Friday, July 11, 2008
Monuments line Hancock Ave. on Cemetery Ridge, stretching south to Little and Big Round Tops in the distance. This ground is best known for its role in Pickett's Charge on the final day of battle, but fighting stretched up the line to this point on the second day, July 2, 1863. Here Confederate gains crested during relentless attacks pushed by Lt. General James Longstreet, but the rebel success of the day could not be further exploited. (Click image for larger view).
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
An artillerist is depicted on the monument to one of many Union batteries that held its ground on East Cemetery Hill on the second day of battle. The soldier's calm demeanor, casually standing by his gun, stands in contradiction to the actual scene in the fading daylight of July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg. The crest of the hill was overrun with Confederates who succeeded in reaching the top of the prominent rise - but not maintaining their gains amidst stout defense and oncoming darkness and reinforcements. What Confederate General Ambrose Wright said about Cemetery Ridge also applied to East Cemetery Hill: "The real difficulty is to stay there after you get there - for the whole infernal Yankee army is up there in a bunch." (Click image for larger view).
Two of the seven figures at the base of the Virginia State Memorial peer out over the field from Seminary Ridge, where attacks on the second and third day of fighting at Gettysburg began. The monument was erected as the United States was entering another massive war in 1917, 54 years following the battle. It remains the largest of the Confederate memorials on the battlefield. (Click image for larger view).
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary cupola - atop Old Dorm, now Schmucker Hall - rises above the field of the first day of fighting at Gettysburg. It served Union cavalry Brigadier General John Buford well as an excellent platform to observe what would become the field were the battle would begin in earnest. The building, as many in and around Gettysburg, was quickly transformed for another purpose - use as a hospital as the fighting began raging. (Click image for larger view).
Monday, July 7, 2008
A full moon sets as the sun rises over The Angle and the monument to the 72nd PA. Infantry, one of several units to defend the Union line where it was pierced briefly by Pickett's Charge. Across the open farmland pictured, some 12,000 Confederate soldiers started the attack from the Seminary Ridge treeline, where the Virginia State Memorial can be seen in close inspection. Only a few hundred, or less, made it into Union lines and only briefly in the failed climax of the battle. (Click image for larger view).