It’s difficult to believe that there are places on the Gettysburg battlefield that might be considered more violent than others, considering that the battle raged with such great ferocity on those brutal July days. Yet some stories stand out --- some evoke even greater pathos. One is the story of Iverson’s Pits. By July 1863 it was well known that Gen. Alfred Iverson had a “failure to communicate” with his subordinates. There were many instances where he just didn’t seem to get along with the men under his command, and never was this clearer than at Gettysburg.
On July 1st something went horribly wrong. Gen. Iverson ordered the advance of his North Carolina brigade, believing that neighboring brigades would offer support. But the orders weren’t well-thought-out, and the North Carolinians ended up wandering in the middle of a field without much where the enemy lay. They were basically sitting ducks. All of a sudden, boys from Pennsylvania and New York, who had been crouched behind the stone wall that still runs along Oak Ridge, stood up and began to fire. It was chaos. Many of Iverson’s men were killed on sight; the rest were taken prisoner.
A great number of these unfortunate men were buried where they fell --- survivors and witnesses remembered that the North Carolinians fell in rows as if still in a battle line --- on what was then the John Forney farm. But the exact location has been lost. It is therefore still possible, and probable, that a great many Confederate soldiers are still buried at Iverson’s Pits.
CPT. CHARLES M. JONES
Co. H, 49th Georgia Infantry
Born 1836 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 27
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray