For the past thirteen decades or so, the 99TH Pennsylvania Infantry monument on Houck’s Ridge has kept a watch over the 4TH Maine at Devil’s Den. This photo was taken at sunset. The tree at left might be the Devil’s Den witness tree but I’m not sure. Devil’s Den is to the left of the photo. Except for the monuments (and assuming that is indeed the witness tree) the scene would have looked exactly the same in 1863. That statement holds true for much of the battlefield . . . unless you take the modern roads into consideration.
For a little history: The 4TH’s monument dates from late 1888 and was placed atop a prehistoric boulder. At one point a sort of “groove” was built underneath it so rainwater could drain freely without ruining the granite. The 99TH’s monument, standing tall above Devil’s Den, dates from 1889. If you choose to climb the narrow dirt path to this monument, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful memorial and views of Devil’s Den, Big Round Top, the Slaughter Pen, the Valley of Death, and Little Round Top.
PVT. JOHN GRIFFIN COYLE
Co. C, 150TH Pennsylvania Infantry
Born July 13, 1819 --- Died July 1863 (some sources say September) at age 43
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray