Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War
Union Headquarters USA flag

Second Corps HQ Flag

Third Division
Second Corps

Third Division, Second Corps Flag


The monument to the Third Division of the Second Corps is on Hancock Avenue just south of the Bryan farmhouse. (39.815133° N, 77.235192° W; map)


The division was commanded by Brigadier General Alexander Hays (USMA '44), a Mexican War veteran who had worked as an engineer on bridge and railroad projects in Pennsylvania. Hays had commanded the Third Brigade of the division until three days before the battle, when Major General Wiliam French was transferred. When Hays took over the division Colonel George Willard took over his brigade.


General Hays is honored with a nearby
monument and statue at Gettysburg.

Hays monument at Gettysburg


From the monument:


Army of the Potomac
Second Corps
Third Division
Brig. General Alexander Hays

First Brigade Col. S. S. Carroll
Second Brigade Col. Thos. A Smyth
Lieut. Col. Francis E. Pierce
Third Brigade Col. Geo. L. Willard
Col. Eliakim Sherrill
Lieut. Col. Jas. M. Bull


July 2. About 8 A. M. took position on Cemetery Ridge relieving Second Division First Corps and at noon advanced to the stone wall in front. Late in the day the Third Brigade went to the support of the Third Corps on the left and became engaged with Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade capturing many prisoners. At dark Col. Carroll with the 4th Ohio 7th West Virginia and 14th Indiana of First Brigade went to support of Eleventh Corps on East Cemetery Hill and remained until the close of the battle.


July 3. The Bliss Barn in front occupied by sharpshooters was burned by order of Gen. A. Hays. At 1 P. M. a heavy artillery fire from the Confederate line was concentrated on the positions of Second and Third Divisions of the Corps for two hours followed by a charge of more than 15,000 infantry which was repulsed with loss the Division capturing about 1500 prisoners and 15 stand of colors. The muskets found on the field after the charge numbered about 3500.


July 4. Sharp skirmishing in front all day.

Casualties Killed 20 Officers 218 Men Wounded 75 Officers 912 Men Captured or Missing 1 Officer 65 Men Total 1291


Monument to the 1st Division, 2nd Corps,  Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg
(above) Monument to the Third Division of the Second Corps at Gettysburg
(below) Union Brigadier General Alexander Hays
Union Brigadier General Alexander Hays
About the AuthorContact me • ©2007-2014 Steve A. Hawks