How Much Thought Did Meade Give To Defense Of The Round Tops?

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Before Sickles moved III Corps forward how close to Little Round Top did his line get? Did Meade intend Sickles' line to reach the summit?

Why had Meade, prior to Longstreet's attack, left Little Round Top only partly defended and Big Round Top completely undefended when they were the anchor to his left flank?
 

WScott

Private
Joined
May 6, 2021
Since Lee was approaching from the north and west I think Meade was focusing on the fighting going on in the northern part of Gettysburg, Culps & Cemetery hills. Meade assigned Sickles to form his Corps at the southern end of Cemetery Ridge knowing that both Sykes and Sedgwick were coming from the south as reserves, to be assigned as needed. I don't think that Meade was ignoring the defense of Little Round Top (the US Sharpshooters were sent to Big Round Top) but was relying on Sickles to keep him informed as to what was going on and potential threats at that end of the line. Sickles should have been in a position to support / protect the Round Tops as needed until reinforced.
 

rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
May 18, 2011
Location
Carlisle, PA
Before Sickles moved III Corps forward how close to Little Round Top did his line get? Did Meade intend Sickles' line to reach the summit?

Why had Meade, prior to Longstreet's attack, left Little Round Top only partly defended and Big Round Top completely undefended when they were the anchor to his left flank?

Meade intended for Sickles' left flank to be positioned where General Geary's Division had been on the night of July 1 (probably the northwest slope of Little Round Top). As he deployed however, his line only extended to Munshower's Knoll, a small hill just north of LRT. In addition, on at least 3 different occasions, he asked Meade for clarification about where Meade wanted him because he did not know where Geary had been (Geary had left by 0500 and was moving towards Culp's Hill).

As for Meade, he believed that the main Confederate effort was going to come from a northwest to northeast arc since that was where the Rebels were coming from and he needed to shield the Baltimore Pike and Taneytown Road with his positions on Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill. He seems to have believed that Sickles would use his prerogative to deploy his troops in the best positions and defend his sector if necessary. Unfortunately, Sickles became fixated on the Emmitsburg Road ridge and moved his men to that forward position.

Ryan
 
Last edited:

Scott1967

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Location
England
Unfortunately, Sickles became fixated on the Emmitsburg Road ridge and moved his men to that forward position.
Or fortunately depends how you look at it after all the only reason LRT was occupied in the Knick of time was because Warren came to look at Sickles line and noticed the hill was empty or am I reading that wrong?.

Sickles move was what saved the Union at least Sickles thought so :smile:.
 
Top