Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Gettysburg: The Second Day

Were there any Union troops on Little Round Top?

At that moment there were only a group of signal-corps men, who waved their flags frantically, trying to create the impression there were more of them than was truly the case. But in the very nick of time, from the federal point of view, Colonel Strong Vincent rushed a group of his men from Maine to Little Round Top.

Colonel Vincent was in overall command, but the extreme left of his position—which happened to be the extreme left of the entire federal army—was commanded by Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Also from Maine, Chamberlain was an academic who had resigned his professorship at Bowdoin College in order to enter the army. When he took up his position, Chamberlain had roughly 260 men, most of whom had seventy rounds of ammunition. Given a five-minute respite, he prepared his men, explaining that the right wing of the rebel army was coming in their direction.


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