ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Significance of Culp's Hill at the Battle of Gettysburg

Updated on January 3, 2015

Holding Culp’s Hill was Critical for the Union Army

Culp’s Hill saw fighting all three days during the Battle of Gettysburg. It is described as the right most flank of the “fishhook” line formed by Union troops. Culp’s Hill consists of two rounded peaks with a narrow hollow in between. Its highest peak is 630 feet above sea level and is heavily wooded. The lower peak is about 100 ft lower in elevation than the higher peak. In 1863, the hill was owned by a farmer named Henry Culp. Holding Culp’s Hill was critical to the Union Army. Although the heavily wooded sides made artillery placement impractical, it was crucial in preventing Confederate advance on Baltimore or Washington, D.C. Baltimore Pike was kept the Union Army supplied.

General Lee Concentrated His Entire Amy at Gettysburg

The battle was fought July 1-3, 1863 and was the turning point in the Civil war. The Confederate Army had achieved an important victory on May 2-3 in the battle of Chancellorsville. Afterward, General Lee divided his army into three units to be led by lieutenant generals James Longstreet, Richard Stoddard Ewell and Ambrose Powell Hill. Lee devised a plan for invading Pennsylvania, in hopes of averting another Federal offensive in Virginia. Lee initiated his plan by crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains, proceeding up Shenandoah Valley where he crossed Maryland to enter Pennsylvania. Here, he concentrated his entire army at Gettysburg.

Lee Ordered an Attack

On July 1, 1863, Hill’s advancing Brigade met with the Federal Calvary Division commanded by Major John Fulton Reynolds. At this point, Hill encountered stubborn resistance. The struggle was indeterminate until Ewell arrived from the north and forced the Federal troops back from their forward positions to Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Ridge. The following day, Meade arranged his forces in the shape of a horseshoe. They extended westward from Culp’s Hill and southward along Cemetery Ridge. The Confederate army was positioned in a long, concave line. Longstreet and Ewell were deployed on the flanks and Hill was in the center.

Against Longstreet’s advice, Lee gave the order to attack the Federal army. Longstreet was unable to advance until the afternoon. This gave the Federal troops time to prepare for the expected attack. The following day, Lee decided to attack both the left and right flanks of the Union army. On the right, Union troops mistakenly shifted and left Little Round Top undefended. A Union general rushed troops in just ahead of the charging Confederates, barely holding their position. After a day of fighting, the Union was pushed back through The Peach Orchard, The Wheat Field, and Devil's Den. Ewell’s assault on the left failed as a result of poor leadership.

The Union Army's Deceptive Maneuver

The following day, General Lee, believing the Union to be weakened by the previous attacks, resolved to strike first with artillery and then charge with an infantry led by George Pickett's division. Stuart’s cavalry arrived late and came in behind the Union center. They were held off by the Union cavalry led by General George Custer. The struggle lasted close to an hour before the Union army deceived the Confederates into believing their guns were knocked out. The Confederates marched across the field in front of Cemetery Hill, only to have the Union artillery open fire on them. Only half of them made it back to their own lines. Lee lost more than half of his men before retreating to Virginia. Mead also lost a quarter of his troops. This battle was the turning point in the Civil War.

Civil War Battle of Gettysburg - Culp's Hill


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)