On July 2 and 3, 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia lined Seminary Ridge on the west, and the Army of the Potomac lined Cemetery Ridge on the east. One mile of fields separated the two armies.
Looking West from Cemetery Ridge
The following photo shows the view from Cemetery Ridge to Seminary Ridge. We are looking southwest. Modern-day Hancock Avenue is in the foreground. In the photo, the 72nd Pennsylvania Monument is visible to the left of the distinctively shaped Codori Boarn along Emmitsburg Road. In the distance, Emmitsburg Road leads to the Longstreet Observation Tower, which is on Warfield Ridge, the southern extension of Seminary Ridge. The mountain chain beyond Seminary Ridge is South Mountain.
The next photo shows a Union gun on Cemetery Ridge that also points westward. In the mid-ground, the tree and monument to the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry mark the corner of The Angle, where on July 3, 1863, about 1,500 Virginians tried to break through the Union line. To place this photo on a battle map of Pickett’s Charge, click here to go to the American Battlefield Trust, and then look for the “71st PA” monument, which is near the Copse of Trees.
Approach at the Copse of Trees
A short distance south of The Angle is the Copse of Trees, pictured below. These natural landmarks stood tall on Cemetery Ridge. The Confederate army could see them from one mile away. The next photo shows the approach of Wright’s brigade of Georgians, part of “Pickett’s Charge” toward the copse. The High Water Mark Monument is behind the trees. From left to right, you can see the 42nd (“Tammany Regiment”) and 59th New York Monuments.
The Union Center Line
The U.S. Regulars Monument, shown below, is directly south of the Copse of Trees. At eight-five feet tall, this monument is a helpful orienteering landmark for tourists who want to place their location on the battlefield.
Continuing our tour south on Hancock Avenue, we come upon another tall structure, the Vermont State Monument. You can see the monument in the next photo, on the left. Farther south is Gettysburg’s largest monument, the Pennsylvania State Monument. It marks the middle of the Union line, south of which artillery batteries from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine lined the ridge in 1863.
Confederate View of Cemetery Ridge
This is a view on Cemetery Ridge as seen from the Longstreet Observation Tower. Millerstown Road cuts through the center of the photo. We are looking northeast over the Sherfy farm. The Klingel barn is visible to the left of that. The tallest structure on the distant ridge line is the U.S. Regulars Monument.
Finally, the Round Tops mark the south end of Cemetery Ridge. Here we see the west face of Little Round Top. The Bushman farm is nestled at its base. This is the view that Confederates from Texas and Alabama on the right flank of the Army of Northern Virginia would have seen on July 3, 1863.
Back to Landscapes