There are different theories concerning how Devil’s Den got its name. The most prevalent seems to be that a large snake known as “the devil” had its lair inside the rocks. Whatever the root of the legend, there is an actual “den” within the ragtag outcropping of boulders so well known in Civil War history. If you do a little exploring in the section of rock that runs parallel to Sickles Avenue, you’ll discover a “cave” that is most likely home to a natural spring, probably a tributary of Plum Run creek. Unfortunately, when I visited, this den had been desecrated by modern-day carvings and the occasional piece of trash.
PVT. GEORGE M. BAILEY
Co. I, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry
Died July 03, 1863
Pvt. Bailey, who worked as a shoemaker and whose pre-war residence was Wilmington, Massachusetts, was initially buried along Baltimore Pike. His final resting place is Gettysburg National Cemetery. The 2nd Massachusetts’ monument at Spangler’s Spring is the oldest military monument placed on the field of battle. It is very likely that he was involved in the 2nd’s charge against Confederate-held breastworks on Culp’s Hill. History says that Major Charles Morse, who would have been Pvt. Bailey’s commanding officer, found it difficult to believe what his unit was supposed to accomplish. He famously said, “It is murder, but it’s an order.” Unfortunately, in Pvt. Bailey’s case and in the case of many others, his words rang true.
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray