Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Smith's Battery - Devil's Den, Gettysburg
The monument to Captain James Smith's 4th New York battery of Parrott rifles stands above Devil's Den, in a precarious position that only allowed four of his six guns to be posted before the fight on the second day at Gettysburg. The cannoneers soon went from dueling with Confederate batteries on the opposite Seminary Ridge and long-range fire against infantry to fighting for their lives and their guns at close range. A different fight continues today. Incidents of vandalism in the area were first recorded more than one hundred years ago and in 1995 the artillerist on the Smith battery monument was wrenched from its base. More recently the statue was dragged down and decapitated, damage that has yet to be repaired. (Click image for larger view).