The first body of troops on Little Round Top on July 2nd was a handful of men from the Signal Corps. Armed with large flags and a telescope, they could observe the battlefield and communicate with signal stations miles away, part of a network of stations that linked Meade’s headquarters at the Leister House with different parts of the the battlefield: Cemetery Hill, Powers Hill, Culp’s Hill and Little Round Top.
The detachment on Little Round Top included Lieutenant Aaron B. Jerome and Captain James S. Hall. They played a major role in the battle by causing Longstreet to detour the approach march to his attack on July 2nd. Longstreet realized he was coming into view of the Union signalmen and rerouted his march to what he thought was a more concealed route, delaying the attack by a considerable time. It was in vain, as his march was detected, Meade was warned, and reinforcemenets were sent toward the flank which – barely – fought off the Confederate attack.
The fighting forced the abondonment of the Little Round Top station for a while. It was re-manned by July 3rd by Captain Edward C. Pierce and Sergeant Luther C. Furst, although the sharpshoters in the Devils Den forced the post to use messangers rather than flags.
Another dangerous signal post on July 3rd was at Meade’s Headquarters at the Leister House, where Captain Davis E. Castle remained on duty throughout the bombardment preceding Pickett’s Charge, using a bedsheet attached to a pole after his signalman left at the height of the bombardment with the signal equipment.
The memorial is a bronze tablet set into a boulder on the summit of Little Round Top.
From the tablet:
Signal Corps U.S.A.
through valiant and heroic
Little Round Top
July 2-4 1863
and on many historic battle fields
throughout the war of 1861-1865
contributed so greatly to the
success of the Union Armies.
This tablet is placed by their
surviving comrades in tribute
to their memory