Devils Den Stop Flashcards

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created 1 year ago by ianharned1
updated 1 year ago by ianharned1
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Starting Day 2 of battle, LG Longstreet was preparing for battle along Warfield Ridge, about a mile west from Devil's Den. Lee's plan for July 2 called for Longstreet to attack the Union's left flank, to be followed up by Hill's attack on Cemetery Ridge near the center, while Ewell demonstrated on the Union right.

LG Longstreet’s actions stands as his most controversial service, launching a delayed attack despite Lee’s orders and that his delays were a significant contributor to the loss of the battle.


LG Longstreet was to attack the Union left flank, but Longstreet again argued for a flanking maneuver around the Union left, but Lee rejected his plan. The plan was based on faulty information of enemy position in front of them. When MG Hood and McLaw's divisions arrived at Warfield Ridge, Union troops had moved into sight of confederate troops (about 800m closer than expected).

Longstreet waited for his final brigade to arrive, and then was forced to march around south to avoid being seen by union observers on little round top. Because of the new enemy location, instead of a simultaneous push up Emmitsburg rd. BG Hoods men were forced to fight the lll Corp head on.


General Lee wanted the attack to start at sunrise but received permission from Lee to wait for Law's brigade of Hood's division to reach the field before advancing. While Lee expected an attack around noon, Longstreet was not ready until 4 P.M. The attack started a few minutes after 4pm.

Fighting continued with until Confederate infantry from BG Robertson's brigade and BG Benning's brigade closed in pushing through rose woods to the triangle field on the west side of Devil's Den. Repeated charges by the 15th Georgia and the 1st Texas Infantry through a triangular-shaped field wore down Smith's artillerymen, until the 1st Texans and 3rd Arkansas were able to take over the summit.


At the same time, Georgia and Alabama troop battled union infantry that swept around the right side of Devil's Den by Plum Run to threaten the union rear. The battle lines surged back and forth until the union was forced to retreat. The 44th Alabama rushed into Devil's Den to plant their regiments flag.

As Union General Ward retreated, confederate sharpshooters moved into the boulders of Devil's Den. For the next 22 hours they continuously fired up at Little Round Top where Union troops were located, picking off officers and artillery men.


After the battle, the area between Devil's Den and the Round Tops was nicknamed "The Slaughter Pen," and Plum Run Valley was referred to as "The Valley of Death." The battle of Devil's Den was one of the most terrible infantry fights, with more than 1,800 men killed, wounded, captured, or missing.

The take-way from this battle is adherence to timelines. It can still be argued that the lethargy by Longstreet to bring his troops forward despite General Lee’s orders was a significant contributor in losing the Battle of Gettysburg. This battle shows the domino effect that not hitting timelines can cause in battle.