78th 102nd New York Group

What These Trees Witnessed

These three trees stand just a few yards behind the breastworks constructed by the 3rd Brigade troops of Brig. Gen. George S. Greene during the morning of July 2. On that same evening, the brigade repulsed the attacks of several Confederate regiments. The men of the 78th and 102nd New York, likely positioned near these trees, faced down the all-Louisiana brigade commanded by Col. Jesse M. Williams. On July 3, other regiments arrived to support the Federal troops in this area, including the 65th New York. One of the grandest decisions of the battle was to keep the Union troops fresh along the breastworks all day by rotating them, so that when a regiment along the works had exhausted its ammunition, it was sent to the rear to rest and refit, while being immediately relieved by a regiment that came forward to take its place on the line. In this way, the Federals on Upper Culp’s Hill were easily able to stop the further Confederate attacks on this last day of the Battle of Gettysburg.