humphreys' official report says

the remnants of my division formed on the left of General Hancock's troops [Gibbon's Division], whose artillery opened upon the enemy, about 100 yards distant. The infantry joined, and the enemy broke and was driven from the field, rapidly followed by Hancock's troops and the remnants of my two brigades, who took many prisoners and brought off two pieces of our artillery which had been left after all the horses were killed. Sergt. Thomas Hogan, Third Excelsior, brought to me on the field the flag of the Eighth Florida Regiment, which he had captured. He deserves reward." [105] If anybody deserved a reward it was Humphreys himself for the manner in which he held his division together during a most trying fighting withdrawal and reformed his troops to join in the counterattack!

By 8:00 P.M. July 2, action had ceased along Humphreys' front. As Humphreys struggled to reform the division, the horrendous human cost to the division was tallied by his staff. Humphreys' battle report shows an aggregate infantry loss of 2,088 (171 officers and 1,917 enlisted) killed, wounded, and missing soldiers. [106] During the afternoon fight, two of Humphreys' ADCs were wounded, Capt. Chester mortally, and Lt. Humphreys shot through the arm. Divide Humphreys total casualties into his starting engaged strength of 4,924 and it yields a divisional loss of 42%! To place this devastating total into a 20th century perspective, consider the fact that the historical average daily battlefield casualty rate for a modern American division in combat has ranged from 1.1% to 1.5% [107] Humphreys formed the remnants of his division "on the left of Hancock's (Second) corps, along the Round Top ridge, where it remained during the night". [108] A division skirmish line was thrown out to the front and medical parties, under the direction of Lt. William J. Russell, Division Ambulance Officer, immediately began the gruesome and dangerous duty of recovering wounded soldiers for transport to the Third Corps Hospital.

July 3 would be a day of much movement, but little combat for Humphreys' Division. Before dawn Confederate artillery directed a brief but violent volley of fire at Humphreys' division sector. Just after sunrise Humphreys received orders from Birney to move his division to the left and rear (probably behind Cemetery Ridge along the Taneytown Road) for distribution of rations, small arms ammunition resupply, and collection of stragglers. It was during this brief replenishment operation that COL Burling's Third Brigade returned to Humphreys' operational control.

By 9:00 A.M., however, Humphreys' Division was again ordered forward and was massed in column of regiments by brigade to the right of the First Corps and left of the Second Corps. The occupation of this position was very brief because Humphreys soon received orders to shift his division to the left in support of the Fifth and Sixth Corps'. Humphreys obediently moved his massed division into its fourth position of the day in the vicinity of the Wheatfield Road where it passes north of Little Round Top. Humphreys was displaced again at about 4:00 P.M. in the aftermath of Longstreet's assault against the center of the Union line. This time Humphreys was ordered to form in mass by battalions in the rear and the left of the Second Corps and to the right of some First Corps units and behind the massed artillery batteries along Cemetery Ridge. Although not actively engaged in this position during the repulse of Longstreet's assault, Humphreys' Division suffered some casualties to enemy artillery fire. In this action Humphreys' special ADC Capt Carswell McClellan received a battle wound. [109]

At dusk on July 3 Humphreys was ordered to return his division to its previous position in support of the Fifth and Sixth Corps' at the northern base of Little Round Top. There his decimated division remained for the next three days, July 4-6, and was, subsequently, involved in the cleanup of the battlefield which included the necessary details of burying the dead, bringing in additional wounded, and collecting abandoned weapons and equipment.

On July 7 Humphreys' Division finally joined the pursuit of Lee's Army departing from Gettysburg at 3:00 A.M. and finally bivouacking that night at Mechanicsville (modern day Thurmont), Maryland, a march of 21 miles. The next day, July 8, heavy rains and impassible muddy roads forced Humphreys' Division to continue its road march south through Frederick, Maryland, bivouacking four miles short of Middletown. Humphreys received orders at midnight to join the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac to become Meade's Chief of Staff. Humphreys turned command of the Second Division over to General Carr and so ended his sojourn as a division commander. [110] Although he had commanded the Second Division of the Third Corps for only fifty days, Humphreys had guided his men successfully through some of the most decisive combat of the war.

Humphreys must have been very pleased with his divisional staff's battle performance because he lavished praise on them in his official report. The small band of ADCs deserved special praise because they faithfully performed their important communication and coordination duties all along the divisional front at great personal risk. Three of the four ADCs, including Humphreys' own son, were wounded (one mortally) in the course of action on July 2 and 3. Humphreys lauded the performance of Maj. Charles Hamlin, AAG, who was responsible for coordinating the activities of the entire staff and insuring that sufficient orderlies and couriers were present during battle action to transmit the Commanding General's orders. Capt. Cavada, AIG, performed admirably as a trouble shooter for Humphreys all along the division front. Capt. Russell, Provost Marshall, insured that a detail of men was always behind the main line of resistance to prevent shirkers from abandoning the line. The Division Medical Director, Surgeon Calhoun, was placed in charge of the Third Corps hospital and his assistant, Surgeon C.K. Irwin, stepped up to capably supervise the medical treatment of the division wounded. Behind the division three capable officers performed essential support functions. Capt. B. Weller Hoxie, Ordnance Officer, coordinated the resupply of small arms ammunition from the Third Corps ammunition train while Capt. James D. Earle, Commissary Officer, sought to obtain marching rations for the division from the army field trains. Finally, Capt. Thomas P. Johnston, Assistant Quartermaster, had the unenviable job of supervising and moving the division field train in support of divisional operations. [111]

Conversely, Humphreys had no praise to lavish on the command and staff of the Third Army Corps. While not commenting in his official report on the loathing he probably felt towards Sickles' and Birney's handling of the battle, Humphreys provided his wife some more direct insights in a letter he wrote her from the battlefield on July 4. He very caustically summarized his feelings by asserting that "had my division been left intact, I should have driven the enemy back, but this ruinous habit (it don't deserve the name of system) of putting troops in position and then drawing off its reserves and second line to help others, who if similarly disposed would no such help, is disgusting." [112]

After the war Humphreys visited Gettysburg and walked the ground the Third Corps occupied on July 2. He concluded that the original Union line was the better one to defend; that the Peach Orchard salient was a serious defect; that Sickles had over-extended his small command; and that the advanced line was too far out front for Meade to support properly. [113]

Given his state of mind after the battle, it is easy to understand why he jumped at the chance to leave the Third Corps after the battle. In fact, he confided to his wife that "I accepted the position of Chief of Staff with the Major General's Commission, for so far as I could learn it was my only source of relief from a condition of things which was intolerable. I had declined the place the day Meade was appointed to command, although the condition of a Major General's commission was attached to it. I regard it as temporary, that it until I can get command of a Corps; less than that I cannot stand." [114]

Humphreys' tenure as Chief of Staff of the Army of the Potomac would not be temporary. He waited over a year before being given command of the Second Corps on March 25, 1864, which he commanded until the demobilization of the army in June 1865. As an operational planner, he performed brilliantly as Meade's Chief of Staff during the dark days of Mine Run Campaign (Dec. 1863), the mortal combat of the Overland Campaign (1864), and the prolonged siege of Petersburg (1864-65). It was during this period that Assistant Secretary of War, Charles Dana, called Humphreys "the great soldier of the Army of the Potomac." [115] After the war, a grateful War Department would appoint Humphreys to the command of the Corps of Engineers with the rank of Brigadier General, Regular Army, and the title of Chief of Engineers.

As a combat organization Humphreys' Second Division, Third Army Corps did not survive the war. With the dissolution of the Third Army Corps on March 24, 1864, during Meade's reorganization of the Army of the Potomac, Humphreys' old division passed from the rolls of the Army. [116] With the end of the rebellion and the demobilization of its vast volunteer armies, the War Department dissolved all divisional organizations as well. Until the War with Spain in 1898, the U.S. Army operated as a decentralized constabulary force operating within the framework of the old familiar Regular Army regimental formations.

On April 22, 1898, Congress authorized the formation of army corps, divisions, and brigades to accommodate the rapid mobilization of the Regular Army, Volunteer Army and militia units for action against Spain. However, by 1902 these units quickly passed from the rolls of the Army following the Spanish American War demobilization. [117] The Army did not begin recording and maintaining the historical lineage of division formations until after World War I. Of the ten divisions on active duty in our Army today, six trace lineage to World War I, two to the inter-war years, and two to World War II. Modern divisional headquarters cannot trace a direct historical path to Civil War divisions; however, each division has a small degree of historical linkage to the Civil War. Many of the battalions currently assigned to the ten modern divisions are the direct descendants of Civil War regiments. [118]

A final note—Andrew A. Humphreys' legacy as a division commander and the "great soldier of the Army of the Potomac" lives on today in the form of life-size statues at Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. In 1908 Pennsylvania erected and dedicated a standing statue of Humphreys at Fredericksburg. The statue stands today in the Soldiers' Cemetery on top of Marye's Heights—the hill Humphreys bravely assaulted with his Third Division, Fifth Corps. Six years later in the autumn of 1914, a standing statue of Humphreys was dedicated along the Emmitsburg Road at Gettysburg. The placement of this statue is most fitting because it shows Andrew Atkinson Humphreys in his finest hour of leadership as a division commanding general.


Much of the research for this paper was completed at the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania with special help from Louise Arnold-Friend, Dave Keough, Randy Hackworth, and Dr. Richard J. Sommers. My thanks also go to Dave Weaver, a fellow Licensed Battlefield Guide, for his mapping expertise and to my wife, Kate, for her artistic rendering of the staff chart.

1. Army Regulation 320-5, Dictionary of United States Army Terms, (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 1965) p. 146.

2. Brent Nosworthy, With Musket, Cannon and Sword-Battle Tactics of Napoleon and His Enemies, (New York: Sarpedon, 1996) pp. 495-496.

3. Russell F. Weigley, The Age of Battles-The Quest for Decisive Warfare from Breitenfeld to Waterloo, (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991) p. 264.

4. Lynn Montross, War Through The Ages, (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1960) pp. 376-384.

5. Weigley, pp. 263-264.

6. Ibid., p. 264.

7. Montross, pp. 446-449. Weigley, pp. 263-267.

8. Nosworthy, p. 97.

9. Weigley, p. 362. Nosworthy, p. 97.

10. Russell F. Weigley, History of the United States Army, (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1967) p. 62.

11. Ibid., pp. 118-142.

12. K. Jack Bauer, The Mexican War 1846-1848, (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1974).

13. Weigley, p. 182.

14. Ibid., p. 228.

15. The War Department. Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1861 (Philadelphia: J.G.L. Brown, 1861) p. 71 (hereafter referred to as "General Regulation-1861")

16. Weigley, p. 227.

17. Ibid., p. 227

18. Field Manual (FM) 61-100, The Division, (Washington, D.C.:Department of the Army, 1968) p. 1-3.

19. General Regulations-1861, p. 72.

20. Ibid., p. 13.

21. Robert K Wright, The Continental Army, (Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History, 1989) pp. 29-36.

22. Alfred Mordecai, Military Commission to Europe, in 1855 and 1856, Report of Major Alfred Mordecai of the Ordinance Department, (Washington: George W. Bowman, Printer, 1860) pp. 30-31. George B. McClellan, Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating the Report of Captain George B. McClellan, (First Regiment United States Cavalry) One of the Officers Sent to the Seat of War in Europe in 1855-1856, (Washington: A.O.P. Nicholson, 1857) pp. 41-63.

23. Weigley, pp. 249-251.

24. General Regulations-1861, pp. 69.

25. Henry H. Humphreys, Andrew Atkinson Humphreys-A Biography, (Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Company, 1924) pp. 16-25.

26. Mark Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary, (New York: The Donald McKay Company, Inc., 1959) p. 417.

27. H.H. Humphreys, p. 330.

28. Adrian G. Traas, From the Golden Gate to Mexico City-The U.S. Army Topographical Engineers in the Mexican War 1846-1848, (Washington, D.C.: Office of History, Corps of Engineers & The United States Army Center of Military History) pp. iii and 6.

29. H.H. Humphreys, p. 331.

30. Ibid., p. 331-332.

31. Stephen W. Sears, Landscape Turned Red-The Battle of Antietam, (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1983) pp. 301-302.

32. Privately printed memoir of Carswell McClellan, General Andrew A. Humphreys at Malvern Hill, Va, July 1, 1862 and Fredericksburg, VA, December 13, 1862, (St. Paul, Minnesota, 1888) pp. 14-15.

33. G.F.R. Henderson, The Campaign of Fredericksburg, Nov-Dec. 1862—A Tactical Study for Officers, (London: Gale & Polen, Ltd., 1886) pp. 102-104.

34. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, (New York: Century Company, 1884) p. 235.

35. Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, (Des Moines, Illinois: F.H. Dyer, 1908) p. 305.

36. Ibid., p. 296.

37. H.H. Humphreys, p. 20.

38. Photo of Brig. Gen. A.A. Humphreys taken in June 1862 from the Massachusetts Commandery MOLLUS Collection at USAMHI, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

39. Henry Larcom Abbot, Memoir of Andrew Atkinson Humphreys read before the National Academy of Science, April 24, 1885, (Washington: National Academy of Science, 1885) p. 17.

40. Theodore Lyman, With Grant and Meade from the Wilderness to Appomattox, (Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1922) pp. 6-7.

41. Lyman, p. 73.

42. Dana, p. 192.

43. Personal letter from Maj. Gen. David Birney to Mr. George Gross dated October 28, 1863, from the David Bell Birney Papers, U.S. Army Military History Institute.

44. Dana, p. 192.

45. Lyman, p. 243.

46. Abbot, p. 17.

47. Harry W. Pfanz, Gettysburg-The Second Day, (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1987) pp. 135-136.

48. Humphreys, A.A. 1869. The Pennsylvania Campaign of 1863. The Historical Magazine Volume VI, Second Series: 1-8.

49. U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, D.C.:Government Printing Office, 1880-1891) Series I, Volume XXVII, Part I, 529-537 (hereafter cited as OR; all citations are from Series I)

50. W.A. Swanberg, Sickles The Incredible, (New York: Scribner, 1956) p. 196.

51. John Busey & David G. Martin, Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg, (Hightstown, N.J.:Longstreet House, 1986) pp. 47, 52-54.

52. Photo of Brig. Gen. A.A. Humphreys and staff taken in September 1863 from the Massachusetts Commandery MOLLUS Collection, USAMHI, Carlisle Barracks, PA.

53. H.H. Humphreys, pp. 186-187.

54. OR; Vol. 27, Part 1, pp. 529-530.

55. H.H. Humphreys, p. 187.

56. OR; p. 531.

57. Civil War diary of LTC Adolfo Fernandez-Cavada, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

58. H.H. Humphreys, p. 188.

59. Pfanz, p. 44.

60. The Historical Magazine, p. 1.621. Ibid., p. 2.

61. Ibid., p. 2.

62. Ibid., p. 2.

63. Pfanz, p. 45.

64. Cavada diary, p. 2.

65. OR; p. 543.

66. Cavada diary, p. 2.

67. OR, p. 531.

68. Cavada diary, p. 3.

69. OR, p. 570.

70. For a critical analysis of this controversy see Richard A. Sauers, A Caspian Sea of Ink: The Meade-Sickles Controversy, (Baltimore: Butternut and Blue, 1989).

71. OR, p. 531.

72. OR, p. 532.

73. Pfanz, p. 137.

74. OR, p. 558.

75. Cavada diary, p. 4.

76. OR, p. 571.

77. Pfanz, p. 144.

78. The Historical Magazine, p. 1.

79. John P. Nicholson [Editor], Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, 2 Vols. (Harrisburg William Stanley Ray, 1914) pp. 622-623.

80. OR, p. 532.

81. Pfanz, p. 147.

82. OR, pp. 533-534.

83. Ibid., p. 532-533.

84. Cavada diary, p. 5.

85. OR, p. 533.

86. Humphreys to Archibald Campbell, Aug. 6, 1863, A.A. Humphreys Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania as cited by Edwin B. Coddington in The Gettysburg Campaign-A Study in Command (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1968) p. 412.

87. Pfanz, p. 365.

88. Cavada diary, p. 5.

89. Humphreys to Campbell as cited by Coddington, p. 413.

90. H.H. Humphreys, p. 196.

91. H.H. Humphreys, p. 197.

92. OR, p. 533.

93. Pfanz, p. 368-369.

94. OR, p. 543.

95. Ibid., p. 559.

96. Cavada diary, p. 6.

97. Ibid., p. 6.

98. OR, pp. 543, 551-555.

99. Audrey J. and David L. Ladd [Editors], The Bachelder Papers-Gettysburg in Their Own Words, Volume I (Dayton, Ohio: Morningside Books, 1994) p. 608.

100. Coddington, p. 413.

101. H.H. Humphreys, p. 198.

102. Address to the American Philosophical Society, Dec. 5, 1884, by Hampton L. Carson, entitled Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, Brigadier-General U.S. Army, Brevet Major-General U.S. Army, Chief of Engineers.

103. OR, p. 544.

104. Hancock to Humphreys, Oct. 10, 1864. A.A. Humphreys Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania as cited by Coddington, p. 414. OR, pp. 371 & 533.

105. OR, p. 533.

106. Ibid., p. 534. The Historical Magazine, p. 6.

107. T.N. Dupuy, Attrition-Forecasting Battle Casualties and Equipment Losses in Modern War (Fairfax, Virgini, Hero Books, 1990) p. 62-63.

108. OR, p. 535.

109. Ibid., p. 536.

110. Ibid., p. 536.

111. Ibid., p. 536.

112. Humphreys to his wife, July 4, 1863, A.A. Humphreys Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania as cited by Coddington, p. 399. H.H. Humphreys, pp. 198-199

113. Humphreys memo dated July 3, 1869, A.A. Humphreys Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania as cited by Sauers, p. 126.

114. H.H. Humphreys, pp. 200-201.

115. Dana, p. 192.

116. Dyer, p. 296.

117. Correspondence Relating to the War with Spain-Including the Insurrection in the Philippine Islands and the China Relief Expedition-April 15, 1898, to July 30, 1902. 2 Vols. (Washington: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1993) p. 509.

118. John B. Wilson, Armies, Coeps, Divisions and Separate Brigades. (Washington: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1993) pp. 119, 123, 139, 159, 177, 195, 259, 303, 455, 557.

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