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Gettysburg: the second day's fight.

The battle of Gettysburg was a crescendo of carnage — each day marked by a special climax more dramatic and deadly than the preceding one. That of the second day was the struggle for Little Round Top. It began with the thrilling charge by Longstreet's men of Hood's division. Turning Ward's flank, on they swept from Devil's Den up the ravine between the Round Tops, confident that Little Round Top was undefended. Near the crest Vincent's brigade, posted in the nick of time by General Warren, burst upon them with the bayonet. Up and down the slope the struggling lines undulated, broken rapidly by the trees and boulders into single-handed combats; men and muskets in a moment were scattered all about. Just as Vincent's right was about to be overwhelmed, the 140th New York came upon the crest, led by the gallant young Colonel O'Rorke, who fell dead at the first volley. The regiment, rallied by Vincent, held their ground, but there Vincent, too, was killed. Meanwhile Hazlett's regular battery had dragged its guns with great difficulty to the crest, where Generals Weed and Hazlett soon fell together. Colonel Rice, of the Forty-fourth New York (now in command in place of Vincent), had repulsed the assaults on his right and center. There was a lull, during which the Confederates stole around from the woods and fell with fury on the left of the line. Here Chamberlain's regiment, the Twentieth Maine, rapidly swinging around the rear of the mountain to meet the attack, was forced over the crest. Rallying, they drove back the Confederates in their turn. Twice more the struggling men fought back and forth over the summit, strewing the slopes with the fallen. Then a brigade of the Pennsylvania reserves and one from the Fifth Corps dashed over the hill. Chamberlain's brave men who were left greeted the reenforcements with a shout, dashed forward in a final charge, and drove the Confederates through the valley between the Round Tops. The Twentieth Maine had lost a third of its men and spent its last round of ammunition.

Gettysburg: the battle-field amid the trees: the second day's fight

Gettysburg: the wooded slope of little round top


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Vincent (4)
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