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The 9th Massachusetts Battery nicknamed its cannons after some of the wives left behind at home. A vestige of that practice remains on one of the Napoleon cannons at the battery’s Trostle Farm monument. Go behind the guns, and you’ll find the name “Cora” in weathered paint on a breech. (Photo by Melissa A. Winn)

Ever pay your respects to the John Page Nicholson monument? Where did the Iron Brigade end up after its bloodbath on July 1? Also, dinosaurs once roamed central Pennsylvania, and there is evidence of them on the battlefield if you know where to look. You can also leave the battlefield proper and see a picturesque covered bridge that both armies used. So, if dense crowds and diesel fumes are disturbing your time on Little Round Top, here are some other options. Not every hidden or overlooked spot on the battlefield is listed, but the locations that follow are worth your time to seek out, whether it’s your first, second, or third day to visit.

Dinosaur tracks can be found on the capstone of the Plum Run branch bridge on South Confederate Avenue. On the south side, they are on the sixth stone from right as you face south, and on the north side, they are on the fifth stone from the right as you face that direction. (Photo by Melissa A. Winn)

Bent Iron

Iron Brigade monument at Culp’s Hill. (Photo by Melissa A Winn)

The famous Iron Brigade suffered a staggering 1,153 casualties during fighting on July 1. The Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan regiments were later moved to a “quiet” area on Culp’s Hill, where small monuments and restored earthworks mark their line. From that location, battered but not broken, they fired at Confederates attacking Cemetery Hill on the evening of July 2. “Dident we give them hell,” wrote Captain Henry Young of the 7th Wisconsin.

Loyal Pittie

Tribute to Sallie the pit bull terrier, mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania. (Photo by Melissa A. Winn)

Regimental mascot Sallie the Dog forever rests on the 11th Pennsylvania monument along Doubleday Avenue on Oak Hill, facing the fields over which Confederates attacked her regiment. The pit bull terrier reportedly barked ferociously during the fight. She died during an 1864 battle.

Ax Man

Lieutenant Stephen Brown and his ax. (Photo by Melissa A Winn)

Lieutenant Stephen Brown of the 13th Vermont had to turn in his sidearms before the battle when he was disciplined for disobeying orders. He carried a camp ax during Pickett’s Charge, and the unusual weapon can be seen lying at his feet on his bronze monument along Hancock Avenue on Cemetery Ridge.

Veteran in Charge

Park at the pink granite 43rd North Carolina monument along East Confederate Avenue at the base of Culp’s Hill, and walk through the woods back to Rock Creek. You’ll find the remnants of an old park boundary fence and a bucolic scene at the location where troops of Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson’s Division crossed during their attacks on Culp’s Hill. (Photo by Melissa A. Winn)

John Page Nicholson fought on Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg as a lieutenant in the 28th Pennsylvania. After the war, he became active in veterans’ affairs and later served as the chairman of Gettysburg National Military Park from 1893-1922, overseeing increases in battlefield acreage and monumentation. He is also responsible for the Pennsylvania at Gettysburg series of books familiar to many researchers. Stop by and pay your respects to him at his monument along Hancock Avenue near Ziegler’s Grove. 

this article first appeared in civil war times magazine

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