On the morning of July 2, 1863, the men of the 12th Corps were determine to take back the earthworks taken by the
Confederates the previous night. The men of the Confederate 2nd Corps watched their union counterparts warily from the tree line
behind the monument pictured. Believing that the Confederates in his front held a vulnerable position, Colonel Silas Colgrove ordered
the 27th Indiana forward. Savaged by a hailstorm of Southern lead, the Hoosiers' grit only allowed them to travel half way across this
open field. With appalling loss, they were forced to retreat, losing about a third of their men with no gain to warrant their sacrifice.
"The only possible chance I had to advance
was to carry his position by storming it. I selected the Second Massachusetts and Twenty-seventh Indiana for the work, and ordered the
Second Massachusetts to charge the works in front of their position; the Twenty-seventh, as soon as they should gain the open ground,
to oblique to the right and carry the position held in the ledges of rocks. At the command. "Forward, double-quick!" our
breastworks were cleared, and both regiments, with deafening cheers, sprang forward. They had scarcely gained the open ground when they
were met with one of the most terrible fires I have ever witnessed. Up to this time the enemy had remained entirely concealed. It had
been impossible to tell anything about his strength in our immediate front, but it was now clearly ascertained that he had massed a
heavy force at that point. It seemed that the two regiments were devoted to destruction. Undaunted, on they charged, officers leading
and cheering their men.
The Second Massachusetts succeeded in
clearing the open ground to the left of the breastworks. The Twenty-seventh Indiana, having obliged to the right, had nearly double
the distance to traverse to gain the position of the enemy, but on it went; at every volley of the enemy, gaps were being cut through
its ranks. It became evident to me that scarcely a man could live to gain the position of the enemy. I ordered the regiment to fall
back behind the breastworks, which it did. The Second Massachusetts was also overpowered by numbers, and had to fall back. The
Twenty-seventh had scarcely gained the breastworks when the rebels in turn charged, with the intention of carrying our works. As
soon as they had fairly gained the open ground, I ordered fire to be opened upon them, the Third Wisconsin, Twenty-seventh Indiana, and
part of the Thirteenth New Jersey firing from the breastworks; the Second Massachusetts, from the new position on the left, had an
enfilading fire upon them. At the first fire they were completely checked, and at the second they broke in confusion and fled, leaving
their dead and wounded upon the field." - Colonel Silas Colgrove.
To your left you see the marker
noting the point of advance reached by the 27th Indiana. This marker is situated in the open field about half way between the 27th
monument and the Confederate works in the tree line in the distance. The marker reads simply, "27th Indiana Infantry. This marks
the farthest point gained by the regiment in its charge at 6am July 3D, 1863 on the works at the base of the hill behind this tablet.
Four color bearers were killed and four were wounded."