I suppose many Gettysburg battlefield enthusiasts have favorite artillery pieces. I certainly do. I've always been fascinated with Civil War cannons and enjoy seeing every piece on the field, but there are particular cannons that really “resonate” with me. The reason might be simple: I love the featured cannon because of a wonderful photo I managed to capture a few years ago. Naturally I wanted to learn more about what this piece represented.
The above cannon belongs to Bigelow’s 9th Massachusetts Battery. Though this particular spot is located along Wheatfield Road, there are actually two other monuments dedicated to this unit as well: one at the Abraham Trostle farm along United States Avenue and one at Ziegler’s Grove opposite the site of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge. The cannon here at Wheatfield Road is a 12-pound Napoleon. Its accompanying monument dates from the mid-1880s and details the battery’s actions during the Gettysburg campaign.
The 9th Massachusetts Battery was recruited in Readville, Massachusetts in August 1862. It seems as if Gettysburg was their first major action, and the 9th was heavily engaged during the battle. Their first task was to defend the area from Confederate forces under Gen. William Barksdale on the second day of battle. Their second position, at the Trostle farm, was particularly brutal. On the third day they were moved into position at Ziegler’s Grove to guard against Confederate attacks during the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge.
PVT. JACKSON BROWN GILES, JR.
Born July 13, 1843 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 19
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