For those who are battle buffs like me, it’s not enough to simply know that a struggle took place at Devil’s Den. I want to know who was where and which units did what. Fortunately, the monuments of the Gettysburg battlefield tell the story well. The monument standing up like an obelisk in the top right of the above photo belongs to the 4th Maine Infantry. It is sometimes difficult to remember that the road which now traverses the Devil’s Den area – Sickles Avenue – did not exist in 1863, and the rocky hills and valleys must have made it tricky for brigades to form up. The 4th Maine’s position was probably along what is now Sickles Avenue near the small creek known as Plum Run.
While engaged at Devil’s Den, the men from Maine had much the same problem as their Confederate counterparts coming across Triangular Field . . . no place to hide, unless, of course, they decided to try their luck diving behind a boulder. But the 4th Maine would do no such thing. They stood firm, taking heat not only from Southerners desperately climbing Little Round Top but also from Gen. Evander Law’s Alabamians who showed up at the most inopportune moment.
The 4th Maine monument itself is quite interesting also. As far as I remember, it is the only monument directly located at Devil’s Den (not counting the 99th Pennsylvania and 124th New York which are both located “above” the den on the heights of Houck’s Ridge) or is at least the closest to the den itself. It dates from the late 1880s and sits directly atop one of the prehistoric diabase boulders for which Gettysburg is so famous.
LT. GEORGE FULTON BOYD
Born December 30, 1838 --- Died July 01, 1863 at age 24
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray