Friday, June 26, 2009

Touring Gettysburg with Eric Campbell - Part II

The next part of our tours with Ranger Eric Campbell takes us to Little Round Top and Cemetery Ridge. Little Round Top (which had no name at the time of the battle), ended up being the far left of the Army of the Potomac's defensive line on July 2 and 3. Here, Texans and Alabamians surged up the hill but were halted due to the quick thinking of G.K. Warren, Charles Hazlett, Stephen Weed, Patrick O'Rorke, Joshua Chamberlain, and Strong Vincent. Now, we continue our tour at the Warren Monument at the summit of the hill.

The Warren Statue is one of the older ones on the field. Visitors are forbidden to step on this rock out of respect and the need of conservation on the hill. This view looks Northwest towards Cemetery Ridge.

In this video, Eric describes to us how Robert E. Lee struggled to find the Union Army's left flank on July 2 and how he sent out scouts to locate it. The 91st PA monument is to our front left.

A view of Devil's Den from Little Round Top. Much of the fighting in this area actually took place in the Slaughter Pen to the left (south) of the den. The tree line farthest in distance is Warfield Ridge, which forms out of Seminary Ridge. South Mountain is completely hidden by the fog in the background.

We are now at "The Angle" or "High Water Mark" (no, there was no flood) on Cemetery Ridge. Here, Eric describes how Pickett's Charge (which I sometimes call the Longstreet-Hill Assault) was not Robert E. Lee's original offensive plan for that day. What would have happened had Lee gone with his original gut instinct? After all, General Meade anticipated that Lee would strike at the center of the Union line...and he did. Could Lee have broken through the flanks on the third day? It's an interesting hypothetical to ponder.

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