Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Remembers Gen. Richard Ewell at Gettysburg (7/2/1863) - Mar. 21st, 2005
Posted on 03/20/2005 9:54:07 PM PST by SAMWolf
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For the second day in a row, Confederate General Richard Ewell inexplicably failed to take the offensive at Gettysburg. "The fruits of victory," Robert E. Lee lamented, had not been gathered.
The next morning the conversation at Maj. Gen. Richard Ewell's II Corps headquarters concerned Lee's expectations for the coming day. Said Lee pointedly: "We did not pursue our advantage of yesterday, and now the enemy are in good position." Given Lee's habitual gentlemanly demeanor, that amounted to a severe dressing down of Ewell, as "Old Baldy" immediately realized. Wisely, Ewell made no reply. The day before, ordered by Lee to take the Heights south of Gettysburg, specifically Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill, Ewell had flinched. With much of his corps scattered and exhausted by the hard march and even harder fighting earlier that day, the usually aggressive Ewell had taken one look at the two hilltops bristling with Union artillery and chosen not to attack.
Ewell's decision -- or indecision -- had pained Lee greatly, but to some extent it was Lee's own fault. Accustomed to the brilliant and imaginative leadership of Stonewall Jackson, dead now for two months, Lee had fallen into the bad habit of "suggesting" rather than ordering. His directions to Ewell had been typically contradictory and confusing: he was to take the heights "if practicable" but not bring on "a general engagement." Given the fact that a general engagement had already been flaring for 12 hours at Gettysburg, Ewell's puzzlement, if not necessarily his paralysis, was understandable.
Now, Lee kept his orders simple. Ewell was to keep pressuring the Federal right in order to prevent Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade from transferring troops to the left, where the primary Confederate assault of the day was planned. Again, should the opportunity present itself, Ewell was to take the heights. For his part, Ewell did not interfere with the previous dispositions of his divisional commanders. Major General Robert Rodes held the corps' extreme right, southwest of Gettysburg; Maj. Gen. Jubal Early held the center, due east of the Baltimore Pike; and Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson was posted east of town above the Hanover Road.
Fighting on Culp's Hill
Confronting Ewell were elements of three corps from the Union Army of the Potomac: Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard's XI Corps; Maj. Gen. John Newton's I Corps; and Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum's XII Corps, all occupying the high ground just south of Gettysburg, the Northernmost part of the Union line. Howard's corps, in particular, had been roughly handled by Ewell's forces the day before, but reinforcements had rushed to the scene and stabilized the line, which was now shaped like an inverted fishhook, with the hook's curve sweeping west from Culp's Hill to Cemetery Hill.
During the morning and the midafternoon of July 2, the infantrymen and cannoneers of both armies made ready for renewed war. The Federals dug trenches, built abatis and felled trees to open lines of fire. Rations were cooked, brought to the front and quickly dispersed. Water, which was scarce, was rationed and shared among friends. Cartridges were unloaded off the ammunition trains, and each soldier saw to it that his pouch was full. Muskets were cleaned, bayonets sharpened. The familiar ritual was a shield against the accursed gods of war, against death, and against the terrible wounds that had so shocked their tender sensibilities when the war first began, but that now no longer caused distress. These Yankees were veteran infantrymen; they had "seen the elephant." Now they waited.
Across the way, their enemies in butternut and gray did much the same. Their rations were not quite as good, but they had better access to water, and by now they had managed to equip themselves with the standard 1863-era musket, their home-brought smoothbores and shotguns a thing of the past. But the Rebels were expecting to make an assault, and their haversacks, many stamped with the initials U.S., were lightened of all but the essentials.
General Edward Johnson
Sometime after noon, Confederate Major Joseph W. Latimer had gotten the 16 guns of Snowden Andrew's Maryland Battalion and the Rockbridge Artillery from II Corps' artillery reserve on the heights of Benner's Hill, a small rise about 1,400 yards northeast of Cemetery Hill. The 20-year-old boy major had distinguished himself in previous battles, and clearly intended to do his duty. Further dispositions of the corps artillery were hindered by terrain and by the singular failure of II Corps' artillery command. Of the early 80 guns available to the corps, only 48 had been brought to bear on the enemy, and only 32 had been fired in anger. It was a terrible showing by the heretofore excellent artillery officers, especially in light of the fact that the Federal position south of town was a salient, and very much subject to enfilading fire from both II Corps and III Corps artillery. But this opportunity, too, had been missed by Ewell. Any attack on the heights would now be strictly an infantry affair, virtually unsupported by the long arm of the army.
During the morning hours, Ewell had ordered his divisional commanders to prepare to advance on the enemy. He sent couriers to Maj. Gen. Dorsey Pender, on his right, asking that support be provided in the event the corps went forward. Brigadier General James Lane had assumed command of the division several hours earlier when Pender went down with the severe leg wound that would eventually kill him. Lane replied to Ewell's request in the affirmative and ordered two of his brigades to the skirmish line. Ewell's attack was planned in echelon, a favorite Confederate tactic. Left to right, Johnson would go first, followed by Early, then Rodes.
Breastworks near the summit of Culp's Hill
Johnson's division lay just north of Hanover Road, east of town, about a mile from their objective, Culp's Hill. Brigadier General John M. Jones had been ordered to move his brigade in support of Latimer's artillery in the area of Benner's Hill. Colonel J.M. Williams' brigade fell in on Jones' right, while on his left Brig. Gen. George Steuart's hard-fighting infantry extended the front several hundred yards eastward. On Steuart's left, the renowned Stonewall Brigade formed but was quickly forced to change fronts, bringing its line perpendicular to the division's front in order to fend off some forceful skirmishing by belligerent Union cavalry. As a result of the Union harassment, only three of the four brigades of Johnson's division would go forward.
In the corps' center, Jubal Early had placed Colonel Isaac E. Avery's brigade on the left, while Brig. Gen. Harry Hays' brigade of tigerish Louisianans was posted on the right. Brigadier General John B. Gordon's brigade made up a reserve, and Brig. Gen. William "Extra Billy" Smith's little brigade was sent up the York Road in response to erroneous reports of Federal activity there. Again, as had happened with Johnson, only three of Early's four brigades would be available for the upcoming assault.
1st Maryland at Culp's Hill
On the right, Rodes had not gotten out of town before dusk. Nevertheless, Ewell ordered Johnson to take his command forward. Marching in two lines with battle flags unfurled in the July twilight, the three brigades stepped off briskly, taking shells from opposing Union batteries. Brigadier General James A. Walker, commanding the Stonewall Brigade, had been given discretionary orders concerning the Federals on his right, with the intention that his command would join the division as soon as practicable. The three brigades crossed the Hanover road in good order, only to be stymied at Rock Creek, where they lost much time fording the stream. By the time the Rebel brigades made the base of Culp's Hill, it was dark.
As the confederate assault began, Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum ordered Brig. Gen. Alpheus Williams, temporary commander of XII Corps, to send his former division, then holding the line along the southeastern portion of Culp's Hill, to support Maj. Gens. Daniel Sickles and Winfield Scott Hancock fighting on the left. Williams, informed Slocum that at least one division, Brig. Gen. John Geary's, should remain posted along the hill. Slocum initially agreed but later ordered Geary to follow, leaving behind only Brig. Gen. George "Pap" Greene's five upstate New York regiments. Greene's brigade would now be responsible for a battle line formerly held by a corps.
Wadsworth's line formed along the crest of Culp's Hill, while Greene's gradually descended toward Rock Creek as it moved southeastward. Greene had just started his movement to occupy the vacated works when his entire front came alive with the sharp reports of musketry and the nerve-shattering Rebel battle cry. The brigade was caught in motion, the worst fate that could befall a fighting unit.
Greene's 1,400-man brigade was next stunned by Steuart's assault on the right. The vanguard of Steuart's attacking column was the 23rd Virginia, which poured destructive fire on the New Yorkers and rolled them back. The Virginians, their battle blood up, pursued the federals through the works until they reached a part of the line perpendicular to the enemy and opened an enfilading fire. The staccato sound of individual musket fire followed moments later by the roar of a volley cut through the air and filled the participants with a sense of dread known only by combat veterans. The New Yorkers were in an untenable position.
The 37th and 10th Virginia regiments and the 1st Maryland Battalion moved up in support of the 23rd Virginia and extended the line westward. The Rebel movement was countered by the appearance of Greene's reinforcements, arriving peacemeal on the field. Faced with increased resistance and oncoming darkness, and forewarned that Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's infantry was coming to his aid, Steuart was anxious to secure his gains and await further developments. In the meantime, elements of the 1st and 3rd North Carolina regiments pushed westward in the darkness toward the Baltimore Pike, groping in the night before retracing their steps and rejoining the brigade. At 10 P.M.., Steuart's brigade had established a lodgement on the right of the Federal line, near the top of Culp's Hill.
About the time Ruger was putting his brigade in line, the first elements of Geary's 2nd Division were returning from their misadventures on the Federal left. Earlier in the day, Geary had received orders to follow Williams' division after the latter had started his division down the Baltimore Pike. By the time Geary had gotten his division (less Green's brigade) in marching column, Williams and his command were gone. Geary's orders were to follow Williams, but as he was out of sight, no one could tell Geary where he was supposed to go. So Geary marched the division south along the pike, turned left at an intersection, away from the battle, and got himself and his command lost for several hours. A frantic search by XII Corps staff officers finally located the missing brigadier, and he was ordered to march his division back to Culp's Hill.
Not long after "Allegheny" Johnson's division had become engaged, Jubal Early ordered his battle line forward. Robert Hoke's brigade, now commanded by Colonel Isaac E. Avery of the 6th North Carolina, held the left, while Hays' brigade formed the right of the attacking lines. Gordon's brigade constituted the reserve. Extra Billy Smith's little brigade of Virginians moved up the York Road in search of the ephemeral Yankees.
Hay's brigade made for the area of the hill closest to town, while Avery's men descended a low knoll on their front and began to take galling and accurate musket fire on their right flank. Avery, mounted on a white charger, ordered a right oblique under severe fire, which his veteran command executed perfectly. Directly to their front, protected behind a stone wall, the Federal brigades of Colonels Leopold von Gilsa and Andrew Harris formed their line of battle.
As did Colonel Strong Vincent's Brigade on the Union left, Brigadier General George Sears Greene's brigade of about 1,500 men would face a daunting challenge. As Major General Daniel Sickles' 3rd Corps line crumbled at the southern end of the battlefield, regiments from Union Major General Henry Slocum's 12th Corps, to which Greene belonged, were drawn from Culp's Hill and sent to the southern end of the field for support. General Greene had earlier reconnoitered the ground, expertly positioned his men, and ordered them to entrench. His foresight would serve his men well as they were repeatedly, ferociously attacked by Confederates of Major General Edward "Allegheny" Johnson's brigade which possessed almost three times the number of Northern men present on this hill. As darkness closed on the battlefield and visibility faded, so did the opportunity for the continuation of Southern attacks. General Greene's New Yorkers held against incredible odds with Colonel David Ireland and the 137th New York holding the far right as Colonel Chamberlain's 20th Maine protected the far left. General Greene's troops would be reinforced and would again hold their ground when fighting continued early morning the following day.
Statue of Major General George Sears Greene on Culp's Hill
Major General George S. Greene (his rank at war's end) is pictured pointing over the works and the hill his skill and determination helped to secure. As did the rest of his brigade, the 149th New York dug trenches and erected breastworks as ordered. A captain in the 149th would later offer a glimpse into the hell they feared this hill would become. "The pale faces, starting eye-balls, and nervous hands grasping loaded muskets, told how terrible were those moments of suspense."
In the picture of the relief, you can see some evidence of how the men in blue constructed their cover and how the works appeared. Heavy logs allowed protection for all but the head and shoulders, allowing soldiers to fire and reload in comparative safety.
The northern face of Cemetery Hill
. As a gentle spring sun nudges away the bitterness of winter, only the wind moves over the once contested northern slopes of Cemetery Hill. As the dark blanket of night covered the field on July 2, 1863, Confederate soldiers of CSA Major General Richard Ewell's Second Corp advanced towards the Union lines here, the taking of this hill as their goal. Red fire from Federal and Southern muskets flashed in the darkness as both sides fought an enemy they could barely see. As their foe gained the hill's crest, Union cannoneers fought hand to hand, using anything they could grasp to protect their guns. Despite the brief success of their bold advance, the Confederates could not hold the ground they had struggled so hard to gain. In the dark, with Union reinforcements now adding to the weight of Northern fire, Southern soldiers grudgingly backed down the hill.
Colonel Isaac E. Avery
Colonel Isaac Avery of the Sixth North Carolina was found bleeding on this field, shot through the neck as he led his Tarheels forward up the hill. Understanding the mortality of his wound, he scribbled a note which he handed to a subordinate. The note read only, "Tell my father I died with my face to the enemy."
Good Night Snippy.
I certainly accept any other Foxhole troop's opinions about Gettysburg as valid.
As I see it, this Culp's Hill battle wast the center of gravity of the whole affair. If the Confederates had been properly trained in night battle they likely would have won. (And also at Chancelorsville, as well.)
The Japanese pre-war night battle training was the best in the world before the developement of vision aids. The North Viet Namese Army were no slouches either.
Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the foxhole.
When people tell me life is hard, I always reply, "Of course it is." I find that answer more satisfying than anything else I can say. Writer Charles Williams said, "The world is painful in any case; but it is quite unbearable if anybody gives us the idea that we are meant to be liking it."
The path by which God takes us often seems to lead away from what we perceive as our good, causing us to believe we've missed a turn and taken the wrong road. That's because most of us have been taught to believe that if we're on the right track God's goodness will always translate into a life free of trouble.
But that's a pipe dream far removed from the biblical perspective. God's love often leads us down roads where earthly comforts fail us. Paul said, "To you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Philippians 1:29). When we come to the end of all our dark valleys, we'll understand that every circumstance has been allowed for our ultimate good.
"No other route would have been as safe and as certain as the one by which we came," Bible teacher F. B. Meyer said. "If only we could see the path as God has always seen it, we would have selected it as well." -David Roper
Lord, teach us to endure
The sorrow, pain, or solitude
That makes the spirit pure. -Irons
No trial would cause us to despair if we knew God's reason for allowing it.
10 Reasons To Believe In A God Who Allows Suffering
This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on March 21:
1474 Angela Merici Italian monastery founder/saint
1527 Hermann Finck composer
1609 Jan II Kazimierz cardinal/King of Poland (1648-68)
1685 Johann Sebastian Bach Eisenach Germany, composer
1713 Francis Lewis signed Declaration of Independence
1806 Benito Pablo Juárez Oaxaca Mexico, President of México (1858-72)
1839 Modest Mussorgsky composer (Boris Gudunov, Night on Bald Mountain)
1869 Florenz Ziegfeld producer (Ziegfield Follies)
1902 Eddie James "Son" House folk blues musician (Delta Blues)
1906 John D Rockefeller III billionaire philanthropist (oil)
1911 John Paxton screenwriter (On The Beach, Kotch, Farewell My Lovely)
1916 Harold Robbins US, novelist (The Carpetbaggers) [or 0521]
1918 Howard Cosell Winston-Salem NC, sportscaster (Monday Night Football)
1929 James Coco Bronx NY, actor (Man of La Mancha, Murder by Death)
1929 Jules Bergman space & science reporter (ABC-TV)
1934 Al Freeman Jr San Antonio TX, actor (One Life to Live, My Sweet Charlie)
1937 Tom Flores Fresno CA, NFL quarterback/coach (Raiders)
1945 Vernon Guy US gospel singer (Cool Sounds, Sharpees)
1946 Timothy Dalton Colwyn Bay Wales, actor (James Bond-Living Daylights, License to Kill)
1958 Brad Hall Santa Barbara CA, comedian (Saturday Night Live)
1962 Matthew Broderick New York NY, actor (Inspector Gadget, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, WarGames, Biloxi Blues)
1962 Rosie O'Donnell comedienne(?) (League of Their Own, Flintstones, Rosie)
1969 Jennifer Lyn Jackson Cleveland OH, playmate (April, 1989)
Saturday we were able to finish the demo work and make 2 runs to the sanitary landfill. It was free dump day, that saved more than a few bucks :-) We were also able to get most of the framing done, I made an alcove in the wall between the two rooms and sistered up 16' 2x8s to the existing 2x4 ceiling joists and got the plywood up on the joists.
Sunday we were able to get the power feeds up from the basement to the two rooms, got about half of the wire pulled for the new outlets and lights. I got all but one small piece of the floor installed in the attic. Now I have an attic floor that you can walk on without feeling like you were on a trampoline, yea.
Today I need to finish up the framing for the new door, pull the rest of the wiring in the walls and get the feeds in the basement over to the panel. Also I hope to start putting up the insulation this afternoon.
Looks like another 4 Dr. Pepper day for me.
In the better later than never Deptartment here is pic regards the Irish Brigade.
Don Trionia's The Irish Brigade at Marye's Heights
Here's hoping everybody has a wonderfull day
From another thread, a discussion about whether or not America should hold Bill Clinton accountable for the multiple felonies he and his Administration have committed...
bayourod in bold
"...focus only on the question of whether Bill Clinton should be brought to trial. This was the great question when Nixon resigned and Ford pardoned him because he didn't think the nation should be put through the ordeal of a trial of Mr. Nixon."
First off, Nixon was never accused of committing a criminal offense vis a vis Watergate. Ford pardoned him, but there was never an actual law broken...I would argue that Clinton has committed multiple felonies that, if prosecuted, would have him in jail until the day he passed on to his Final Judgement.
"Some of the considerations should be:
1. How serious was the offense? Was it a technical violation such as comingling union contributions in hard money accounts; or was it a universally recognized crime such as murder of a potential witness?"
While I seriously believe Clinton has most likely conspired to have folks murdered, I've yet to see the concrete evidence; still, just because he's an ex-POTUS, should he be allowed to get away with rampant Abuse of Power, blatant Obstruction of Justice and Perjury, and making a mockery of our existing Campaign Finance Laws? I say no.
"2. What was the impact of the crime on the nation? Was the impact negligible like pardoning someone for going AWOL during World War II; or does the crime threaten the very existence of the country, such as selling China the secrets enabling them to destroy every major city in the nation?"
As the highest-ranking member of the Executive Branch, IMHO Clinton's crimes have done major damage to the legitimacy of our government, and thereby the "very existence of the country." How can a blatant abuser of our laws be allowed to go absolutely unpunished in a Land that claims that NO MAN IS ABOVE THE LAW?! Explain that to the teenager imprisoned for smoking a weed in his basement.
"3. How strong is the evidence? Is it circumstantial, relying on the testimony of dubious witnesses; or is there incontrovertable physical evidence such as video recordings and records written in Bill's hand?"
The arrogance Clinton has displayed in committing multiple felonies has resulted in a carelessness that will bear fruit in any SERIOUS investigation of his crimes. There are many, many people within his sphere of influence who know where the skeletons are buried, and they have likewise committed crimes in his service. As these underlings are brought to Justice and plead out, they will provide valuable testimony linking Clinton to any number of crimes that you and I may never even been aware of. And Clinton has been extremely sloppy in leaving documented proof of his guilt to be readily discovered by hungry investigators.
"4. Was the offense committed as an official act, such as selling seats on trade missions, or was it entirely separate from official duties, such as rape?"
SHEEESH, my FRiend, I cannot believe you actually believe this is a consideration. We are a Nation of Laws, and if those laws are legitimate enough to prosecute you or me for, why not some hayseed from Arkansas?
"5. Would prosecution cause bitter division among Americans because the offense is one that people hold strongly held opposite opinions on, such as lying about having sex because that's what gentlemen are taught to do; or one that everyone is in agreement on, such as using FBI files to blackmail elected officials?"
Once again, if folks are going to argue that the Laws are invalid, how come we don't see an uprising calling for said laws to be revoked, so that you and I cannot be held accountable for them, just like the ex-Most Powerful Man in the FReeWorld?!
"6. How would prosecution effect future policy. Would it create a public outcry for campaign finance reform that would result in destruction of our First Amendment rights and turn the government over to liberal Democrats? Would it appear to Democrat voters as petty vindictiveness on the part of Republicans that would result in such a backlash that Democrat Senators would be forced to reject confirmation of pro-life judges?"
Here, my FRiend, you are arguing political strategy. Fair enough, as that seems to be most FReepers' argument against holding the ex-First Felon accountable for his many crimes against this Nation. My response is that this is a very important time in our Country's history, as we are deciding whether or not We the Sheeple will sit idly by and allow Rampant Corruption to go on at the highest echelons of the Federal Guv'ment, and do absolutely NOTHING!! SHEEESH...Clinton's not a frickin' KING...he's no different than you or I!! Are LeftWing DemocRATS going to actually argue that a corrupt ex-POTUS should be allowed to get away with committing multiple felonies? If so, are the Sheeple going to go along meekly and support those same hopelessly-corrupt individuals in the next election? If so, we've already lost this Country, and we should readily expect to go the way of the once-great Roman Empire.
"Now to answer your question. I believe we elected a President who is of extremely high moral character who loves this country and is trying as hard as he can to do what he sincerely believes is best for our nation. I believe that he chose an honest, conscientious, competent Attorney General. I have complete confidence in their judgment and will support whatever decisions that they make."
Here, my FRiend, we are in complete agreement...however, I believe Dubyuh and Ashcroft need to hear from folks who "sincerely believe [what] is best for our nation" is that the Guilty--no matter how Powerful or allegedly popular--are brought to Justice!! Are we a Nation of Laws? Or are certain folks in this Country ABOVE the Laws that govern and restrict the rest of us?
As for J.W., whatever...you may question their motivation as you see fit, but at least they seem to be trying to do something about the Injustice that is the Clinton Administration. That's more than I seem to be seeing from the Department of Justice these days.
Seriously, my fellow FReepers, am I just a Right-Wing Whacko for expecting the Laws of this Nation to apply to ALL Americans...even those who once held office at the highest echelons of our Federal Guv'ment?!
Good day one and all! Hope everyone had a nice weekend.
Doing fine out here in the sometimes sunny SoCal.
Wounded vets share the turf; Medal winners are honored at the All-American Bowl.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is a showcase for some of the country's most talented young football players, but the game's sponsor made sure that other uniform-clad heroes received their due.
A half-dozen Medal of Honor winners who served in either World War II or Vietnam were recognized in the Alamodome before kickoff, along with 42 soldiers who received either the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star or Purple Heart for their service in Iraq.
Spc. Joshua Miller, a 20-year-old from Erie, Penn., who won the Silver Star after rescuing his sergeant and leading other troops out of an ambush by insurgents, said he was honored to participate in the coin toss just before the start of the game.
"It's a big event. It's crazy," said Miller, who has watched the game before on TV. "But I never thought I'd be here."
Timothy Tabellija, a specialist from Auburn, Calif., was awarded the Purple Heart. A rocket-propelled grenade blasted inside his Stryker armored vehicle, leaving him with a concussion. Shrapnel also penetrated his arm.
Tabellija said he was excited to watch the game with other award-winning soldiers.
"This is awesome. You see all these soldiers from all different units and different jobs, but one way or another we all come together. You know it's the Army of one. Everybody works together. Everybody pulls their own weight. That's why the U.S. military is No. 1 in the world," he said.
Capt. Rachel Honderd won the Bronze Star for her role in leading a 25-member engineering platoon that helped clear a safe path for combat troops as they advanced through Iraq.
"While this is a big honor for me, I represent so many more soldiers - every soldier that worked with me," she said.
Staff Sgt. Ron Gallegos of Espanola, N.M., won the Purple Heart after a transport vehicle he was riding in hit a roadside bomb.
Gallegos said he tore his rotator cuff and lost much of his hearing in his right ear. Despite the injuries, he is considering volunteering to go back to Iraq as an Army civil affairs representative.
Gallegos said he especially enjoyed a dinner Friday evening at the Convention Center in which all the medal winners were honored.
"I've never been to a ceremony with all the high brass," he said.
Col. Thomas Nickerson, director of strategic outreach for the U.S. Army Accessions Command in Fort Monroe, Va., said this was the fourth such game the Army has sponsored.
"It is an opportunity for the American people to show their support for the American soldier, and it also keeps in the public's mind that we have soldiers serving on point for America all around the world," Nickerson said.
Made it back home yesterday. Long drive but my 19 year old daughter drove me back. We brought a 16 foot trailor so I can start moving in anticipation of my job contract ending in 8 weeks. Lots o' work to do here!
IMHO Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill were more important positions for out flanking the Union line than the Round Tops. The terrain was easier for troops to move upon and getting cannon on them would have been a lot easier than either of the Round Tops. There were also more troops nearby, the Round Tops were "out of the way" of the main Confederate troop concentrations.
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