Cumberland Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Union Fishhook
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
(4) Copse of Trees
This small clump of trees marks the Confederates 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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln series list.
Location. 39° 47.533′ N, 77° 14.201′ W. Marker is in Cumberland TownshipTouch 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. The Eye of General Warren (here, next to this marker); The Valley of Death (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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.
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 shank running up Cemetery Ridge in front of you, and the barb near Spangler's Spring.
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 1,567 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.