Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War
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Brigadier General
Strong Vincent

Fifth Corps HQ Flag

Commanding
3rd Brigade, 1st Division,
Fifth Army Corps

First Division, Fifth Corps Flag

The monument to Brigadier General Strong Vincent is south of Gettysburg on the south slope of Little Round Top. (39.7906598° N, 77.236921° W; map) It was dedicated in 1878.

General Vincent was motally wounded commanding the brigade that defended the southern slopes and summit of Little Round Top on July 2nd.

From the monument:

Gen. Strong Vincent
wounded
July 2, Died July
7, 1863

3rd Brigade, First Division, 5th Corps

Strong Vincent was born on June 17, 1837 in Waterford, Pennsylvania. He attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and graduated from Harvard College in 1859. He was practicing law in Erie when the war broke out. He immediately volunteered, becoming a Lieutenant in a three months militia regiment.

He reenlisted after their term expired and in September of 1861 became Lieutenant Colonel of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry. After a severe case of malaria he returned to the regiment as Colonel in time for Fredericksburg. He was given command of the brigade at the beginning of the Gettysburg campaign.

On the march to Gettysburg he had written his pregnant wife, "If I fall, remember you have given your husband to the most righteous cause that ever widowed a woman."

On July 2nd Vincent's brigade was intercepted by a staff officer desperately seeking forces to cover the strategic position of Little Round Top. On his own responsibility Vincent took his brigade, which included the famous 20th Maine, to hold the vital hill. When the 16th Michigan began to fall back under heavy pressure Vincent mounted a boulder and shouted, "Don't give an inch!" as he brandished a riding crop that had been a gift from his wife. The line held but Vincent was badly wounded.

He was moved to a nearby farm and lived for another five days. General Meade recommended him for promotion to Brigadier General dated to July 3rd, but he probably never knew. Vincent's wife gave birth to a daughter, who died within the year and is buried next to her father.

The nearby 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry monument is topped by a statue of Colonel Vincent. Since it was against Pennsylvania battlefield commission rules to place an image of a regiment's commanding officer on a monument the statue is not identified and officially represents a generic officer.

Monument to General Strong Vincent at Gettysburg
see larger image of monument to Brigadier General Strong Vincent
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