12th Corps Headquarters flag 12th Corps, 2nd Division Headquarters flag

 

The monument to the 3rd Brigade, 2d Division, 12th Corps is southeast of Gettysburg on Culp’s Hill. (Tour map: Culp’s Hill North)

The brigade was commanded by Brigadier General George S. Greene (USMA ’23), one of the country’s leading civil engineers. He was at 62 the oldest Union general at Gettysburg and second only to Confederate Brigadier General William “Extra Billy” Smith who at 65 was the oldest general on the field.

A monument and statue to General Greene is on the southeast side of the parking area at the summit of Culp’s Hill.

Greene’s brigade was given the strategically vital position of Culp’s Hill to defend. He set his men to work fortifying the position. This probably saved the Union flank when the rest of the Twelfth Corps was moved away in the late afternoon, which was followed by an evening assault on the hill by four brigades of Confederates. With help from neighboring First Corps survivors Greene’s men were able to hold off the Confederate attack until the rest of the Twelfth Corps returned in the morning.

Monument to the 12th Corps, 2nd Division, 3rd Brigade of the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg

From the monument:

Army of the Potomac
Twelfth Corps Second Division
Third Brigade
Brig. Gen. George S. Greene
60th 78th 102d 137th 149th NewYork Infantry

July 1. Arrived about 5 P.M. and took position on the left of the First Corps on Cemetery ridge.

July 2. At 6 A.M. took position on Culp’s Hill on the right of the First Corps with Second Brigade on right. Breastworks were constructed. At 6.30 P.M. the First and Second Brigades were ordered to follow the First Division to support the left of the Army leaving the Brigade to occupy the entire Corps line. The 137th New York was moved into the position of the Second Brigade when the line was attacked by Major Gen. Johnson’s Division which made four distinct charges and at 8 P.M. occupied the works that the First Division had vacated but were successfully repulsed from the line held by the Brigade the 137th New Yorkhaving changed front to face the attack. The Brigade was reinforced by about 750 men from the First and Eleventh Corps.

July 3. At daylight Major Gen. Johnson having been reinforced advanced and a fierce engagement ensued for seven hours when after suffering great losses he was forced back from the entire line.

Casualties Killed 6 Officers 61 Men Wounded 10 Officers 202 Men Captured or Missing 1 Officer 23 Men Total 303 

Union Brigadier General George S. Greene

Union Brigadier General George S. Greene