The small “castle” at Little Round Top is without doubt one of the most beautiful monuments on the battlefield, and certainly one of the largest. Dedicated to the 12th and 44th New York, it stands high on the summit of the Union “high ground” as a fanciful yet somehow somber structure dedicated to those New Yorkers who fought valiantly on the second day of battle. It has stood at the spot since the 1890s and has been a favorite of those making the trek to the summit of Little Round Top.
Historically it has been possible to climb to the bottom platform of the castle for a beautiful view of Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, Houck’s Ridge, and beyond, but as I haven’t done so for about ten years, I have no idea if the castle stairs are still open to climbers. I remember that the stairs are very narrow . . . if someone is coming down, the person going up just has to wait. I also recall the echoes. If you say anything inside the main hall, it will sound as if the spirits of those who fought at Little Round Top have come to pay a visit.
Whether or not you can go up in the castle, views from the bottom section are striking as well. Many a photographer has framed photos in the doorway. Also remember to take a look at the plaques. They contain names of the New York men who fought here at Little Round Top, who helped preserve the high ground for the Union. Please take a moment of silence for those men on the muster rolls who never made it home. At the very top of the castle “turret”, visitors might notice a Maltese cross-like symbol. This is the Fifth Corps badge. Such badges figure prominently on the monuments of Gettysburg.
PVT. DAVID C. ARNOLD
Born about 1840 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 23