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Gettysburg - Fight for Culp’s Hill July 3, 1863

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Gettysburg - Fight for Culp's Hill July 3, 1863
Gettysburg - Fight for Culp's Hill July 3, 1863

American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Gettysburg - Fight for Culp’s Hill

In the early morning hours of July 3, the Union and Confederate armies were positioned essentially where they had finished the previous day's fighting. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was determined to renew the offensive, pinning his hopes to a major assault by Gen. James Longstreet on the Yankee left or center. In concert, Gen. Richard Ewell’s corps was given three more brigades to continue his assault on the Federal right on Culp’s Hill.

Before Longstreet’s attack was even planned, and before Ewell could renew his attack, however, Union forces attacked at 4:00 a.m. The Federals--a mixed bag of units from the First, Twelfth and Sixth corps--were still protected in part by their breastworks and ably repulsed the Confederate efforts on upper Culp’s Hill. On the lower part of the hill, Confederates clung to their gains from the previous day on Lower Culp’s Hill and tried to gain the Baltimore Pike--a struggle that pitted Union and Confederate Marylanders against one another. Northern generals funneled additional troops into the bloody fray and in seven hours of combat, the most sustained fighting at Gettysburg, Confederate forces relinquished their hold on Culp’s Hill.

Learn More: The Battle of Gettysburg