Barlow’s Knoll is a small hill located north of downtown Gettysburg and west of Rock Creek. Called Blocher’s Knoll before the Battle of Gettysburg, it was later named for Brig. Gen. Francis Channing Barlow. The twenty-eight-year-old Barlow commanded the first division of the Union 1st Corps on the afternoon of July 1, 1863, when Confederate soldiers attacked from the north. Ultimately, the Union line collapsed.
Click here to view a battle map by the American Battlefield Trust that covers actions from 2:45 to 4:30 P.M. on that day. Or to read Civil War Cycling’s short but very dense summary of the Battle of Gettysburg Day 1, click here and look under the Detailed Summary for “Flank Attack at Barlow’s Knoll.”
The above photo shows the view when looking north into the knoll. The tall monument at the center, where the road bends is portrait statue of Barlow.
In the next photo, we are facing southeast at the Oak Hill Observation Tower. Mummasburg Road is in the foreground. From the distant tree-line scan right to the first bright green patch of grass; that is the knoll. To tour by bike, take Mummasburg Road to Howard Avenue, and then turn left. New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Connecticut monuments line the park road on the way to the knoll.
On Howard Avenue, when you get to the Dilger’s Battery monument (see below), face west for an expansive view of the ridge leading up to Oak Hill. This Union battery was part of the 1st Ohio Artillery of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard’s 11th Corps. Under the command of Capt. Hubert Dilger, a German immigrant, many Union soldiers who fought at Barlow’s Knoll were of German ancestry.
The monument dedicated to Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow stands among a cluster of monuments as Howard Avenue bends around the knoll. Note the crescent symbol at the base of the monument; the crescent identifies the 11th Corps, Army of the Potomac. (For more details, see “Monument Shapes and Symbols — A Key”). The Barlow monument is shown in the following photo, and on the left is the 17th Connecticut regimental monument.
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