Historic Breastworks

Historic Breastworks (HM9P6)

Location: Gettysburg, PA 17325 Adams County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 47.471', W 77° 14.224'

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July 2, 1863 - Second Day

"Rude shelters were thrown up of the loose rocks that covered the ground."
Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain, U.S.A.
Commander, 20th Maine Volunteers

The increased range and accuracy of Civil War weapons made prolonged exposure to enemy fire extremely dangerous. In response to this, both armies made increasing use of rifle-pits, trenches, and breastworks. By 1864 it could be said that a soldier marched with a rifle-musket in one hand and a shovel in the other.

When the Union infantry of Col. Strong Vincent's brigade rushed to defend this hill on the afternoon of July 2, they quickly threw up crude shelters using stones laying about. The Confederates were on them so quickly there was little time for construction.

That night, in anticipation of renewed fighting on July 3, and to provide cover from Southern sharpshooters, the Federals expanded their breastworks. Confederates across the valley heard the stones dropping into place all night. Remains of these defensive works are visible here today.
HM NumberHM9P6
Placed ByGettysburg National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 3:54am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 308455 N 4406974
Decimal Degrees39.79118333, -77.23706667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 47.471', W 77° 14.224'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 47' 28.26" N, 77° 14' 13.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2-12 Sykes Ave, Gettysburg PA 17325, US
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