View Full Version : When did you last charge down Little Round Top?

04-20-2006, 11:44 AM
Here's your chance:

"About 4 o'clock we were hurriedly called into line, and ordered to sling knapsacks, which command to us always meant, "get ready for quick and devilish work," as "Snap" put it. We were hurried at a double quick to the extreme left, at the Round tops, to reinforce the 3rd Corps, which had met with reverses and was driven by the enemy. Gen. Sykes' Regulars had previously gone to the support of Sickles, but had also yielded the ground.

"The First Brigade, formed hurriedly in brigade front, as best they could, the nature of the ground compelling the regiments to overlap each other to some extent, on the crest of Little Round Top, facing the wheat field. As we thus formed, we looked down over the field of carnage, and could hear the victorious shouts of the enemy, and when the smoke of battle lifted momentarily, we caught glimpses of fleeing friends and hotly pursuing foes, the general outlook being anything but assuring."

One Saturday, June 17, Company K of the First Pennsylvania Reserves would like to once again invite all interested Federal infantry units and civilian "volunteers" to join us when we conduct our annual march from the Pennsylvania Monument to Little Round Top, from which location we will follow the route of the Pennsylvania Reserves, as they charged down into the Wheatfield on the second day of the battle of Gettysburg.

This will be the fifth time we have done this event. Last year, we had 30 uniformed participants (including a drummer and fifer recruited from the Second South Carolina String Band), and at least an equal number of spectators, including some extremely enthusiastic Boy Scouts. This out-of-the ordinary event is is always very popular with spectators and participants alike, and we hope you will consider joining us, for the day, for the march, or for the weekend.

Except for the march and charge itself, we will follow the time schedule of most Living History presentations at Gettysburg NMP. Below is the tentative schedule for Saturday. For those who are with us on Sunday, we expect to do presentations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Saturday Schedule

8:00-9:30: Inspection, drill, etc.
10:00: Firing demo and public drill.
12:00 p.m.: Lunch.
1:30 p.m.: Form up for second demo
2:00: p.m.: Firing demo and public drill.
3:30 p.m.: Form up near Pennsylvania Monument for march to Little Round Top.
4:00 p.m.: March to Little Round Top.
5:00 p.m.: Charge down Little Round Top.
5:07 p.m.: Fish our lieutenant out of Plum Run.
5:30 p.m.: March back to Pennsylvania Monument.
6:30 p.m. Company dismissed. Dinner on the field, for those who wish to stay and camp with us.

Here are some additional details:

On Saturday afternoon, we will gather a group of spectators, arm 24 of them with wooden muskets, and give them some rudimentary drill. Then, with our flag flying and drum/s beating, we will all march to Little Round Top, with pauses for narration on the key events of the battle from our First Sergeant, Larry Nottingham . Looking down into the Valley of Death, and accompanied by our civilian "volunteers," we will then give a cheer "particularly our own," as Lieutenant Minnigh wrote, and charge down the hill to the stone wall near the Wheatfield, as did the original Pennsylvania Reserves on that fateful day.

Every year, we have a slightly larger number of participants, and we are hoping to boost our numbers closer to the 51 men the original Company K took into the battle.If you or any of your members would like to join us for the day or for that weekend, we would be delighted to have you. Non-uniformed participants are welcome, too, as this is an interactive event, and the more the public is involved, the better.

We will be camping at the Pennsylvania Monument over the weekend.. Those who wish to come only for this are more than welcome to do so, without any obligation to stay the night or the weekend.

Because we need to give the NPS a tally of expected participants, if you think you will be joining us, the sooner we know, the better.

You can find photos of previous Little Round Top events at our Web site (URL below), by going first to "The Original Company K" link, and then to the bottom of that page, and clicking on "On Home Soil."

We know all uniformed participants will come properly equipped and attired as would be representative of the Army of the Potomac in the first week of July, 1863. We are happy to answer questions about uniform guidelines, if asked.

Touch the elbow,

B.C. Milligan
Company K, First Pennsylvania Reserves

"We deliberately waited till the front was cleared of our retreating and vanquished troops, many of whom passed pell-mell through our ranks, then at the word of command, with a ringing cheer, particularly our own, we swept down the face of the hill, meeting the rebels as they came rushing forward, on the face of the hill. (I can only speak for my own regiment). There can be no doubt in any unprejudiced mind, that a few moments delay would have lost to us the position on Little Round Top, the key to the battle-field. The so-called historians of the battle-field, asserts that there were no rebels in our front when we charged forward. Nonsense! the evidence of those who were there, we think, should have more weight than that of of a mere citizen hundreds of miles away from the field of strife.

Well with a quick dash we swept down into the valley, across plum-run swamp, over the valley and up to their stone fence, across this fence and through a narrow strip of woods, (now removed), to the eastern edge of the wheat-field, where, by orders, we halted." -- Henry Minnigh, The History of Company K

04-20-2006, 03:11 PM
Note that despite the error in the text, this event will take place Saturday, June 17th.

B.C. Milligan