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A gun and gunners that repulsed Pickett's charge: from a photograph treasured nearly half a century by the captain of this battery This photograph of a gun and cannoneers that helped to check Pickett's charge at Gettysburg was preserved for nearly fifty years by Andrew Cowan, captain of the battery containing this gun. From that Bloody Angle on Cemetery Ridge his life was spared, although the commanders of the batteries to right and left of him, Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing and Captain James Rorty, both were killed. At the very height of the action, General Henry J. Hunt, chief of artillery of the army, rode into the battery and fired his revolver at the oncoming gray line, exclaiming: ‘See 'em! See 'em! See 'em!’ A moment later, Cowan ordered his guns to cease firing, for fear of injuring the men of the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania at the wall in their front. The Sixty-ninth suddenly swung to the right, leaving the guns uncovered. The Confederates came rushing on from behind a slight elevation, covered with bushes and rocks, where they had crouched. A Confederate officer shouted, ‘Take the guns!’ They were double-loaded, with canister. Some of the brave assailants were within 10 yards of the muzzles when Captain Cowan shouted, ‘Fire!’ Two hundred and twenty chunks of lead burst from the muzzles of each of the five guns. Before the deadly storm, the line in gray withered and was no more. ‘We buried that officer with honor,’ wrote Captain Cowan, to whom readers are indebted for both the photograph and this account. ‘I returned his sword to survivors of Pickett's division on the same ground, twenty-five years afterward.’ At Cedar Creek, six months after this photograph, Sergeant William E. Uhlster (A) was crippled and Corporal Henry J. Tucker (B) was killed.


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Andrew Cowan (4)
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