Fast forward 200 million years, the date is July 2nd 1863 around 4:30 Gen. John B. Hood’s Confederate division launched its much-anticipated assault. Spearheaded by Texans, Arkansans, and Alabamians, Hood’s men swept over Sickles’ men occupying the boulder-strewn Devil’s Den and made their way toward a rocky hill known as Little Round Top.
From there position (Devils Den) the 4th and 5th Texans and the 4th Alabamians attack the 16th Michigan, 44th New York and the 83rd Pennsylvania on Little Round Top 2 times but are repulsed. The 15th Alabama attacks the 20th Maine a number of times with little or no success, they attempt to flank the 20th Maine in hopes of turning them. But every time they charge up the hill the Union troops hold their ground and repulse the Southern attackers. The courage of Joshua Chamberlain and men of the 20th Maine may have been the difference.
Who knows what the outcome of Gettysburg would have been if the Southern troops could have secured Little Round Top. It may have been enough to turn the left flank of the Union Army so when Picket, Trimble and Pettigrew spear headed there famed Pickets Charge attack they may have broken thru the Union Lines. But I guess we’ll never know for sure, but it’s fun to speculate.
If you’ve never been to Gettysburg you MUST put it on your to do list. Whether you’re a Civil War Geek like me or just a history buff it’s a great weekend excursion for all. When you get to Gettysburg you must go to Devils Den and climb the rock formations (the kids will love it). Try to visualize how Union and Confederate Troops would have used the rocks to hold their positions, the Confederates used snipers to shoot at Union Soldiers on the hill. It’s hard to believe, (because of the distance) they would have been effective, it has to be 200 yards between Devils Den and Little Round Top.