Culp's Hill - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 49.200 W 077° 13.228
18S E 309955 N 4410138
Quick Description: Culp's Hill is the only hill on the battlefield attacked on all three days of the battle. The fight for Culp's Hill was significant because it guarded the main Union supply line on the Baltimore Pike and the rear of the Union army on Cemetery Ridge.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 8/8/2011 12:41:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMC8D4
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member briansnat
Views: 6

Long Description:

The forces that were mostly involved in the fighting there were Johnson's Confederate division (Stonewall Jackson's former command) and Union troops of the 12th Army Corps under the command of Major General Henry W. Slocum. On July 2nd most Union forces defending the hill were ordered to go to support the Union left which was at the time being driven in by Longstreet's assault. The Confederate forces noticed the Union forces leaving and attacked as per Lee's instructions. 1,424 Union defenders remained on Culp's Hill and nearly 5,000 Confederates were coming to take the hill from them. At no other time during the battle did the Confederates have such a numerical advantage over Union forces as they did on Culp's Hill on July 2nd. even on July 1st when they outnumbered Union forces. Thus it could be argued that the attack on Culp's Hill represented the best chance for Confederate victory. It was certainly the only place during the entire battle that the Confederate forces violated the Union fish hook defense and held onto ground on the main Union defensive line.

On July 3rd the battle begins at Culp's Hill in which over 22,000 Americans fought for seven hours of sustained close combat as the fate of the country hung in the balance. It is safe to say that over 1/5 of all the lead fired during the battle, well over a million rounds, was fired on Culp's Hill on July 3rd. As one Union soldier remembered, "The whole hillside seemed enveloped in a blaze. Minnie balls pattered upon the breastworks like hailstones on a housetop. Solid shot went crashing through the woods, adding the danger from falling limbs of trees to that from erratic fragments of exploding shells. The whole hill was covered with the smoke and smell of powder. No enemy could be seen. To expose oneself above the breastworks was certain death." When the battle ended a little before noon the Confederates were forced to give up ground that they had controlled for the first time in the battle. SOURCE

This is one of the most scenic places at the Park. At the top of the hill, where the long and winding road terminates and circles back down, there is a huge observation tower and several monuments. At the top of the observation tower I could see all of Gettysburg including the town center, the PA Memorial and the Lutheran Seminary as well as other key features.

Wiki told me Culp's Hill became a prime tourist attraction after the battle. It was close to the town and, unlike most battles in open fields, it was heavily wooded and the extreme firepower took a very visible toll on the trees, some of which were completely sheared off. Geary's division alone on July 3 reported that they expended 227,000 rounds. It took over twenty years before the scars of battle faded and nature reclaimed the breastworks. Today, Culp's Hill is unoccupied except for numerous monuments and an observation tower, all maintained by the U.S. National Park Service as part of the Gettysburg National Military Park. Most of the monuments I visited were to the 12th Corps regiments and batteries (Union army).

Name of Battle:
Battle of Gettysburg


Name of War: American Civil War

Entrance Fee: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Date(s) of Battle (Beginning): 7/1/1863

Date of Battle (End): 7/3/1863

Parking: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Post a photo of you and/or your GPS in front of a sign or marker posted at the site of the battle.

In addition it is encouraged to take a few photos two of the surrounding area and interesting features at the site.
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NorStar visited Culp's Hill - Gettysburg, PA 9/2/2014 NorStar visited it