In July, 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia posted artillery and infantry along Seminary Ridge. Likewise, one mile away and parallel to this battle line, the Army of the Potomac took a defensive position on Cemetery Ridge. Then in the late afternoon of July 3, the Confederate army charged to the opposing side. This failed action was “Picketts Charge,” and the fields over which the assault was launched are shown in the following photos of Seminary Ridge.
For maps by the American Battlefield Trust that show Pickett’s Charge, click here: 3:00–3:30 P.M. | 3:30–3:45 P.M. | 3:45–4:15 P.M. Or to read Civil War Cycling’s dense but detailed study notes for Day 3 Gettysburg, click here and look under the Detailed Summary for “Pickett’s Charge to Cemetery Ridge.”
Photos of Seminary Ridge Across from the Sherfy Farm
Our first photo, below, shows the Louisiana State Monument. This scultpure by Donald De Lue depicts a woman hovering over a fallen Louisiana artilleryman. Of the more than 3,000 soldiers from Louisiana who fought at Gettysburg, nearly one-quarter were counted as casualties.
The Louisiana State Monument stands on West Confederate Avenue near Pitzer Woods, where we face east toward Cemetery Ridge. On the left side of the photo, you can see the Round Tops in the distance. Also, on the right is modern-down Millerstown Road. And finally, straight-ahead is the Sherfy peach orchard on which considerable fighting occurred on July 2.
Equally notable, and not far from the Louisiana State Monument, is the James Longstreet Equestrian Monument. Gen. Robert E. Lee assigned Longstreet the task of commanding the Confederate assault known as Pickett’s Charge. (Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett, a Virginian, was one of Longstreet’s division commanders).
Prior to the charge to the ridge shown in the next photo, Longstreet ordered an artillery bombardment. Col. James B. Walton led Longstreet’s 1st Corps Artillery Reserve, which consisted of two battalions from Virginia, South Carolina, and Louisiana. This cannon is located near the Louisians State Monument.
Photos of Seminary Ridge, a North Carolina Perspective
Farther north on the Confederate battle line, the North Carolina State Monument faces east toward Union positions on Cemetery Ridge. This is the location from which North Carolina soldiers charged over a one-mile open field to attack the Union center. In the following photo, you can see the Round Tops on the distant right.
Gutzon Borglum sculpted the North Carolina State Monument, which was dedicated on July 3, 1929.
Union View of Seminary Ridge, Looking West
The Virginia State Monument on Seminary Ridge is visible from Cemetery Ridge, as shown in the next photo.
The Confederate Right Flank
And finally, the south end of the Confederate battle line extends to modern-day South Confederate Avenue. The cannon in this photo points toward the Slyder farm and the Devil’s Den area.
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