Little Round Top


This shot is taken towards the Wheatfield and Peach Orchard. While there is a ridge of sorts running along that line, it is lost in this picture in the woods and among other trivial rises in terrain.

Looking up the "shank" of the "fishhook" from Little Round Top to Cemetery Hill. P Peach Orchard, W General Warren statue, H Sickles' Hole, A The Angle, Pn, Pennsylvania Monument, C Cemetery Hill and the Cyclorama building.

The black and white photo is period, taken days after the battle. It was downloaded from the Library of Congress, digital ID is "cwp 4a39687." Note the trees just west of the Union Line were fewer at the battle. The field of fire, the kill zone in front of Sickles' hole was greater at the time of battle than is shown in the modern color photos. The modern photo was taken from atop a New York monument, a small castle. The old picture was taken from significantly lower ground. Still, some of the same rocks appear in both photos.

The breast works shown in the period shot were in far better shape than they are now. Still, the breastworks were not there on July 2, 1863. Colonel Vincent's 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division V Corps barely had time to find natural cover upon arriving, let alone build fortifications. The breastworks were built on the night of July 2nd to 3rd, to defend against an attack which never came.

General Warren, Colonel Vincent and Colonel Chamberlain are given great credit for saving Little Round top. It is often repeated that if the south had been able to place guns on Little Round Top, they could drop flanking fire down the entire shank of the Union fish hook. It is less often said that there is only room for about a half dozen guns on Little Round Top, and that Union reserves were available for a counter attack against Little Round Top's wooded rear.

Sickle's Hole. The left end of the swath of grass is visible to left. It continues until it opens up in the region of the Pennsylvania Monument. Again, The Angle and Cemetery Hill are visible. Again the black and white version is from the Library of Congress, "cwp 4a39686." The more open kill zone in front of The Hole is even more visible here.

Next: Vincent's Spur Or Colonel Chamberlain and the 20th Maine