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Devil's Den: The Orange Blossoms
In the mid afternoon of July 2, 1863 the 238 men of the 124th were stationed near Captain James Smith’s 4th NY Battery on the south end of Houck’s Ridge near the rocks of Devil’s Den. To the west was a triangular shaped field leading down to Rose Run and the opposite hillside of pasture, small woodlots and boulders that led to the ridge near the Emmitsburg Road. The 1st Texas advanced through the relentless fire from Smith’s battery and pushed back the Union skirmishers. Soon, the Texans arrived at a stone wall on the west side of the triangular field and directly threatened the battery who could not depress its fire enough to repel the Confederates. The 124th’s Colonel, A. Van Horne Ellis had his horse brought up and ordered a charge. The 124th responded with bayonets. They drove the Texans down the triangular field, over the stone wall at the bottom and beyond Rose Run. The price of the charge was steep. Colonel Ellis and Major James Cromwell were killed in the charge.