Cumberland Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Defense of Culp's Hill
July 2, 1863 - Second Day
Brig. Gen. George S. Greene, U.S.A.
3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, Twelfth Corps
On the morning of July 2, the task of defending the Union right flank on Culp's Hill fell to Brig. Gen. George S. Greene. A civil engineer, Greene built breastworks as high as five feet using logs, cord-wood, stones, and earth.
That evening, when several Union brigades on Culp's Hill were ordered south, Greene's lone brigade of 1,400 New Yorkers manned the trenches. Moments seemed like "hours of agony" to a captain in the 149th New York. "The pale faces, starting eye-balls, and nervous hands grasping loaded muskets, told how terrible were those moments of suspense." Beginning at dusk, Confederates of Ewell's Corps stormed the breastworks repeatedly until after midnight, but with heavy losses and no success.
At dawn on the 3rd, the bitter struggle for Culp's Hill resumed. Federal officers rotated the men in the trenches so they could replenish ammunition and clean muskets. Despite the valiant efforts of the Southerners, the Union line held firm. By
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is July 2, 1863.
Location. 39° 49.191′ N, 77° 13.214′ W. Marker is in Cumberland Township, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Culp's Hill Loop, on the right when traveling east. Located at the upper crest of Culp's Hill in Gettysburg National Military Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Sears Greene (here, next to this marker); The Deadened Woods (a few steps from this marker); Culp's Hill Rehabilitation (a few steps from this marker); Battery K, Fifth U.S. Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); Independent Battery E (within shouting distance of this marker); 60th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Battlefield Landmarks - South and West (within shouting distance of this marker); Battlefield Landmarks - North and West (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.
More about this marker. In the upper center is a painting of the action on Culp's Hill, captioned: Confederate infantry of the 1st Maryland Battalion charge Union troops (bottom and right) on Culp's Hill on the morning of July 3 in this painting by Peter Rothermel. The bloody assault failed. Among the dead was the Confederates canine mascot (center).
Below the painting is a Matthew Brady photograph of Union breastworks on Culp's Hill twelve days after the battle.
On the right is a portrait of General Greene. At age 62, Brig. Gen. George S. Greene was the oldest Union general at Gettysburg, but among the most able. According to a fellow officer he was "a grim old fighter, as modest as he was brave, gentile and courteous in his manner...."
Here on Culp's Hill, General Greene applied the engineering skills he had taught at West Point in building a series of breastworks that the Confederates were unable to penetrate. His statue stands in front of you.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Upper Culp's Hill Virtual Tour by Markers
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,915 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3. submitted on February 21, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 4. submitted on December 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.