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.