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[236] or precipitous; they are little more than gentle swells of ground, and many of them were covered with timber when the hosts of the North and the legions of the South fought out the destiny of the American republic on those memorable July days in 1863.

The village is the radiating point of several important roads, known by the names of the respective towns to which they lead. The one leading directly into the town from the north is known as the Carlisle road. It passes through the village and deflects to the southeast, becoming the Baltimore turnpike. East of the Carlisle road is the Harrisburg road, and west of it the Mummasburg road. This latter crosses a wooded ridge known as Oak Hill, and this hill became the center of operations on the first day of the battle. West of the village about half a mile a Lutheran theological seminary is situated on a ridge which extends north and south and is called Seminary Ridge. Directly south of Gettysburg, almost parallel with Seminary Ridge and about a mile from it, lies Cemetery Ridge. Three miles from the town, Cemetery Ridge culminates in a bold, rocky peak, with steep, rugged slopes several hundred feet in height, which is called Round Top. North of Round Top, and quite near it, is a similar peak about half as high, called Little Round Top. About five hundred yards west of Little Round Top another rugged peak, known as the Devil's Den, rises from the lowland marshes at the junction of a small creek which runs along the western base of Cemetery Ridge, and is known as Plum Run, with a smaller tributary. The Devil's Den is about one hundred feet lower than Little Round Top, and its slopes are covered with huge boulders and seamed with crevasses. The largest of these pits, and the one from which the hill took its name, is on the slope facing toward Little Round Top, and formed a natural breastwork of solid rock.

The valley between Cemetery Ridge and Seminary Ridge was rolling farm-land, with cultivated fields and orchards

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