Cemetery Ridge Overview
By the morning of the third day, the focus shifted to the center of the Union line. Robert E Lee felt the efforts to attack both flanks had spread the center of the Union line thin. He felt an over whelming infantry attack after a massive artillery barrage would allow him to crush the Union line and force George Meade to retreat. The Gallery provides an over view of many other galleries. You can see how the Copse of Trees, the Angle, and the High Water Mark fit into context of the center of the line.
The Cemetery Ridge Gallery provides views of the fields Pickett’s men traveled from their kick off position on Seminary Ridge. You can also see in many photos the Virginia Memorial. It roughly marks the center of Lee’s position on Seminary Ridge.
The Monument Fight
After the war, there were many arguments over the placement of monuments on the battlefield. An early decision was that monuments would be placed where a regiment came into line. The demand to put the Virginia Memorial at the High Water Mark within Union lines was a major driver for this decision.
There are also debates about the placement of Union memorials. One of the biggest involved the 72nd Pennsylvania. The Gettysburg Commission wanted to place the regiment’s monument based on where the regiment fought during the charge. The regiment had retreated from their position at the stone wall. The regiment wanted the monument at the stone wall with the rest of the brigade’s monuments. The regiment took the issue to court. While they waited for a decision they placed a small memorial at the commission’s location. The monument in the foreground is the first monument.
The regiment won in the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court. Then they placed the larger second monument along the wall. The second memorial with the soldier on top is one of the most striking monuments along the ridge.