Pender’s Division at Gettysburg
As discussed in Part 1 of this series, I’ve been building 10mm Confederate and Union armies for the American Civil War, using the orders of battle for the first day of the iconic Battle of Gettysburg as my immediate ‘to do’ list. On that day, elements of the Confederate III Corps encountered the Union 1st Cavalry Division near the Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg and the battle rapidly sucked in the rest of the III Corps, as well as the Confederate II Corps and Union I Corps, XI Corps and XII Corps. Over the next few days the battle would suck in the rest of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac.
Following the initial clash between Heth’s Division and Buford’s cavalry west of Gettysburg, General A. P. Hill, commanding the Confederate III Corps, ordered the rest of his Corps to march to the battle. Next in the line of march after Heth was the 3rd Division of III Corps, commanded by Major General William Dorsey Pender.
Like most Confederate generals, Dorsey Pender was a pre-war U.S. Army officer, having served initially as an artillery officer and then as an officer of the 1st U.S. Dragoon Regiment. Resigning his commission in 1861 to join the Confederate cause, he briefly served as an artillery officer before being appointed as the Colonel of a succession of North Carolina infantry regiments.
Serving with distinction during the Peninsular Campaign, he was promoted to brigadier in June 1862, in command of a brigade of North Carolinians in A. P. Hill’s famed ‘Light Division’, where he won a reputation for aggressive and decisive action on the battlefield, as well as for being wounded in practically every battle he participated in.
In May 1863 Pender briefly took command of the ‘Light Division’ when A. P. Hill was wounded at Chancellorsville. Following A.P. Hill’s elevation later that month to command the new III Corps, Pender was the natural choice to become one of his divisional commanders and was therefore appointed to command the corps’ 3rd Division.
Arriving with his division at Gettysburg on 1st July 1863 in support of Heth, Pender somewhat uncharacteristically decided to halt his decision and observe developments from the Herr Ridge. When Heth’s first assault failed in the face of stiffening resistance from the Union I Corps, A. P. Hill ordered Pender to support Heth’s renewed assault. However, Heth refused the offer of assistance and launched his second assault unsupported. This assault also failed, with Heth being wounded in the process. Pender was therefore ordered to make the third assault, which went in at around 4pm and proved to be extremely bloody; Scales’ Brigade in particular was almost completely destroyed by Union canister fire.
Nevertheless, Pender’s assault (assisted in no small measure by the arrival of Ewell’s II Corps on the Union right flank) succeeded in dislodging the Union troops from their position and pushed them back through Gettysburg itself, to Cemetery Ridge. It was there, on the next day of the battle, that Pender was seriously wounded by a fragment of Union shell. Pender died on 18th July 1863 of complications resulting from that wound.
Above: Pender’s Division at Gettysburg consisted of four brigades: Lane’s, Perrin’s, Thomas’ and Scales’, as well as a battalion of artillery. Starting the battle with 6,736 effectives, it suffered 2,101 killed, wounded and missing, or 31% of its strength over the course of the battle.
As with Heth’s Division, I’ve gone for the same pose-type of figure for the entire division (in this case advancing poses – Heth’s are all firing & loading). The reason for this is that I painted the division in three batches – the first batch in dark shades of grey, the second batch in light shades of grey and the third batch in ‘butternut’ – and then mix them all up before basing.
Above: Colonel Abner Perrin’s 1st Brigade comprised 1,886 men, equating to 9 bases in Brigade Fire & Fury. Raised entirely in South Carolina, the brigade consisted of the 1st South Carolina Rifles Regiment and the 1st, 12th, 13th & 14th South Carolina Infantry Battalions. This brigade lost 595 casualties or 32% of its strength at Gettysburg.
Above: Brigadier General James H. Lane’s 2nd Brigade consisted of 1,738 men, equating to 9 bases in Brigade Fire & Fury. The brigade was one of two North Carolinian brigades in the division; consisting of the 7th, 18th, 28th, 33rd and 37th North Carolina Infantry Battalions. Lane’s Brigade lost 705 men, or 41% of its strength at Gettysburg and suffered the highest casualty-rate of Pender’s four brigades. Lane took command of the division when Pender was wounded on 4th July.
Above: Brigadier General Edward L. Thomas’ 3rd Brigade was the weakest of Pender’s four brigades, numbering 1,330 all ranks and equating to 7 bases in Brigade Fire & Fury. This brigade was raised in Georgia and consisted of the 14th, 35th, 45th & 49th Georgia Infantry Battalions. Thomas’ Brigade suffered the lightest casualty-rate at Gettysburg, losing 270 men or 20% of its strength.
Above: According to most sources, Brigadier General A. M. Scales’ Brigade had 1,355 men present at Gettysburg, which would normally equate to 7 bases for Brigade Fire & Fury. However, the Fire & Fury 1st July scenario pegs the strength as 9 bases. I’m not sure why there is a discrepancy, but I’ve gone with the published scenario strength. Scales’ Brigade was all North Carolinian and comprised the 13th, 16th, 22nd, 34th & 38th North Carolina Infantry Battalions. At Gettysburg it suffered 490 casualties, equating to 35% of its strength, based on the 1,355 figure. Most of these casualties were suffered during the initial assault on McPherson’s Ridge on 1st July, when the brigade was shredded by Union canister fire.
Above: Colonel William T. Poague’s Artillery Battalion in reality consisted of four batteries: Wyatt’s Albermarle Va Battery (1x 12pdr Howitzer, 2x 3-inch Rifles & 1x 10pdr Parrott Rifle), Graham’s Charlotte NC Battery (2x 12pdr Howitzer & 2x 12pdr Napoleon), Ward’s Madison MS Battery (1x 12pdr Howitzer & 3x 12pdr Napoleon) and Brooke’s Warrenton Va Battery (2x 12pdr Howitzer & 2x 12pdr Napoleon). In Brigade Fire & Fury, each gun model equates to a ‘battery’ of eight guns, so a gun model usually represents two Confederate four-gun batteries. This mess of calibres (6x 12pdr Howitzer, 7x 12pdr Napoleon, 2x 3-inch Rifle & 1x 10pdr Parrott Rifle) boils down in game terms to one battery of 12pdr Napoleons and one mixed battery of Rifle/Smoothbore.