Thursday, June 21, 2018
Firestorm At Peshtigo-- Part 12: Lucius Fairfield and the 2nd Wisconsin at Gettysburg
When Lucius Fairfield and the 2nd Wisconsin received orders to fall back to Cemetery Ridge, they did so in good order, firing as they went.
With their fierce fighting, they bought time for the rest of the Union Army to fall back and gave time for the other corps of the Army of the Potomac to get to Gettysburg and prepare a defensive position.
One Confederate officer credited the Iron Brigade's stubborn fight in glowing terms saying that the dead "lay in rows as if mustered on the parade ground."
Only 69 men of the 2nd Wisconsin remained of the 302 who went into battle that day were still available for duty the next day. Of the Iron Brigade, there were only 600 of the 1,883 left.
And, Lucius Fairfield was right in the thick of the carnage, leading each charge, organizing the line and calmly urging his regiment to stand fast and give greater effort.