Culp's Hill - Part 3

The Stone Wall - Again in a Different Place

    On the evening of the 2nd day, Johnson's division had splashed across Rock Creek, near the treeline on the left of the picture, pushed back the skirmishers positioned there, and advanced up Culp's Hill, the extreme lower slope of which you can see on the right.  Steuart's brigade now held the Union entrenchments on the lower slope.  When their line met the lower portion of the stone wall we've seen at Pardee Field, the line pivoted with a 45 degree angle and followed the wall.  That wall is the same wall seen here.  The 2nd Virginia held the line here, facing south, and this is the view from directly behind the line.  That morning, an inexperienced unit, the 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade Regiment near the Baltimore Pike, advanced on this position and was repulsed.  Colgrove's brigade faced the Confederates from some woods beyond the distant road.  When it was relieved by the brigade of "Extra Billy" Smith, the 2nd Virginia joined another regiment to act as skirmishers beyond Rock Creek to the east of Colgrove. (left of picture)

Look Familiar?  It's Pardee Field Again!  Please Recycle.  I do.

     Johnson attacked the upper slopes again without success but planned another assault.  Steuart's brigade, which had been along the Union entrenchments along the road on the right of the picture (but off the picture to the right), was moved into a line roughly along the treeline on the left of the picture.  This new line was a 90 degree pivot from their old position.  Here they attacked (along the axis of the stone wall) two Union regiments in a line roughly parallel to the road in the center of the picture.  This attack, along with simultaneous attacks in the area on the far right of the picture - and further up the slope of the upper hill - failed.  These would be the final attacks of Johnson's division, and Steuart's brigade fell back to the protection of the stone wall, but further down the slope, off the picture to the left.  

Spangler's Springs Area

    Although the Confederate attacks were over, there would be more fighting to the southeast of the hill.  Let's go back to the amusingly named "Extra Billy" Smith.  His brigade was behind a stone wall off the picture to the left facing toward the prominent road on the left of the picture.  The road on the right is starting to climb the lower southern slopes of Culp's Hill.  In a stupid and futile effort, at around 7am, two regiments of Colgrove's brigade, from positions in McAllister's Woods, were hurled at Smith.  (I've marked Colgrove's name at the approximate northernmost point of his brigade.  The modern woods in this area do not yet match the historic woods.)   The 27th Indiana advanced directly toward Smith, while the 2nd Massachusetts advanced more toward Spangler's Springs.  (Because soldiers from both sides filled their canteens there, Spangler's Springs has been treated by previous generations as if it were a holy site.)  Predictably, the assault failed.  The Yankees lost 242 of the 655 men who attacked.  By 11 am, Johnson's division, which had lost 1,300 to 1,800 men, had withdrawn behind Rock Creek. 

    Despite being presented with a good opportunity, in fact the final opportunity of July 2nd, the Confederates were unable to capture Culp's Hill and cut off the Union line of retreat.  The fighting continued indecisively on July 3rd.  Seeing that Culp's Hill and the Round Tops were well defended, Lee determined to strike the Union center.

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