Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Defense of Little Round Top
July 2, 1863 - Second Day
1st Lt. Porter Farley, U.S.A.
140th New York Infantry
Col. Strong Vincent and his 1,300-man Union infantry brigade rushed to defend this hill about 4:00 p.m. on July 2-and none too soon. Just as his men took position on the slopes below, Texans and Alabamians of Maj. Gen. John B. Hood's division began streaming out of the woods to your left. Rapid, deadly fire from Vincent's line drove them back.
Hood's determined men rallied and renewed the fight. When the Union right flank began to crumble, Colonel Vincent went to their aid. While exposed, he fell mortally wounded.
Just when the Federals seemed doomed, over the hill behind you poured the 140th New York Infantry led by Col. Patrick O'Rorke. The New Yorkers, who had no time to load their muskets, swept down the hill in front of you into the surging Confederates. O'Rorke fell dead when a bullet pierced his neck. After a bloody struggle the exhausted Southerners fell back, leaving Little Round Top in Union hands.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. 39° 47.494′ N, 77° 14.221′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, 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. 140th New York Infantry (a few steps from this marker); Col. Strong Vincent (within shouting distance of this marker); 12th and 44th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Breastworks (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery D Fifth U.S. Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); The Deadly Sharpshooters (within shouting distance of this marker); 91st Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker); 91st Pennsylvania Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
More about this marker. In the center of the marker is a depiction of the Federals fighting on Little Round Top. The timely counterattack of Col. Patrick O'Rorke's 140th New York Infantry down the slope in front of you probably saved Little Round Top for the Union. Painting by Gil Cohen.
In the upper right is a portrait of Col. Strong Vincent, described as an attorney before the war, was only 26 when he was mortally wounded here. His decisive action in seizing Little Round Top prevented the destruction of the Union left flank. He died in a field hospital five days after the fight, perhaps unaware that he had been promoted to brigadier general.
In the lower right is a portrait of Col. O'Rorke. The gallant Col. Patrick O'Rorke graduated first in his class at West Point in 1861. The 140th New York was his first combat command. Brig. Gen. G.K. Warren, who had sent O'Rorke into the fight here, lamented his death: "I would have died to save him if I could." O'Rorke is honored on the monument behind you to the left.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Little Round Top virtual tour by markers.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,800 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 29, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 5, 6. submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 7. submitted on August 29, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.