The Gettysburg Diographs by Dennis Morris
Historical Prints

2010 Portfolio

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4th Maine in The Valley of Death
Gettysburg-July 2, 1863



                   While the 20th Maine enjoys much celebration for holding the south flank of the Union Army at Gettysburg, another regiment from Maine shared that challenge. At the time of the Southern attack on Day 2, the 4th Maine sat on the Union flank just atop Houck’s Ridge adjacent to an impressive rock formation now known as Devil’s Den.  As Hood’s brigade moved off Warfield Ridge it became clear that the exposed flank of Dan Sickles’ tenuous twisted line was in jeopardy.  At the urging of Captain James Smith, who feared the loss of his 4th NY Battery, General Hobart Ward ordered Col. Elijah Walker and his regiment down into the valley behind Houck’s Ridge.
                       Walker was not happy to leave his strong position but he moved his 241 troops(leaving one company to secure the rocks) into the  valley behind the ridge.  From there the Regiment faced south toward an unseen but inevitable attack. To the left was the wooded lower ledge of Big Round Top. To the right was a small gorge filled with boulders.  A broken line of Southern troops could be seen picking their way up the gorge.  More dangerous was the report of troops coming from the woods to the left.
                      In the foreground is left flank of the 4th Maine. The 48th Alabama is threatening their left and the Jones detachment of the 44th has just cleared the rocky gorge.  In the background is the Slyder Farm and on the right is the Devils Den “table “rock.  The 4th would hold this position long enough for Vincent’s Brigade to establish its position on Little Round Top.  Later the 4th fixed bayonets and charged up Houck’s Ridge (to the right) to retake Smith’s Battery, which had ironically fallen to a frontal attack. The 4th took 50% casualties that day including a severe wound to Colonel Walker. The valley they defended eventually became known as the Valley of Death, as 3 more hours of battle ended with the area a no man’s land of dead and wounded from each side.

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The above scene as mapped in The Gettysburg Campaign Atlas -Philip Laino 2009 Gatehouse Press,  Dayton Ohio. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission. An excerpt from map 2-34:



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1st Texas at the Triangular Field

Gettysburg July 2, 1863

             The 1st Texas Regiment had already compiled a distinguished record before reaching Gettysburg.  First commanded by the Colonel John Bell Hood, the 1st had collected battle honors at Gaines Mill and 2nd Manassas.
                On July 2nd 1863 the 1st Texas was now commanded by Colonel Philip Work and was part of Robertson’s brigade along side of the 4th and 5th Texas as well as the 3rd Arkansas. As the Texans waited on Warfield’s Ridge it became clear they would be heading directly at Smith’s 4th NY battery located near Devil’s Den.  The following fifteen minutes was a dangerous traverse across rough ground toward the Plum Run Valley, with Federal Sharpshooters and Smith’s Battery taking a substantial toll.  As the Texans moved forward the 3rd Arkansas moved left into Rose’s Woodlot and the 4th and 5th Texas veered right toward Big Round Top. Now isolated the 1st Texas reached the valley with Smith’s Battery  unable to depress their barrels low enough to fire on the regiment.  Though the path seemed clear up a small triangular field the Texans had to halt since it was not clear if there were Union troops in South portion of Rose’s woods.  The Texans found cover and waited behind a stone wall at the base of the Triangular field. There they were able to pepper the battery with fire and forced the Union artillerymen to leave their posts. A few minutes later contact was made with the 3rd Arkansas and the Texans’ moved over the wall to overrun the apparently unguarded artillery position.        
                 Here we see the Texans at the wall. In the left background is Rose woods and at the top of the hill Smith’s artillerymen are leaving their guns to the protection of a few skirmishers from the 4th Maine Regiment.  Unseen behind the crest is the 124th NY Regiment, who will momentarily engage the 1st Texas in a memorable clash.

11” x 22”  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity
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The above scene as mapped in The Gettysburg Campaign Atlas -Philip Laino 2009 Gatehouse Press,  Dayton Ohio. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission. An excerpt from map 2-31




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The Slaughter Pen
July 2, 1863


                     Just to the east and south of the Devil’s Den,  Plum Run descends through area covered with small boulders.  Sometimes described as a gorge this acre of land was of little note prior to July 2, 1863. As Hood’s Division attacked the left of the Union army its flank initially sat upon the rocks of Devil’s Den. The shortest path around that flank led directly up Plum Run through the gorge. Two Alabama regiments, the 44th and 48th headed in that direction while the rest of Law’s Brigade filtered through the woods towards Little Round Top. First to arrive, the 44 th Alabama was physically split by the rocks of Devil’s Den . Their Left moved up the south end of Houck’s Ridge and the right under Lt.  Col. John Jones-was forced into the 75 yards of moon like terrain  between Devils Den and the Round Top Woods. There the 4th Maine confronted them.
                       This ground remained contested for the next hour and a half, and eventually casualties littered the area. The ground remained between the lines for two days and the Confederates were unable to recover their casualties. Within a few days photographer Alexander Gardner arrived and chronicled the gruesome scene as “The Slaughter Pen.” 
                          Here we see in the foreground the Jones detachment of the 44th Alabama as they reach the top of the gorge. Off to the left shooters from  Company  F of the 4th Maine harass the Alabamans from the Rocks of Devil’s Den. (they would shortly be captured by the remainder of the 44th )  The rest of the 4th Maine stands astride Plum Rum but  are threatened by the 48th Alabama who has just erupted out of the woods to the right.  In the background the 4th and 5th Texas are making their initial attack on Vincent’s Brigade on the slopes of Little Round Top.

8” x 24”  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity
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Special 12" x 36" Diographic Super pan  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity
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           Framed with brass plate                                                            $74.95 plus shipping
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The above scene as mapped in The Gettysburg Campaign Atlas -Philip Laino 2009 Gatehouse Press,  Dayton Ohio. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission. An excerpt from map 2-34



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View From Weikert’s Ridge
Gettysburg July 2, 1863


                    The 15th Georgia Regiment was one of four regiments that comprised General Henry Benning’s Brigade of Hood’s Division.  On July 2, 1863 following a long march and countermarch the Brigade set up on Warfield’s wooded ridge just west of the present day Eisenhower Farm.   After a brief artillery bombardment General Evander Law’s Brigade moved west off Warfield’s ridge. For reasons still debated today Law’s brigade moved directly West toward the conical shaped hill known as Round Top.  Benning’s brigade was to follow Law some 350 yards to the rear.  Due to smoke and possibly due to the wounding of General Hood, Benning’s brigade struck a path more to the north.   On the left flank the 15th Georgia moved down the slope to a point on the  G. W. Weikert Farm where the view to the east opened up. 
            Here we see that view that no doubt awed the 15th Georgia in anticipation.  Directly in front is Houck’s Ridge crowned by the now abandoned cannons of Smiths’ battery. There the 124th NY regiment is firing its opening volley on the 1st Texas, halfway up the triangular field.  The 124th would impetuously try to chase the 1st Texas back down the hill and ran directly into Benning’s advancing brigade.  Behind Houck’s Ridge is Little Round Top with Vincent’s Brigade arriving just moments before Law’s brigade would emerge from the wooded slope of Round Top, out of view to the right.
            The  15th Georgia would help push back the charge of the 124th NY as well as drive the 86th NY and 20th Indiana out of Rose’s Wood (to the left). But no amount of fearlessness could sustain a successful attack on the now fortified Little Round Top. One Southerner remarked that the position was so strong that it could be held by “…rolling rocks at us.”     The battle did not end there for the 15th Georgia.  Sharp confrontations with Brooke’s and Burbank’s Union Brigades just before sunset and  a tragic  unsupported advance on July 3rd  left the 15th with over 46% casualties for the 3 day battle. 


14” x 20”  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity
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           Framed with brass plate                                                            $59.95 plus shipping
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The above scene as mapped in The Gettysburg Campaign Atlas -Philip Laino 2009 Gatehouse Press,  Dayton Ohio. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission. An excerpt from map 2-32


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The Charge of the Mozart Regiment

Gettysburg—July 2, 1863

                 The 40th New York was organized in 1861. It's nickname “The Mozart Regiment” came from it’s sponsor, the New York Mozart Hall, a political opponent of Tammany Hall.     The 40th was part of as part of French-born Colonel Philippe Regis DeTrobriand’s Brigade of the III Corps. As the fighting commenced on July 2nd 1863 the 40th , commanded by  Colonel Thomas Egan, was stationed in the woods on Stony Hill.  As the pressure increased on Ward’s brigade in the Devils Den area, Division Commander General David Birney pulled the 40th from its position near the center of the III corps line to shore up the left.  The 40th moved across the relatively placid Wheatfield and over a stone wall into the valley due East of Little Round Top.                    

          There they formed a battle line straddling Plum Run facing south.  On Little Round Top the struggle for that vital hill had just commenced, but in the valley below only 2 cannons of Smith’s 4th NY Artillery opposed the southern forces that had flanked Devil’s Den and threatened to sweep below and past Little Round Top. Reacting aggressively the 40th charged down the valley that was to become known as the “Valley of Death.” The 430 New Yorkers swept the Confederate forces back into the Woods and the rocks of the Slaughter Pen Gorge.   With Ward’s Brigade starting to withdraw on their right, the 40th had to abandon their advanced position having suffered 150 casualties.  Covering Ward's brigade as they retired they witnessed the arrival of  fresh Union troops from the II and V Corps who assured that Southern forces were unable to make significant progress in the valley that devolved into a bloody no man’s land.    

             Here we see the Mozart Regiment at their furthest point of advance. The rocks of Devils Den are just out of sight to the right. In the center background is a curious boulder known as Elephant Rock.  Amid the smoke on either side the Georgians of Benning’s Brigade move to tip the scales to the South and the Alabama regiments of Law’s Brigade blunt the 40th’s charge from behind the rocks of the Slaughter Pen. The Slyder Farm is visible in the distance.

     11” x 22”  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity
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The above scene as mapped in The Gettysburg Campaign Atlas -Philip Laino 2009 Gatehouse Press,  Dayton Ohio. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission. An excerpt from map 2-40.

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Manning's Ledge

July 2, 1863

 

            The 3rd Arkansas Regiment was formed in June 1861.  They were the first long-term regiment from Arkansas, enlisted to serve “for three years or the war.”  Arriving in the east in the summer of 1861 the 3rd compiled an impressive battle record.  In the fall of 1862 the regiment was reassigned to the famed Texas Brigade. 
    Colonel Vannoy Manning , an Arkansas lawyer and one of the founders of the regiment, commanded the 3rd at Gettysburg.   On July 1863 the Texas Brigade was part of the first wave of Longstreet’s attack on the Union Left. The 3rd Arkansas formed in the woods on Warfield Ridge just north of the Emmitsburg Road.  Moving across the road they headed toward Rose woods and an unseen Union line. 
    Moving uphill after crossing Rose Run the westerners discovered the  Union line.  Three Union regiments, the 86th NY, the 20th Indiana, and the 99th Pa. crested the wooded hill and poured out a devastating volley.  Near the center of the 3rd’s line a large rock formation provided a both an obstacle and a relief.  Manning advanced, retreated and advanced again to the ledge.    
    For at least an hour the 3rd Arkansas engaged in a desperate fire fight in the Rose woods. Outnumbered severely and fighting uphill the Arkansans took nearly 40% casualties before the Union regiments could be pushed off the Ridge.  While directing the advance Manning was struck in the face by shrapnel near the rock formation that now bears his name. He returned to lead his regiment who stayed on indeed, “for the war” until only 150 men surrendered at Appomattox.  
      Here we see 3rd Arkansas at the ledge at about the midpoint of the battle. Colonel Manning is in the center directing the advance.  The Union forces in the smoky distance are the 20th Indiana and the 86th New York. These units took over 250 casualties from their 650 men who fought that day in Rose Woods.


              11” x 22”  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity

                    Print on canvas matte                                                               $35.95 plus shipping ($10.00 in US)
                   Framed with brass plate                                                            $59.95 plus shipping ($10.00 in US)


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The above scene as mapped in The Gettysburg Campaign Atlas -Philip Laino 2009 Gatehouse Press,  Dayton Ohio. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission. An excerpt from map 2-38.


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Sharpshooters at Rose Run
July 2, 1863

                    The Federal Sharpshooter regiments were the brainchild of Hiram Berdan.  Berdan was a New York inventor and marksman but had no military background.  Two regiments were selectively recruited from across the Northern States and uniformed in green.  Equipped with Sharps Breech loading rifles, a skilled Sharpshooter could fire roughly three times as fast as an infantryman equipped with a Muzzle loader. 
               At Gettysburg the 1st and 2nd US Sharpshooters were attached to Ward’s Brigade of the Sickles’ III Corps.  The 1st regiment was involved in the first fire fight of day 2 while on a reconnaissance in Pitzer’s Woods. In the mid afternoon the 2nd under Major Homer Stoughton  move forward to a skirmish line generally west of Plum Run and the its tributary Rose Run.   Since Buford’s Cavalry had left the scene at mid day the 200 Sharpshooters were the only forces out in front of Ward’s Brigade the open Left flank on the Union Army.  Around 3 PM it was apparent that Confederate Forces were massing on Warfield Ridge at the top of the slope where the Sharpshooters were positioned. For 45 minutes the Sharpshooters waited anxiously for the inevitable attack while Artillery shells from both sides passed overhead. At around 4 PM those with an unobstructed view saw the 2800 troops of Law’s and Robertson’s Brigade in a half mile front head directly at the 181 marksmen.
             Using stone walls, trees, and rocks as cover the Sharpshooters put up a desultory fire that harassed the Confederate advance.  Slowly giving ground the Sharpshooters eventually returned to the Union lines and continued to aid both Ward’ Brigade and Vincent’s brigade on Little Round Top.   Most likely the Sharpshooter’s action aided in splitting the Confederate line, and the delay gave precious minutes to Vincent, rushing to Little Round Top. Finally they kept Confederate forces in the focus of Union Artillery for which may have resulted in the crippling wound to General John Bell Hood that disrupted Southern Command on the south portion of the field.
               Here we see a squad of 2nd Sharpshooters in a rocky area just to the west of Rose run. The 1st Texas Regiment with their skirmishers are just clearing a ridge on the J.W. Weikert Farm precipitating  another withdrawal by the Sharpshooters though not before exacting a toll.

         14” x 20”  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity
           Print on canvas matte                                          
                     $35.95 plus shipping ($10.00 in US)
           Framed with brass plate                                                            $59.95 plus shipping
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22" x 34"  Museum Size Framed  (new)   Signed limited edition (50)  Stretched Canvas    
             With brass plate and  certificate of authenticity            $99.99 Plus Shipping (10.00 in U.S.)


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“The Texas Brigade on Little Round Top”
July 2, 1863

The 4th and 5th Texas regiments were proud members of Hood’s Texas brigade. Originally commanded by John Bell Hood, the Brigade had an auspicious record as one of the hardest hitting units in the Army of Northern Virginia. From the Peninsular campaign, through 2nd Manassas, Antietam and Fredricksburg, the Texas brigade seemed to find itself at a decisive juncture in each battle.
That continued at Gettysburg.  Now under the command of Jerome Robertson with Hood leading the division, the Brigade also included the 1st Texas and the 3rd Arkansas.  The Texas brigade was in the vanguard of Longstreet’s July 2nd attack. As the brigade advanced down into the Plum Run valley the 4th and 5th Texas guided on Law’s Brigade to their right. Due to this they became separated from the 1st Texas and 3rd Arkansas.  Eventually this separation placed the 4th and 5th Texas 300 yards and one hill to the east of the rest of the Brigade. That hill was Little Round Top. 
Command had now devolved to the regimental level as Robertson was with the remainder of the brigade. Hood was already wounded. Somehow the two “lost” regiments fused with the 4th Alabama of Law’s brigade and moved forward the rough and wooded ground at the base of Round Top. After pushing off skirmishers they emerged from the woods at the base of a 150 foot boulder strewn hill topped by Union troops-now known as Little Round Top. “A mountain goat might have revelled.” said one Texan.
This Diograph shows the 5th Texas’s view early in their second attack. Just visible above are portions of the 16th Michigan and the 44th NY. The two Texas Regiments made perhaps five different attempts to take the hill. It is hard to fathom what type of courage that required. Both Colonels went down early but that did not stop the effort. The last attack came within yards of the top and was only stopped by a desperate charge by the 140th NY who arrived just as the Northern line began to crumble.     Of 409 men who went into action that day from the 5th Texas, 211 were killed, wounded, or missing.

        
14” x 20”  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity
           Print on canvas matte                                          
                     $35.95 plus shipping ($10.00 in US)
           Framed with brass plate                                                            $59.95 plus shipping
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“The Texas Brigade on Little Round Top”
 12" x 36" Panoramic View
July 2, 1863


Special 12" x 36" Diographic Super pan  signed limited edition print(100) with certificate of authenticity
           Print on canvas matte                                                               $45.95 plus shipping ($10.00 in US)
           Framed with brass plate                                                            $74.95 plus shipping
($10.00 in US)

The above scenes are mapped in The Gettysburg Campaign Atlas -Philip Laino 2009 Gatehouse Press,  Dayton Ohio. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission. An excerpt from map 2-41.

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