arrived the enemy's line of battle — I should think one mile and a half long — began to advance, and the battle became very heavy at once.
The troops under General Sykes arrived barely in time to save Round Top hill, and they had a very desperate fight to hold it.
, in his testimony before the same Committee, volume I, page 332, says:
The enemy threw immense masses upon General Sickles' corps, which, advanced and isolated in this way, it was not in my power to support promptly.
At the same time that they threw these immense masses against General Sickles, a heavy column was thrown upon the Round Top mountain, which was the key point of my whole position.
If they had succeeded in occupying that it would have prevented me from holding any of the ground which I subsequently held to the last. Immediately upon the batteries opening, I sent several staff officers to hurry up the column under Major-General Sykes, of the Fifth corps, then on its way, and which I had expected would have reached there by that time.
This column advanced, reached the ground in a short time, and fortunately General Sykes was enabled, by throwing a strong force upon Round Top mountain, where a most desperate and bloody struggle ensued, to drive the enemy from it, and secure our foothold upon that important position.
The “bloody struggle” which Meade
both say “ensued to drive the enemy from Round Top
,” was had with the two Alabama
There were no other Confederate soldiers on Round Top
during that afternoon.
The other three regiments of Law
's brigade were, doubtless, heavily engaged, but that occurred about Vincent
's Spur, between Round Top
and Little Round Top
. The left of the Forty-seventh Alabama became widely separated from the right of the Fourth Alabama about the time we reached the summit of Round Top
; there certainly was a wide gap between those regiments when the Forty-seventh and Fifteenth advanced down the northern or northeastern face of the mountain; and the discovery of this fact was the consideration that induced me to make that advance in a left oblique direction, as already stated.
If there are any two things connected with the battle about which I can't possibly be mistaken, they are--
That there were no Confederate troops on the top of Round Top
during the engagement, except the Fifteenth and Forty-seventh Alabama regiments; and,
That the Federals
did not occupy Round Top
until after sunset, and probably not until after dark.