It was only a matter of time before the battle would reach Sickles’ salient at the Peach Orchard. The main weakness of a salient is that it can be attacked from two sides. That’s just what’s about the happen.
150 years ago right now, the division of Maj. General Lafayette McLaws – especially the brigades of Brig. General Joseph Kershaw and Brig. General William Barksdale – will come across the Emmitsburg Road, and strike the men of Brig. General Charles Graham. Within an hour of the first contact, the Union troops occupying the exposed position will be forced to withdraw in a somewhat less-than-organized fashion. The rest of Brig. General Andrew Humphreys’ division, holding the line going north along the Emmitsburg Road, will have to abandon their position a little after 7:00pm, too.
For the moment anyway, the Confederates will have a clear route to the Union rear. They’ll soon be within range to flank the II Corps. Someone on the Union side needs to take control here.