On July 1st 2nd and 3rd of 1863, the Civil War raged through the town of
Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Though the Battles only lasted three days, it
would ultimately result in more than 51,000 casualties. It was on the 2nd day of fighting that the battle over Devils Den would occur.
Devils Den is a large natural formation of granite boulders, cliffs and small caverns, that would supply ample coverage for the occupying Union army of Captain James Smith's 4th New York Battery. But, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's
Confederate troops attacked from 3 sides, and fought vigorously until the
den was taken. Both sides would suffer terrible loses but the Union would lose both Major James Cromwell and Col. Augustus Van Horne Ellis during
the assault. For the next 22 hours Devils Den would become a haven for
Confederate snipers who would pick off Union soldiers that were gathered
just past the slaughter pen on little round top.
With such horrors of war, it is no wonder this location is to be one of the most haunted places of the battlefield. Ghostly soldiers repeatedly have been seen throughout the area. Even photographs have been captured of these phantom troopers. Truly, a visit to any part of the Gettysburg Battlefield will yield a multitude of strange and sympathetic feelings, but there is something quite ominous about Devils Den. maybe it’s the lay of the land and its unusual rock
formations. or perhaps the tragedy of war is still in the air, either way these sprits and memories need be respected and honored by all who visit.
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