The Peach Orchard & Wheatfield

General Daniel E. Sickles

The most interesting character I ever read about is Gen. Dan Sickles. This is an amazing man. After studying him in detail, I know exactly why he moved his men out into the front. Acting without orders he place his whole 3rd Corps. into a tempting position for Gen. Longstreet. This was the killing field if ever there was one. Gen. Sickle's Leg was hit by a cannonball during the battle. It has been reported that he was smoking a cigar while he was carried off the field. This was to let his men know that he was not dead. It was later amputated. He survived and carried his leg in a whiskey barrel for the rest of his life. It is now at the Walter Reed Hospital Museum.

Gen. Sickles Marker
Sickles' headquarters in the Wheatfield

One of the Regiments that fought in that area was the Pennsylvania Bucktails. You needed to bring the tail of a Whitetail Deer to join them. These brave men fought in the most heated area of that exposed front. It changed hands at least six times. Memorable spots such as Devils Den and The Valley of Death are a few.

PA Bucktails
Pennsylvania Bucktail Memorial

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Copyright © 1997
James C. Ferenzi, M.D.