Little Round Top - Part 2
140th NY Saves the Day
The somewhat house shaped monument further down the slope, I believe is for the 16th Michigan, the right flank of Strong Vincent's brigade, the first to arrive at Warren's urging. The attacking Confederates overlapped the 16th's right and advanced up the slope. The regiment was looking shaky, and it looked like the Confederates would capture the hill. And in the area before stone observation castle on the far right, Vincent was killed rallying his troops.
In this moment of despair, the 140th NY arrived, the first regiment of Weed's brigade, and it drove back the Confederates, saving the day. Their colonel, Patrick O'Rorke was instantly killed. The spot is marked by his regiment's monument, prominent on the right of the picture. In addition, Brigadier Gen. Weed and battery commander Lt. Hazlett were killed in the continued fighting .
Evander Law had taken command of the division in Hood's abscence. Law's Alabama brigade, now under the command of Col. Oates, had marched over Round Top, which was defended by only a handful of Sharpshooters. Oates' men descended to the saddle between Round Tops and came upon the men of the 20th Maine under Col. Joshua Chamberlain. This is something like the view the Confederates had as they attacked the 20th Maine, which was the left flank of the entire Army of the Potomac. On the left of the picture you can see the summit of Little Round Top, and on the right is the low ground that separated the Round Tops. The small stone wall ahead is the position of the 20th Maine, which is commemorated by the monument in the center of the right picture which marks the unit's center. At this point, the line bent back, or refused its flank, for further protection. (The stone wall was erected after the fight, and construction of the park service road raised the height of the saddle between the Round Tops by about 8 feet and eliminated rocks the Yankees had used for protection. ) Off the picture to the right, some men of the 20th Maine and some of the Sharpshooters enfiladed the attacking Rebels. Several assaults were mounted but none dislodged the defenders. Finally, when the Federals were running out of ammunition, they charged with the bayonet and threw the Rebels back for good. The flank had been saved. As the day drew to a close, the Union line settled down to defend Cemetery Ridge and the Round Tops while Crawford's division counterattacked and retook Houck's Ridge.
From Behind the 20th Maine
This is a panoramic view from behind the 20th Maine showing its "V" formation caused by the refused left flank. "L, C, and R" denote the regiment's left, center, and right.
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