While I continue to gather my information on Warren, I have realized that I have a problem with GK's rendering of the facts surrounding his gallop, reconitor of the situation on LRT. If you all recall, so the story goes is that he asked Smiths Battery to fire a round into the woods on Seminary Ridge. THe problem I have is which battery did he ask to fire the round? If I recall correctly Smith had his guns in to locations. On top of Devils Den and down in the field of the Valley of Death about 200 yards or more in front of LRT... Now keep in mind even if one of his aids galloped down the hill and approached even the battery in front of LRT we are talking several minutes.. And if its was on top of Devils Den, well we all know how FAR thats from LRT. Soooo we do have a problem with the story as I see it! Can anyone shed any additional light on this situation? Am I missing something here? Do I have Smiths batterys in the 'Wrong place' (Its possible!)
So have at folks!
Good point Jim. Not sure of the timing but it seems it would have been too early for Hazlett's battery to fire the shot that detected the ANV moving around the AOP left. A courier sent by Warren could have went to Smiths battery in Devils Den and had them fire the shot,but it seems to me that by the time this happened the battle was well under way and Smith would have had his hands full with Hood's men. Do you know if Hood had started his attack before Warren had the shot fired? If Warren arrived on LRT before the action started it's possible that Smith's battery could be the one that Warren wrote about. Interesting story.
There's an interesting article in Issue #2 of the Gettysburg Magazine, Jim, but I'm not sure you want to hear about it! According the Author James Wright, Warren DID NOT ask to fire the round. Smith's battery had to fire it to convince Warren that the Reb troops were down there. Here goes (and remember, I'm just the messenger!!)
About 3pm, Hood's Division arrived at the Emmitsburg Rd. Warren arrived at the signal station on the crest of LRT sometime before 3:30. 2 Union batteries opened a cannonade from between the DD and Wheatfield about 3:30, for a half hour. After that, Hood advanced. Smith's battery markers on the field are incorrect, due to the placement of the Park Road prior to the placement of the monuments. They were placed further back on Houck's Ridge than the monuments would lead you to believe. Law reported that the battery on Houck's Ridge was overrun less than an hour after his brigade moved forward, which would be slightly past 5pm. Now, on to Warren...
Cameron states that "in all probability, Warren sent an orderly to the battery (Smith's) in an attempt to verify what he had been told by the signallers." Hall, of Smith's battery, maintained that he had a hard time convincing Warren that the Confederates were in the woods. Contrary to what Warren later reported about ordering the shot fired, Hall (who himself and his men were well-trained in intelligence gathering) had seen the Reb movement on the left (Longstreet's countermarch). Warren didn't believe it. So, Hall reports that HE ordered the shot fired, and exclaimed to Warren "NOW do you see 'em?" The article goes on to state that after the shot was fired the Rebs opened fire on the signal station of LRT. Hall and his battery began to withdraw, but Warren requested that they stay and "wave their flags in defiance" to make it look like the hill was heavily occupied. Warren then sent a dispatch to Meade to have LRT occupied. Meade ordered elements of Sickle's corps there, but Sickles refused. It goes on to report about Vincent taking responsibility, etc. It states that Warren was back at the signal station and didn't see Vincent picking out a position to his left. Hazlett then arrived and conferred with Warren about bringing up his battery, to which Warren agreed. The guns were manhandled up the east slope to the crest and Warren helped. It was while talking with Hazlett that Warren was wounded in the neck.
The reports about Warren not ordering the shell shot himself and being unconvinced about the urgency of the matter is in direct contradiction to what he stated himself. So who's right, I wonder?
Just want to point out what I believe is a minor typo in JD's post: JD says "Hall and his battery began to withdraw, but Warren requested that they stay and "wave their flags in defiance" to make it look like the hill was heavily occupied." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always heard it was the signalmen who began to withdraw but Warren requested to stay and wave their flags? Besides, what flags would an artillery battery wave in defiance? :-)
Hi, group! I think Warren's memory may have "improved" over the years concerning who ordered the cannon shot, etc. However, the fact remains that once Warren realized what was up, he got his butt in gear to move forces to the defense of LRT. And they were desparately needed, and arrived in the nick of time. To me, that is the important part of the story. So, Jim, I believe G.K.Warren's honor and reputation are still largely intact.
I highly agree, Charlie! Just pointing out another version of what happened. Just pointing out that personal accounts seem to side with Smith's battery firing the shot to convince Warren, instead of the other way around. And Bill, you're right, I should have said "Hall and the signalers" - I think there was a Hall in command of a battery and I must have had that in my head... thanks!