15th Alabama Infantry Regiment: History Homepage

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15th Alabama Infantry Regiment

15th Alabama Infantry Regiment Homepage
Battle of Little Round Top Panorama.jpg
The Round Tops of Gettysburg, 1909.

(Left) Little Round Top and (Right) Big Round Top, photographed from Plum Run Valley in 1909. After a forced march of some 20 miles, the 15th Alabama, alongside other Confederate regiments, made several uphill charges on Little Round Top against well-entrenched Union positions only to be repulsed with heavy casualties. Fought July 2, 1863, the action, popularly known as the Battle of Little Round Top, was one of several engagements fought during the three day Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3. The fight at Round Top resulted in the 15th Alabama suffering 22 killed, 58 wounded, and 114 captured, for a total of 194 casualties. The following day, Gen. Robert E. Lee, in his final attempt to dislodge Union forces at Gettysburg, would unleash 12,500 Confederates during a grand assault against the Union center, but it too would be swept from the field as Union cannonading and musketry poured devastating metal into the gray lines as they advanced three-quarters of a mile over open fields.

Recommended Reading: Twilight at Little Round Top: July 2, 1863: The Tide Turns at Gettysburg (Hardcover). Description: Glenn LaFantasie's history graphically absorbs the reader in his superb and detailed study of two regimental commanders, Colonel William C. Oates and Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, and their climatic clash at the Battle of Little Round Top at Gettysburg. Continued below...

In addition, LaFantasie, applying the regiments’ soldiers’ experiences from diaries, letters and memoirs, enables the reader to envision, in detail, the struggles and horrors that the two regiments endured at the Battle of Little Round Top. It is a handsome addition to my library.

Recommended Reading: Gettysburg Requiem: The Life and Lost Causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates, by Glenn W. LaFantasie. Booklist: This excellent, scholarly biography deals with a man best known as Joshua Chamberlain's principal opponent on Little Round Top on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Like his famous opponent, the 15th Alabama Regiment's commander, William C. Oates, knew the art of the infantry officer. Born when much of his native Alabama was still frontier, he survived six wounds, including the loss of his right arm. After the war, he was a distinguished and eventually wealthy lawyer and state politician as well as a thoroughly unreconstructed rebel with a notoriously hot temper. Continued below…

Yet he made a scandal at the end of his career when, at a state constitutional convention, he advocated no racial limitations on voting rights… A valuable addition to the Civil War shelves. About the Author: Glenn W. LaFantasie is the Frockt Family Professor of Civil War History and the Director of the Center for the Civil War in the West at Western Kentucky University. He is the bestselling author of Twilight at Little Round Top. He has also written for several magazines and newspapers, including American History, North & South, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, The New York Times Book Review, America's Civil War, Civil War Times Illustrated, and The Providence Journal.

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