Meeting of February 24, 2009

Larry Comstock on “The Other End of the Line — The Union Right Flank at Gettysburg”

Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863 (Hal Jespersen)

Most attention about the battle of Gettysburg is given in the popular press and in the movie Gettysburg to the attacks on July 2, 1863, on the Union left flank and on the center of the Union line on July 3rd (Pickett’s Charge). Who has not heard about Little Round Top, Devils Den, the Peach Orchard, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, and the 20th Maine? Larry’s excellent presentation described the events that took place on the Union right flank that were equally important. The geography of Gettysburg and the military importance of the surrounding hills were emphasized. The persons who made the key decisions to establish the force on Cemetery Hill as a rallying point and to direct a force to the adjacent Culp’s Hill on July 1st were identified: The importance of defending these hills that controlled the approach to Gettysburg by the Baltimore Pike were explained. The defenses of the key positions, primarily by the Union XI and XII Corps and the key individuals were described. The unsuccessful attacks on these hills and the intervening ground by the Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell’s Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia starting late in the afternoon of July 2nd and continuing the next morning were outlined.

Newsletter February 2009