What was the outcome of the Round Top? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Confederate advance at Little Round Top was part of General Robert E. Lee’s larger attack plan for the southern part of the battlefield at Gettysburg. Longstreet’s men were to attack along Emmitsburg road and up the Federal line, while Hood’s division would support the right end of Longstreet’s corps. Brigadier General Evander Law’s brigade supported the far right of Hood’s division, yet he disobeyed orders and attacked straight ahead rather than on the oblique to avoid Federal soldiers at Devil’s Den. Most of Law’s men did engage in battle with Federals at Devils Den while two of his units focused specifically on driving off the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters under the direction of Colonel William Oates.  

With Little Round Top recently logged, Oates could see that the Federals did not heavily fortify the hill. Oates received orders to take the hill at Little Round Top. Units from Alabama and Texas joined Oates and his men. Under the direction of Oates, the five regiments of the 4th Texas, 5th Texas, 4th Alabama, 47th Alabama, and the 15th Alabama began climbing up the hill. As the men progressed upward to the hilltop, two-thirds of the way to the summit, the Confederate units met fire.

The Union’s Major General K. Warren realized the Federal flank was open, and he sent for more troops. Colonel Strong Vincent and the 1st Division of the V Corps arrived as support.   Federal soldiers from the 20th Maine, 83rd Pennsylvania, 44th New York, and the 16th Michigan arrived into position just minutes before the Confederate troops arrived. Both sides were determined to take and keep the hill, yet the 140th New York Regiment reinforced the Union position. With repeated charges and countercharges, the fighting progressed for both sides. Union Colonel Joshua Chamberlain eventually ordered a bayonet charge that turned the favor to the Union once the 15th Alabama division was driven back to the point of retreat.

Oates eventually ordered all of the Confederate regiments to withdraw, and the Union held Little Round Top. As this Union victory is taking place, other engagements are taking place simultaneously at Gettysburg that also concludes with Union victory, though both sides would suffer heavy casualty losses.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I assume that you are asking about the fight for the hill called “Little Round Top,” during the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War.  If this is correct, the answer is that the outcome of this fight was a Union victory that is generally credited with helping to win the Battle of Gettysburg as a whole.

Because of the topography of the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Little Round Top was very important.  Military historians believe that the Confederates would have been able to defeat the Union forces if they had been able to take Little Round Top.  Believing that Little Round Top was very important to the battle, Confederate forces attacked it relentlessly.  The Union forces on Little Round Top, led by Col. Joshua Chamberlain, held on doggedly and eventually counterattacked, defeating the Confederate forces sent to take the hill.

Because the Confederate attack on Little Round Top failed, the Union was able to win the Battle of Gettysburg, which was one of the major turning points in the Civil War as a whole.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial