On my last trip to Gettysburg I tried to focus on snapping shots of random cannon, and I really like this view of Smith’s 4TH New York Independent Battery in the Plum Run Valley. These 10-pounder Parrotts represent the lower half of Cpt. Smith’s Battery . . . the rest of the artillery pieces were placed upon Houck’s Ridge just above Devil’s Den. In this photo there are a few things I particularly like: the random boulders strewn across the ground; the sprinkle of yellow in the field; and the American flag honoring the men who fought and died here. The stone wall just visible at the top right runs along Ayres Avenue, which is out of view. The granite markers near the wall explain the movements of the U.S. Regular Army units who helped out at Houck’s Ridge.
The website “Historical Marker Database” explains that this battery was trained on men under Gen. Benning and Gen. Law and had much success mowing down Confederates in the Valley of Death and Slaughter Pen at the base of Little Round Top. “Draw the Sword”, in quoting from the marker itself, explains that shortly after three of Cpt. Smith’s cannon were taken by Texans above Devil’s Den, these two cannon in the Plum Run Valley were fired non-stop to prevent the same fate. On the next day the artillerymen were allowed to rest, and Smith’s New York Battery saw no further service at Gettysburg. They’d already proved their mettle.
1ST LT. FRANCIS MARION ALLEN
Co. D, 48TH Georgia Infantry
Born 1829 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 34
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray