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

The Union Fishhook

 
 
The Union Fishook Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2008
1. The Union Fishook Marker
Inscription. "On the whole this was an admirable position to fight a defensive battle...."
1st Lt. Frank A. Haskell, U.S.A.
Aide to Brig. Gen. John Gibbon

You are standing on Little Round Top looking north and west over the center of the battlefield. Much of the fighting on the second and third days of battle was visible from here.

The Union line of defense began here at the Round Tops and ran north along Cemetery Ridge to the edge of town, then curved east over Culp's Hill (not visible), forming a "fishhook." Since it was an interior line, it was at least a mile shorter than the Confederate line, and required fewer soldiers to maintain. The higher elevations of the Union line gave the Federals better fields of view, greater ranges for cannon, and required the Confederates to attack uphill which slowed them down.

The Confederate line of battle extended along Seminary Ridge (to your left) and then curved east through town, paralleling the Union line.

(Key Points Referenced):
(1) South Mountain

(2) Emmitsburg Road

(3) Seminary Ridge
This long, low ridge was part of the Confederate army front on July 2 and 3. General Lee used the wooded ridge both days to screen the movement of his troops.

(4) Copse of Trees
This small clump of trees marks the Confederates
Map of the Army Positions Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2008
2. Map of the Army Positions
deepest penetration into the Union lines during "Pickett's Charge" on July 3. It also marks the approximate center of the Union line.

(5) Pennsylvania Memorial
This impressive landmark on Cemetery Ridge stands 110 feet and can be seen from many parts of the battlefield. Dedicated in 1910, it bears the names of each of the 34,530 Pennsylvanians who participated in the battle.

(6) Cemetery Hill
Site of historic Evergreen Cemetery over looking the town of Gettysburg. Union troops rallied here late on the afternoon of July 1, then held the commanding ground during the remainder of the battle as part of the "fishhook" line.

Four months after the battle, President Lincoln dedicated the National Cemetery on this hill.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 47.533′ N, 77° 14.201′ W. Marker is in 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. The Eye of General Warren (here, next to this marker); The Valley of Death
Waysides on Little Round Top Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain
3. Waysides on Little Round Top
Note the statue of General Warren in the background.
(here, next to this marker); 91st Pennsylvania Infantry (a few steps from this marker); The Deadly Sharpshooters (a few steps from this marker); 91st Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment (a few steps from this marker); Battery D Fifth U.S. Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); Warren (within shouting distance of this marker); Signal Corps U.S.A. (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. In the upper part of the marker is a panorama of the view to the west and north. You are standing on Little Round Top looking north toward the town of Gettysburg and the center of the battlefield. The panorama is keyed to indicate sites mentioned in the text. Photographs of the Copse of Trees and Pennsylvania Memorial are on the lower right of the marker.

In the lower center is a map showing the Union and Confederate positions. On the night of July 2 and the morning of July 3, the Union line took the form of an inverted fishhook. The eyelet lay behind you on Big Round Top, with the
A Similar View to the Panoramic Photo on the Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain
4. A Similar View to the Panoramic Photo on the Marker
With red numbers keyed to the points referenced in the text.
shank running up Cemetery Ridge in front of you, and the barb near Spangler's Spring.

 
Also see . . .  Little Round Top. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,277 times since then and 113 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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