Consolidating Federal Control on Big Round Top

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Jan 16, 2015
Around midnight, Colonel Rice’s 83rd Pennsylvania joined the 20th Maine on Big Round Top, while Colonel Fisher’s 5th and 12th Pennsylvania Reserves took possession of the summit. At that hour, division commander General Crawford crawled through the Wheatfield with a staff officer to inspect the skirmish line of McCandless’ brigade. About 2 a.m., the 1st Texas and 3rd Arkansas moved from Devil’s Den to the base of Big Round Top. Before departing, the Texans removed three captured 10-pounder Parrotts. Map reflects positions as of 1 a.m. on July 3.

About midnight the Eighty-Third went up, took position on the right of the Twentieth [Maine] and commenced also throwing up works of stone” – Captain A. M. Judson, Company E, 83rd Pennsylvania.

Re-forming and moving directly by the left flank, the command reached its position [near the summit of Big Round Top], encountering but a few shots from the enemy” – Member of the 12th Pennsylvania Reserves.

Advancing up [Big Round Top] by the flank … all soon reached the top in good order” – Colonel Martin D. Hardin, 12th Pennsylvania Reserves.

In visiting the skirmish line at midnight, crawling out to it with Captain [Richard T.] Auchmuty [Acting Assistant Adjutant General], I found it within pistol shot of the enemy, who had established himself in front, on a ridge beyond, and who enfiladed my skirmish line from the left. Seeing this, I directed the brigade commander [Colonel William McCandless] to draw his skirmishers closer and consolidate his command behind the stone wall” – Brigadier General Samuel W. Crawford.

I was relieved about midnight” – Captain Charles W. Gibbs, Company I, 44th New York.

Slept on our arms and was awakened at 2 [a.m.] and moved to the right … across the depression obliquely to the right, part way up Big Round Top among a lot of large rocks and boulders where we again halted” – Private Thomas L. McCarty, Company L, 1st Texas.

The enemy were so close that we had to wrap blankets around the wheels of the artillery and move three pieces back with us by hand; one of the pieces had fallen into a ravine and had to be left” – Captain George T. Todd, Company A, 1st Texas.


-History of the Eighty-Third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, by A. M. Judson, Erie, PA: B. F. F. Lynn, Publisher, p. 69.
-Forty-first Regiment (12th Pennsylvania Reserves), History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, by Samuel P. Bates, I:885.
-History of the Twelfth Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, by Martin D. Hardin, New York: published by the author, 1890, pp. 154-155.
-Correspondence with Major-General S. W. Crawford, Address Delivered 28th November 1866, by Maj. Gen. J. Watts De Peyster, Township of Red Hook, New York.
-July 10 letter of Capt. C. W. Gibbs to his father,, 05/12/2003.
-Battle of Gettysburg, by Thomas L. McCarty, 1899, University of Texas Library, Robert L. Brake Collection, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
-First Texas Regiment, by George T. Todd, Waco, TX: Texian Press, 1963.


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