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Notes and Sources For "Gettysburg's First Shot"

1 There is a plaque affixed to one of four three-inch rifles at the base of General Buford's statue, Gettysburg NMP, nortyh side of Route 30 at Stone Avenue. "The four cannon guarding the base of the statue belonged to Horse Battery "A" 2d US Artillery. This piece was the opening gun of the battle. Fired from this spot under the personal direction of Gen Buford, July 1st 1863."

2 Jones' marker is located on the north side of Route #30 West, where it is entered by Knoxlyn Road. The face reads "First Shot at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, 7:30 AM." Other sides are inscribed: "Fired by Capt Jones with Sergt Shafer's carbine, Co E 8th ILL Cavalry" and "Erected 1886 by Capt Jones, Lieut Riffler & Srgt Shafer, Napierville." The 1886 date is contradicted by JL Beveridge's speech during February 1885 which drescribed it placement at Gettysburg. Other authors have determined it was raised during 1883. Although Shafer was a sergeant at Gettysburg, Jones was not commissioned as captain nor Riddler as lieutenant until December 10, 1864. Though multiple accounts mention the stone to be 700 feet from Marsh Creek, it is three times that distance. From the monument, a shot at the mounted officer west of Marsh Creek bridge would have been more than half a mile and rather long range for a carbine.

3 Alpheus Hodges, Co F, 9th NY Cavalry "The Westfield Cavalry" - Born May 4, 1843, near Jamestown NY, he enlisted during September of 1861. He broke his ankle in going down with his dying horse at Brandy Station on August 1, 1863, and was captured. Sent to Belle Isle and exchanged within two months, Hodges was hospitalized in Washington. There is a family anecdote concerning a visit made by Abe Lincoln to the hospital and asking young Hodges what he could do for him. Hodges got a laugh out of the President when he asked to be left alone until he got well enough to rejoin his unit. A "cowhand in Kansas for a few years after the war," Hodges returned to Lakewood NY where he raised a family. He lived in East Rochester NY from 1908 until his death in 1924.


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