Cumberland Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Deadly Sharpshooters
July 2, 1863 - Second Day
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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1902.
Location. 39° 47.525′ N, 77° 14.203′ W. Marker is in Cumberland Township, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker can be reached from Sykes Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Located at stop 8, Little Round Top, on the driving tour of 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. 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.
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 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 . . . 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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,271 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on August 28, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.