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Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Deadly Sharpshooters

July 2, 1863 - Second Day

 
 
The Deadly Sharpshooters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2008
1. The Deadly Sharpshooters Marker
Inscription. "The sharpshooters also began their deadly work, and the sharp zip - p-i-n-g-g-g - of the spiteful rifle ball, more dangerous than its larger brother, added to our perils."
Capt. <blurred> G. Carter, U.S.A.
22nd Massachusetts Infantry

Little Round Top's large rocks and the stone breastworks thrown up during the battle, protected Union soldiers here from Confederate sharpshooters in and around Devil's Den across the valley. Also, the rocks provided secure firing positions for Union sharpshooters.

A Civil War sharpshooter using a rifle equipped with a scope could kill an enemy soldier at 1,000 yards. The Confederate sharpshooters at Devil's Den were only 500 yards from here.

Union sharpshooters and infantry crept on hands and knees to avoid flying lead. For officers, it was more difficult to keep down. Brig. Gen. Stephen H. Weed, commander of the second Union brigade to arrive on the scene, fell mortally wounded by a sharpshooter's bullet here July 2. When Lt. Charles E. Hazlett, commander of the cannon to your left, answered the call of the dying Weed, a bullet penetrated his brain, and he fell dead in Weed's lap.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 47.525′ N, 77° 
Looking over the Marker toward Devil's Den image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
2. Looking over the Marker toward Devil's Den
See the linked "Confederate Sharpshooter?" marker below for the opposite side view.
14.203′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker can be reached from Sykes Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Located at stop 8, Little Round Top, on the driving tour of Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 91st Pennsylvania Infantry (here, next to this marker); 91st Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment (a few steps from this marker); The Valley of Death (a few steps from this marker); Battery D Fifth U.S. Artillery (a few steps from this marker); The Union Fishhook (a few steps from this marker); The Eye of General Warren (a few steps from this marker); Third Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Warren (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. In the upper center is a photo of Union breastworks photographed from near this point about twelve days after the battle by Matthew Brady. The breastworks were hastily thrown up on July 2 to protect Union riflemen. The wooded hill in the background is Big Round Top. Although the breastworks shown in the photo no longer exist, remnants of other walls may be seen on the hillside below this exhibit.

In the lower center is a drawing
Breastworks on Little Round Top image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
3. Breastworks on Little Round Top
To the south of the marker location are easily recognizable breastworks. Many of the standing breastworks on the crest were first built by the Federal defenders on July 2 and 3, 1863. These were refurbished by preservationists and entrepreneurs in the years before the Gettysburg was named a National Battlefield Park. Continuing maintenance has preserved these reminders of the battle.
of a Sharps rifle. Union sharpshooters positioned here carried the accurate, breech-loading Sharps rilfe. The Sharps could be loaded three times faster than a common muzzle-loader, and with fewer motions, reducing the risk of exposure to enemy fire.

In the upper left is a depiction of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters in action. Below it is a portrait of Brig. Gen. Stephen H. Weed who fell mortally wounded near this point, probably the victim of a Confederate sharpshooter.
 
Also see . . .
1. Confederate Sharpshooter?. A view from the opposite side of the battlefield, at the Devil's Den. (Submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Little Round Top. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The Deadly Sharpshooters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, June 25, 2009
4. The Deadly Sharpshooters Marker
Devils Den as seen from the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,016 times since then and 114 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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