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Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Defense of Culp's Hill

July 2, 1863 - Second Day

 
 
Defense of Culp's Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2008
1. Defense of Culp's Hill Marker
Inscription. "As soon as we were in position, we began to intrench ourselves and throw up breastworks...."
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 By midday, the Confederates had withdrawn.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 
Defense of Culp's Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2008
2. Defense of Culp's Hill Marker
At the parking area for Culp's Hill Observation Tower.
49.191′ N, 77° 13.214′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Culp's Hill Loop, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located at the upper crest of Culp's Hill in 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. George Sears Greene (here, next to 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); Company "I", 60th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 95th New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
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
Gen. Greene at Culp's Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 5, 2010
3. Gen. Greene at Culp's Hill Marker
A statue of Maj. Gen. George Sears Greene is seen here behind the marker. Greene, the son of Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene, commanded the troops at the right flank of the Union line.
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
 
Also see . . .  Culp's Hill. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on December 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Rocky Outcroppings on Culp's Hill image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 17, 2008
4. Rocky Outcroppings on Culp's Hill
The rocky north side of the upper crest of Culp's Hill. The terrain lent itself to a defense, but with the enhancements of Greene's breastworks, the position was even more formidable.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,431 times since then and 73 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 North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on December 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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