The monument to the 3rd Division of the 5th Corps is south of Gettysburg on Crawford Avenue. (Crawford Avenue & J. Weickert Farm tour map)
Crawford’s Division arrived on the field on July 2nd behind the other two divisions of the 5th Corps. They went into action as the Confederate attack that had overrun the Union line from the Wheatfield to the Valley of Death below Little Round Top ran out of energy. Crawford seized the colors of one of his regiments and personally led his division in a counterattack from the north slopes of Little Round Top that pushed Confederate forces back across Plum Run and into the Wheatfield. Crawford’s counterattack met only light resistance but he always felt that it was the final blow that saved the Union army at Gettysburg.
From the monument
Army of the Potomac
Brig. General Samuel W. Crawford
July 2. Moved to Little Round Top late in the day and went into position on the right of the Wheatfield Road. On the retreat of the troops from the Wheatfield in front after sunset the First Brigade was advanced against the pursuing forces and drove them across Plum Run marsh and beyond the stone wall and into the Wheatfield. The Third Brigade was sent to the left to take possession of Round Top.
July 3. The First Brigade remained in position until about 5 P. M. and then advanced across the Wheatfield and through the woods beyond and on the left capturing many prisoners. The Confederates retired to the crest of the ridge they originally formed on. These positions were held until the close of the battle.
Casualties Killed 3 Officers 23 Men Wounded 17 Officers 164 Men Captured or Missing 3 Men Total 231
Brigadier General Samuel W. Crawford
Brigadier General Samuel Crawford commanded the division at Gettysburg. Crawford was a medical doctor from Pennsylvania who joined the army as a surgeon in 1851.
Crawford was the surgeon for the Fort Sumter garrison during its bombardment by the Confederates at the start of the war. During the fight he commanded several pieces of artillery that returned fire. He apparently enjoyed being able to shoot back and transferred to field command, which led to command of an infantry brigade in early 1862. He briefly had command of a division at Antietam, until he was badly wounded.
Crawford returned from convalescence to take over the famed Pennsylvania Reserves Division, which had been commanded by both Reynolds and Meade earlier in the war. The division had been badly worn down in 1862 and sent to the rear in the Washington defences. When Lee invaded in June of 1863 the emergency led to Crawford and two brigades of the Reserves to be attached to the Fifth Corps, despite coming off six months of light duty and not being fully battle-ready.
Crawford is honored by a nearby monument at Gettysburg.
Location of the monument
The monument is south of Gettysburg on the east side of Crawford avenue. It is about 380 feet south of the Wheatfield Road intersection, and about 80 feet south of the statue of General Crawford.