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Abstract

Brigadier General George S. Greene’s position on Culp’s Hill during the Battle of Gettysburg is arguably the crucial lynchpin of July 2, 1863. Had this position at the barb of the fishhook defensive line fallen, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his army would then have been positioned to take Cemetery Hill, thus breaking the curve of the hook on the Union right. This most likely would have sent the Union into retreat, leaving the direct route to Washington unguarded. Fortunately, valiant efforts were made by men like Generals George S. Greene and Henry H. Lockwood in order to preserve the Union Army’s possession of the hill and, as a result, preserve the Union itself. While leaders distinguished themselves during the Battle of Gettysburg with exceptional decision-making and ingenuity, the battle for Culp’s Hill also embodied the personal cost these decisions made, as evidenced by the experience of Marylanders who literally fought their neighbors. [excerpt]

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