The battle for the southern slope of Little Round Top at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, remains one of the most studied small unit military actions in American history. Maine historian Tom Desjardin has focused his attention on the story of the 20th Maine Regiment since his first visit to Gettysburg at age 10. This stirring work is the culmination of years of detailed research on the experiences of the soldiers in that regiment, telling the complete story of the unit in the Gettysburg Campaign, from June 21 through July 10, 1863.
Desjardin uses more than seventy first-hand accounts of the battle for Vincent's Spur to tell the story of that fight in critical detail. He brings the personal experiences of the soldiers to life, relating the story from both sides and revealing the actions and feelings of the men from Alabama who tried, in vain, to seize the important position.
From the lowest ranking private to the highest officers, this book explores the terrible experiences of war and their tragic effect. Following the regiment through the campaign enables readers to understand fully the soldiers' feelings towards the enemy, towards citizens of both North and South, and towards the commanders of the two armies. In addition, this book traces the development of a legend, as veterans of the fight struggle to remember, grasp, and memorialize their part in the largest battle ever fought on the continent.