Brigadier General George S. Greene

George Greene, the oldest general in the Union Army, commanded a brigade of New Yorkers--60, 78, 102, 137, 149 New York--during the Battle of Gettysburg. At about 8:00 AM on 2 July, Henry Slocum ordered John W. Geary's Second Division of XII Corps, of which Greene's brigade was part, to support Solomon Meredith's Iron Brigade in James S. Wadsworth's First Division of I Corps, sent on the evening of 1 July to Culp's Hill. Geary formed his division to the right of the Iron Brigade with Greene's brigade in front, and David Ireland's 137th NY at the extreme right. During the afternoon of 2 July, George Meade, fearing that his left was in jeopardy, ordered Slocum to move his corps to support the left of the Federal line. Slocum withdrew all but Greene's brigade.

Shortly after the withdrawl of XII Corps, George H. Steuart's brigade of Edward Johnson's division of Richard Ewell's corps, attacked the Union positions on Culp's Hill. The fighting on the Union right was fierce; the Union troops having improved their position by constructing breastworks and abatis. To aid the men of I and XII Corps, Oliver O. Howard sent reinforcements from Alexander Schimmelfennig's 1st Brigade of Carl Schurz's Second Division. At about 8:00 PM, Ireland, detecting troops from the 2d Maryland§ and 1st and 3d North Carolina to his front, right, and rear, withdrew some of of his troops to compact his line.

Winfield S. Hancock, fearing that the withdrawl of XII Corps had weakened the right of the Union line, on his own initiative, ordered John Gibbon to send two regiments, the 71st and 106th Pennsylvania, from II Corps to reinforce Wadsworth and Greene on Culp's Hill. The Union right was severly tested but held that night. Throughout the night and up until 11 AM the next morning, there was some sharp fighting as the Federal troops, preėmpting a planned Confederate attack, fought to regain the rifle pits that XII Corps lost the night before. Thomas Neill's 3d Brigade, 2d Division, detached from John Sedgwick's VI Corps and assigned to XII Corps and posted on Wolf Hill, played a role in the Federal attack.

§ The 2d MD was formed from the remnents of the old 1st MD (C.S.A). Because, at first, there were not enough men to form a regiment, the unit's official designation was the First Maryland Battalion of Infantry, but they used the name 2d MD so as not to be confused with the "Gallant First."

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Thanks to John E. Buchanan for the information on Neill's brigade.
Created 03 OCT 1999; Modified 23 JUL 2014