Little Round Top is about two miles south of town on the south side of the Gettysburg battlefield. It was one of the key positions in the Union line during the Battle of Gettysburg and was the scene of intense fighting on July 2nd. Today it is covered with monuments commemorating the men who fought there and is one of the most popular sites at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park.
The summit of Little Round Top stands at 650 feet above sea level, making it the second highest hill on the battlefield. (Big Round Top is 780 feet, Oak Hill just a little lower at 640 feet, and Culp’s Hill at 630 feet.)
The summit of the hill is about 60 feet above the saddle that connects with Big Round Top to the south, about 150 feet above Plum Run to the west and about 90 feet higher than the highest parts of the Devil’s Den and Houck’s Ridge on the other side of Plum Run’s valley, known as the Valley of Death.
At the time of the battle the trees on Little Round Top’s western slope had been recently cut, giving an excellent view to the west which can still be enjoyed today. A United States Signal Corps detchment was stationed on the hill, which had an important impact in the fighting on July 2nd. A monument to the Signal Corps is on the summit of Little Round Top.
On the afternoon of July 2, Little Round Top became the left flank of the Union army. Repeated Confederate attacks from the saddle to the south and the Valley of Death to the west were thrown back. But for the rest of the battle the men on Little Round Top were targets for Confederate sharpshooters in the rocks of Devil’s Den.
Take a digital walking tour of
the summit of Little Round Top
in the photo gallery.