Monuments to Individuals at Gettysburg
The monument to Brigadier General Strong Vincent is south of Gettysburg on the south slope of Little Round Top. (Little Round Top tour map) It was dedicated in 1878.
General Vincent was mortally wounded commanding the brigade that defended the southern slopes and summit of Little Round Top on July 2nd.
Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Corps, Army of the Potomac
From the monument
Gen. Strong Vincent
July 2, Died July
3rd Brigade, First Division, 5th Corps
Strong Vincent was born on June 17, 1837 in Waterford, Pennsylvania. He attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and graduated from Harvard College in 1859. He was practicing law in Erie when the war broke out. He immediately volunteered, becoming a lieutenant in a three months militia regiment.
He reenlisted after their term expired and in September of 1861 became Lieutenant Colonel of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry. After a severe case of malaria he returned to the regiment as Colonel in time for Fredericksburg. He was given command of the brigade at the beginning of the Gettysburg campaign.
On the march to Gettysburg he had written his pregnant wife, “If I fall, remember you have given your husband to the most righteous cause that ever widowed a woman.”
On July 2nd Vincent’s brigade was intercepted by a staff officer desperately seeking forces to cover the strategic position of Little Round Top. On his own responsibility Vincent took his brigade, which included the famous 20th Maine, to hold the vital hill. When the 16th Michigan began to fall back under heavy pressure Vincent mounted a boulder and shouted, “Don’t give an inch!” as he brandished a riding crop that had been a gift from his wife. The line held but Vincent was badly wounded.
He was moved to a nearby farm and lived for another five days. General Meade recommended him for promotion to Brigadier General dated to July 3rd, but he probably never knew. After the battle Vincent’s wife gave birth to a daughter, who died within the year and is buried next to her father.
The nearby 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry monument is topped by a statue of Colonel Vincent. Since it was against Pennsylvania battlefield commission rules to place an image of a regiment’s commanding officer on a monument the statue is not identified and officially represents a generic officer.
Location of the monument to Colonel Strong Vincent at Gettysburg
The monument to General Vincent is south of Gettysburg on the south slope of Little Round Top. It is about 30 yards west of Sykes Avenue, 60 yards south of the 44th New York Monument, and 60 yards north of the 83rd Pennsylvania monument. (39°47’26.4″N 77°14’12.9″W)