2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of Gettysburg - Wednesday, July 1, 1863
The Battle's 1st Day Ends

24th Michigan Marker
In the distance looms Cemetery Hill and the ground which, at the end of Day 1, Union soldiers reinforced for the attack they knew would most surely follow. The Union lines extended to portions of Culp's Hill and the short stretch of ground in between the two crucial sections of the battlefield. The 11th Corps held much of the high ground near the cemetery while the 1st Corps, decimated by tough fighting earlier that day, advanced to the ground extending from Stevens' Knoll to near the Crest of Culp's Hill. The Confederates did not attack and the men in blue settled in for the night.

General Robert E. Lee had ordered General Ewell to continue the offensive by taking Cemetery Hill "if practicable". Lee complicated this seemingly straightforward discretionary order by adding the caveat that Ewell do so without brining on a general engagement. General Ewell would report his decision. "The enemy had fallen back to a commanding position known as Cemetery Hill south of Gettysburg, and quickly showed a formidable front there. On entering the town, I receive a message from the commanding general to attack this hill, if I could do so to advantage, I could not bring artillery to bear on it, and all the troops with me were jaded by twelve hour's marching and fighting, and I was notified that General Johnson's division (the only one of my corps that had not been engaged) was close to the town. Cemetery Hill was not assailable from the town, and I determined with Johnson's division, to take possession of a wooded hill to my left, on a line with and commanding Cemetery Hill. Before Johnson got up, the enemy was reported moving to outflank our extreme left, and I could see what seemed to be his skirmishers in that direction. Before this report could be investigated by Lieutenant T. T. Turner, aide-de-camp of my staff, and Lieutenant Robert D. Early, sent for that purpose, and Johnson placed in position, the night was far advanced."

Barely noticeable as you travel down the slopes of Stevens' Knoll between Culp's and Cemetery Hills, the small marker pictured above rests within the remains of the Iron Brigade's earthworks. Its inscription makes clear the ferocity of this first days fighting. It reads simply,

24TH REGIMENT
MICHIGAN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
IRON BRIGADE
OF THE 496 MEN WHO WENT INTO
BATTLE ON JULY 1, 1863, 99 ANSWERED
ROLL CALL HERE ON THE MORNING
OF JULY 2 - 3 1863.