Morning on the Round Tops – July 3

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Tilton and Sweitzer’s 9th Massachusetts replaced Rice’s brigade, which retired. The brutal skirmishing tapered off in the late forenoon and the lull lasted until the Confederates opened an intense artillery barrage in the early afternoon, prior to an assault against Cemetery Ridge. Map marks positions as of 10 a.m., July 3.

Colonel [Patrick R.] Guiney of the 9th Mass. was detached to my command … I place the 18th and 22d Mass. upon my right and 9th Mass., 1st Mich. and 118th Pa. on our left, there being two regts. Pa. Reserves in the center and two to my left” – Colonel William S. Tilton.

We skirmished with the enemy all the forenoon, his skirmishers lying behind rocks in our front” – Colonel Joseph Hayes, 18th Massachusetts.

The Eighteenth formed no distinct line of battle but distributed themselves in knots of threes and fours behind a convenient boulder or temporized a protection for themselves by rolling small rocks into a breastwork. The corporal [Thomas H. Mann, and Privates James B.] Snow, Higly and [John] McGinnis were posted behind two quite large boulders, only a few yards below the crown of the hill. In a few minutes they had the open space between these boulders well filled with stones to present a pretty solid fort … yet before night all four were well sprinkled with fragments of lead that spattered through the chinks, the result of volleys received from across the valley” – Corporal Thomas H. Mann, Company I, 18th Massachusetts.

Piling up stones, and making ourselves as thin as possible, awaiting developments … we could not show a finger without a warning in the shape of a bullet” – Robert G. Carter, 22nd Massachusetts.

The regiment was just becoming familiar with its new surroundings on Round Top when a Confederate officer, without sword or belt, with his coat thrown back with an air of ease, independence and authority, comfortably enjoying a cigar, moving calmly and leisurely as if he was quietly out for a stroll, deliberately walked into lines. …. Astonished, he moodily accepted his fate, and was promptly conducted to the rear. He was a staff officer and had no idea he was in such close proximity to the Union lines” – Member of the 118th Pennsylvania.

Took a position on a rocky hill in the front line of battle. … There is a perfect wall of stone, behind which our men are posted” – Officer of the 118th Pennsylvania.

Sharpshooters very lively, came very near to hitting me several times” – Captain George Lockley, Company A, 1st Michigan.

We were relieved … [and] took up a new position about half a mile to the right of Little Round Top and in the direction of Cemetery Hill” – Lieutenant Ziba B. Graham, 16th Michigan.

We fought this morning until about 9 a.m. when we were relieved and fell back” – Hoadley G. Hosford, Company I, 44th New York.

During the morning the First Brigade came to our relief; they took our places in the line, and we marched out and took a position in the rear of the left center, still in sight of Little Round Top, and laid down to rest” – Captain A. M. Judson, Company E, 83rd Pennsylvania.

Our Brigade [Eustis’] was hurried to the right of the line [Culp’s Hill] to reinforce it” – 1st Lieutenant Elisha H. Rhodes, Company B, 2nd Rhode Island.

Sources:
-William S. Tilton Diaries, 1862-4, on file at Gettysburg National Military Park.
-Extract from private journal of Col. Joseph Hayes, provided by Stephen M. McManus, Media, Pennsylvania.
-Fighting with the Eighteenth Massachusetts, The Civil War Memoir of Thomas H. Mann, ed. by John J. Hennessy, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000.
-The Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg, by Robert G. Carter.
-History of the Corn Exchange Regiment, 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers, by the Survivors’ Association, Philadelphia, PA: J. L. Smith, Publisher, 1888.
-Letter from a young Officer of the 118th Reg. P. V., Leaves from the Battlefield of Gettysburg; A Series of Letters from a Field Hospital and National Poems, by Mrs. Edmund A. [Emily] Souder, Philadelphia, Caxton Press of C. Sherman, Son & Co., 1864.
-Diary of Capt. George Lockley, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
-On to Gettysburg, Ten Days from my Diary of 1863, by Ziba B. Graham, Paper Read Before the Commandery of the State of Michigan, at Detroit, March 2, 1889.
-Diary of Hoadley George Hosford, Gett Digital Civil War Era Collection, Gettysburg College, MS-176.
-History of the Eighty-Third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, by A. M. Judson, Erie, PA: B. F. F. Lynn, Publisher, p. 70.
-All for the Union, The Civil War Diary and Letters of Elisha Hunt Rhodes, ed. by Robert Hunt Rhodes, NY: Orion Books, 1985.
 

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rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
May 18, 2011
Location
Carlisle, PA
During the morning the First Brigade came to our relief; they took our places in the line, and we marched out and took a position in the rear of the left center, still in sight of Little Round Top, and laid down to rest” – Captain A. M. Judson, Company E, 83rd Pennsylvania.

I believe that when they were moved to the north, they would have been somewhere between the modern Pennsylvania Monument and the Taneytown Road. Does that sounds about right, @Tom Elmore?

Ryan
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
I believe that when they were moved to the north, they would have been somewhere between the modern Pennsylvania Monument and the Taneytown Road. Does that sounds about right, @Tom Elmore?

Ryan
Rice's brigade new location is not clearly established so far as I recall. One place they were not is on the wooded hill opposite Jacob Swisher on the west side of the Taneytown road, because that was occupied by the Third Corps. My guess is with Ziba Graham, putting them half a mile north of Little Round Top or just to the left (south or southwest) of the Third Corps - perhaps in the woods and close to the clearing so they could see LRT as Judson notes. Any further north, that is to the right (north) of the Third Corps, and they likely would have felt some effects of the cannonade and been near the path of Third Corps units moving northward toward the Angle during the attack.

Being in that location - to the west or southwest of the Sarah Patterson farm and west of the Taneytown road - would have kept them in the Fifth Corps zone, and close to where Sweitzer (minus the 9th Massachusetts) was then located. Tilton had been there too until ordered to relieve Rice on the Round Tops. It was due east of Tilton's last position on the evening of July 2.
 
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