Study Guide Lesson #11 “Prayer from Little Round Top”

Today’ entry concludes the lessons for the study guide for my collection of historical short fiction.  Tomorrow, I’ll have an entry featuring Mason (my grandson) for the Monroe Garden District’s Annual Fourth of July Children’s Parade at Triangle Park!

Lesson 11: Stories of the Confederate South –
“Prayer from Little Round Top”

Questions and Topics for Discussion, Papers, and Projects:

1. Research the 15th Alabama and their assault on Little Round Top. How would the battle (and perhaps the War) had been different if this unit had taken and held this mountain?
2. Create a map or model of the Battle of Gettysburg. Illustrate the role of the 15th Alabama.
3. Research the units on both sides involved in the battle for Little Round Top.
4. Research the close relationship of twins and how this story illustrates this closeness.
5. Research the Irish allusions in the story, including the song “The Rose of Tralee,” Connemarra, the Potato Famine, and the Coffin Ships.
6. Write a comparison/contrast paper of the two famous commanders in this battle, Joshua Chamberlain and William C. Oates.



The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.   This is a historical novel and made into the movie, Gettysburg.
Storming Little Round Top: The 15th Alabama and Their Fight for the High Ground, July 2, 1863 by Phillip Tucker.

This is a story inspired by Jed Marum’s song, “Prayer from Little Round Top.” Here are the lyrics and notes by Jed Marum. Discuss them and discuss how they guided the writing of the short story.

This song was inspired by reading shiplists and genealogy web sites, and by researching the history of the 15th Alabama. Author Rickey Pittman has written a short story based upon this song and the history. His book of short stories is called “Stories of the Confederate South” and you can find more information at his website

Prayer from Little Round Top
© Jed Marum 2000

As a child standing by her graveside, I recall
many years ago, we said our last goodbye.
My loving twin sister Sarah left me that day,
torn away by hunger and the blight of ’45.
My father said the Lord would send a mighty wind
to fill our sails and take us ‘cross the sea to Americay
We left behind the pain and famine, we left behind
the land I love, and through the years I remember every day, and

In dreams I see the mountain tops of my lovely Connemarra
I hear the waves roll gently on the shores along the bay
I dream I travel home again
And I want to stay forever
And I only need a gentle breeze
And I’ll be on my way

From Ireland to Talladaga Alabama,
Carried on the wind, welcomed at my uncle’s farm.
Through the years now, I’ve learned new ways but little Sarah’s lovely face
I’ve carried in my heart since we were young.

When the bells rang I joined the 15th Regiment
fighting for my home and adopted country.
Many battles now I find myself on this Pennsylvania hilltop
I draw deep from gentle the summer breeze CHO

With a sharp crack from a Yankee rifle a bullet burns
deep within my chest and I’m sinking to the ground
and my eyes find the new horizon while musket fire is
passing overhead in waves of muffled sound.

FINAL CHO: Here I see the mountaintops of lovely Connemarra
I hear the waves roll gently on the shores along the bay
and I can see my home again
where I’m running free with Sarah
Now I only need a gentle breeze
And I’ll be on my way