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Gettysburg: Castle at Little Round Top

There are nearly 1,400 statues, sculptures, markers, and tablets on Gettysburg National Military Park. After writing about my return to the infamous battlefield, it’s time to dig in and start writing about the stunning structures here that tell the story of the battle.

Little Round Top is one of the most popular areas to visit on the Gettysburg Battlefield. This position featured some of the most important fighting of the entire three-day battle.

Pictured above is the monument to the 12th and 44th New York Volunteers on Little Round Top. The ‘castle’ was dedicated in 1893 and is the largest regimental monument at Gettysburg. It was designed by Daniel Butterfield, who served as the original Colonel of the 12th New York.

The structure stands 44 feet high and 12 feet wide, dimensions that represent the two regiments. Inside the monument is a spiral staircase that leads to a second floor observation deck. The tower of the ‘castle’ is topped by the Maltese Cross symbol of the Fifth Army Corps.

The observation deck on the monument to the 12th and 44th New York Volunteers.

After Colonel Strong Vincent was mortally wounded during the fighting on Little Round Top, Colonel James C. Rice assumed brigade command of the 44th New York. Rice recalled that the Confederates “tried for an hour in vain to break the lines of the Forty-fourth New York and Eighty-third Pennsylvania, charging again and again within a few yards of those unflinching troops.” According to one of the tablets on the front of the monument, the 44th New York had approximately 313 men engaged at Little Round Top and suffered around 106 casualties.

The 12th New York consisted of two companies, D and E, and fell under the command of Captain Henry W. Ryder. He brought 117 men into the field and escaped without suffering any casualties.

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