On Thursday, July 2, 1863, Gettysburg's Little Round Top served as host to just one of the days many bloody struggles. Tremendous
bravery by Union and Confederate soldiers alike clasped hands with unspeakable, misery-laced brutality. The view above looks east
towards Little Round Top over the small, barely visible stream called Plum Run in a depression christened the Valley of Death
for the many bodies of men that adorned the marshy ground. Up the hills craggy slopes, Confederate men surged. On these grounds,
Union men held. On these fields, Death chose no sides, working his craft with
cruel efficiency. For a time, the Plum Run trickled
by the dead of both side, tainted a continuous crimson red.
Fifty years after
the battle's end, the former Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, later promoted to Brigadier General, would again visit this
bloodstained ground. In powerful prose written shortly before his death, the Union commander captured the meaning of this place on that
"I went, it is not long ago, to stand again on that crest whose one day's crown of fire has passed into
the blazoned coronet of fame...I sat there alone, on the storied crest, till the sun went down as it did before over the misty
hills, and the darkness crept up the slopes, till from all earthly sight I was buried as with those before. But oh, what radiant
companionship rose around, what steadfast ranks of power, what bearing of heroic souls. Oh, the glory that beamed through those
nights and days...The proud young valor that rose above the mortal, and then at last was mortal after all."
General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 1913
"Through Blood and Fire at Gettysburg"
on his visit to the Little Round Top
at Gettysburg Battlefield