02 July 2012

Gettysburg, 2nd Day

2 July 1863

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Position of the Union and Confederate Armies


Attack both the extreme left and right of the Union ranks in an attempt to flank the army and destroy it from both sides.

Longstreet's Corp is assigned to the right, to take Devil's Den and on up to the two hills (Little and Big Round Tops) to flank General Meade's forces.

General John Bell "Sam" Hood obeys orders, under protest, to attempt to take Devil's Den, the rocky foot of the Round Tops where Union soldiers and cannon bore down on them in strength.

He succeeds in taking Devil's Den but is severely wounded and sustains devastating casualties.

Later Afternoon: Hood's men, having taken Devil's Den, surge up Little Round Top and the Union flank, led by Colonel William C. Oates. They are stopped by Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine regiment (Chamerlain was placed on the hill only 20 minutes prior when his superiors saw that the Devil's Den forces would break and swarm the hill).

J.C. Chamberlain, professor or rhetoric at Bowdoin College, Maine

Chamberlain's Forces: 385

Oates' Forces: 644+

Chamberlain holds the hill against repeated onslaughts by Oates' regiment. Finally, when his men run out of ammunition, he orders his men to fix bayonets and leads a desperate charge down the hill, rooting the Confederates and securing Little Round Top for the Union Army.

Longstreet, seeing the day fought to a draw, and the Union forces still in command of the high ground, tries to convince Lee to bypass the Union army on the far right and make for Washington without risking the loss of any more men.

The truant J.E.B. Stuart returns at the day's close from an unordered raiding campaign. Lee berates him for leaving the army blind and assigns him to gather intelligence posthaste.

Lee plans for another day of battle.

Longstreet, knowing Lee will count on him to lead the charge, prepares himself and his own generals for what he fears will be disaster.

Overview of Second Day:

Casualties for Second Day:

10,000 and 6,800

Other Major Engagements 2 July 1863:


Peach Orchard

Culp's Hill

Cemetery Hill

Learn More:

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