Originally posted on Practically Historical:
Alexander Stewart Webb is a hero…as discussed in an earlier post, the term is bantered around loosely in our society. Such imprecise remembrance has resulted in men(and women) like Webb being relegated to the footnotes of our history…
Webb was born in 1835 into a prominent military family from New York City. Webb’s father was an officer and diplomat, his grandfather had served on George Washington’s staff during the Revolution. Webb graduated from the US Military Academy in 1855 and served as an artillery officer during the Second Seminole War. Webb volunteered for the Union in 1861 and rose quickly through the ranks of the volunteer army. He fought bravely at Bull Run and received a commendation from General George McClellan for his actions during the defense of Malvern Hill in 1862.
He marched to Gettysburg in command of the gristled Philadelphia brigade of the Army of Potomac’s Second Corps. The brigade had lapsed from its former glory before Webb took command and in just a few short weeks he had restored some discipline to the dispirited veterans. His men did not see action until July 2, but fought well for their new commander. When Lee’s attack reached the center of the Union line Webb’s veterans repulsed the confederates and pursued them to the Emmitsburg road capturing nearly 300. Later, Webb led reinforcements to help push the confederates back on Cemetery Hill.