Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Longstreet Attacks at 4 p.m.
July 2, 1863 - Second Day
General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.
Commander, Army of Northern Virginia
After an early morning reconnaissance, General Lee made plans for the battle's second day. He would attack the Union line at both ends - a diversionary attack on the northern end at Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill, and a major attack here at the southern end that would "roll up" the Federal left.
Corps commander on this end of the field was Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, Lee's "old war horse." However it took Longstreet several hours to maneuver his 15,000 troops into position, using routes that would conceal them from Union lookouts on Little Round Top. The Confederate infantry assault did not begin until 4:00 p.m.
In the meantime, the Union Third Corps under Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles had moved - without orders - to the high ground along the Emmitsburg Road, west of Little Round Top. Maj. Gen. John B. Hood's Confederate Division, which compromised Longstreet's right, swept out of the woods behind you and over the fields in front of you against Sickles' artillery and infantry. If successful, they could seize the strategic, yet undefended Round Tops.
(References to key points in the photo of the landscape):
The Federals occupied this rocky hill moments before Longstreet's Confederates struck. With its natural defenses and commanding view, it became a strong anchor for the Union line. Little Round Top is one mile from here.
(2) Big Round Top
The Federals left this wooded hill undefended until the evening of the second day.
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Location. 39° 47.103′ N, 77° 15.218′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on South Confederate Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Located in the Warfield Ridge section, at stop seven of 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. Soldiers and Sailors of the Confederacy (within shouting distance of this marker); Reilly's Battery - Henry's Battalion (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Reilly's Battery - Henry's Battalion (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alabamians! (about 600 feet away); Garden's Battery - Henry's Battalion Law's Brigade (about 700 feet away); Fourth Alabama Infantry - Law's Brigade (about 800 feet away); Henry's Battalion (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. In the upper center is a view of the terrain, captioned: You are standing on Warfield Ridge looking east toward Little Round Top.
In the lower center is a portrait of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, an experienced soldier, who lacked confidence in Lee's battle plan. He obeyed Lee's order to attack, but his heart was not in it. After the war, some faulted him for not attacking sooner, but General Lee was not among the critics.
On the right is a map showing Infantry positions about 4:00 p.m., July 2, 1863. The map is oriented to the east, the direction you are facing.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . . Warfield Ridge. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on January 20, 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 939 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.