Dr. Charlie Fennell poses by a monument on Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg National Military Park. A professor at Harrisburg Area Community College in Gettysburg, Dr. Fennell is one of the recognized experts on that portion of the Battle of Gettysburg. A long-time friend of the York Civil War Round Table, he will present a talk at the upcoming CWRT meeting on the July 1, 1863, fighting on Oak Ridge in Gettysburg and then will lead a battle walk / field study on the same topic in mid-September.
Photo from Gettysburg Daily, the most informative Gettysburg blog currently on the Internet, and a good friend of this Cannonball blog.
One of the most entertaining public speakers and educators in this general area will be the featured speaker at the August 19, 2009, monthly meeting of the York Civil War Round Table in historic York, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide, Dr. Charles C. Fennell, Jr., will present what promises to be a great presentation, “Confederate Disaster on Oak Ridge: The Demise of Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson’s Brigade on July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg.”
The topic of the night will focus on Confederate Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson’s North Carolina Brigade, which included the 5th, the 12th, the 20th and the 23rd North Carolina. They were in Maj. Gen. Robert Rodes’ division of the Army of Northern Virginia’s Second Corps (commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell).
The presentation is FREE and open to the public! Charlie will unleash his high energy, charismatic style at 7:00 PM on August 19 at the York County Heritage Trust at 250 E. Market Street in downtown York, Pennsylvania. Parking is free; the area is well lit and safe, and the camaraderie and Civil War discussion both educational and fun!
See you there!!
Brigadier General Alfred Iverson, Jr. remains one of the most controversial characters from the Battle of Gettysburg. Accused by some of being drunk on the field; thought by others to have been a base coward, his performance has led to a lot of questioning and second guessing, both from his surviving soldiers after the battle as well as by modern day historians. Gettysburg was to be his final fight with the Army of the Northern Virginia. Photo from the National Archives.
Iverson’s brigade led Rodes’s column toward Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. Arriving on Oak Hill, Rodes organized three of his brigades for an attack on the Federal First Corps’s right flank. Iverson’s men formed at the base of Oak Hill and marched across Mummasburg Road. General Iverson, however, did not accompany his men on the charge, nor did he provide them with leadership or direction once they set off.
Soon after Iverson’s men got under way, the 90th PA, the 83rd NY, and the 88th PA shifted to a position behind a stone wall facing west and toward Forney’s open field. Here the Federal regiments lay concealed and watched in anticipation as Iverson’s men marched across Forney’s field. When the North Carolinians were within fifty yards of the Union position, Brig. Gen. Henry Baxter’s men rose and opened fire on the unsuspecting Confederates, pouring a deadly fire at point-blank range into the North Carolinians. Many of the dead fell in a straight line, “as if on dress parade.”
Within minutes, Iverson’s Brigade lost 458 killed and wounded, a whopping 65% of its men, and tied with Garnett’s Brigade for the brigade with the heaviest losses at Gettysburg.
After the battle, the remaining men refused to serve under Iverson. In October 1863, General Lee removed Iverson from the army and ordered him to Georgia to organize cavalry.
A battlefield walk at Gettysburg National Military Park with Dr. Fennell is scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009, at 1 p.m. The walk will be approximately 2 hours and it will cover the movements of Iverson’s Brigade on July 1, 1863. The cost is only $10.00 due on the day of the walk. Mark your calendars and come out for some exercise, fresh air, and one of the most lively tour guides you will ever experience! Huzzah!!
Dr. Charles C. Fennell, Jr. is currently on the staff at the Gettysburg Campus of the Harrisburg Area Community College. He has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at GNMP since 1986. He received his Ph.D. from West Virginia University.