The Battle of Gettysburg was the largest and deadliest battle of the American Civil War. For three days over 160,000 men fought for their competing visions of America. More than a quarter were killed, wounded, or went into an uncertain and often deadly captivity. The survivors knew they had been through one of history’s great struggles. Many later returned to the Gettysburg battlefield to try to understand what took place. They passed their memories on to future generations through messages in stone, bronze, and iron.
When you visit Gettysburg you will find a vast outdoor classroom where over 1200 monuments tell the stories of the people who struggled here and help visitors explore one of the great turning points in American history.
|The greatest number of monuments on the battlefield are monuments to Union regiments and batteries, placed at the site where the units fought. Several northern states also placed state monuments, and there are a few monuments to northern brigades where all the regiments came from the same state. There are also monuments to the regiments and batteries of United States Army Regulars that fought at the Battle of Gettysburg.|
|There are fewer Confederate monuments. Because of rules on the placement of monuments and Southern attitudes towards a battle on Northern ground, there are very few monuments to Confederate regiments and none to Confederate batteries on the Gettysburg battlefield. Most Confederate monuments are state monuments erected by the Southern states.|
|There are over 40 monuments to individuals from both sides. Most are to generals. But there is also a lieutenant, one of 64 men awarded the Medal of Honor for what they did at the Battle of Gettysburg. There are two chaplains, and even two civilians – a citizen who grabbed a gun and joined the fight, and a woman who helped bury the dead and who represents the sacrifice and suffering of all the women in the Civil War.|
|To help visitors understand the battle the War Department erected monuments to over 100 Union and Confederate headquarters detailing the actions of the brigades, divisions and corps during the battle. And to help offset the lack of Confederate memorials they placed markers for each of the Confederate artillery batteries at the locations where they fought.|
|Tour the Gettysburg battlefield. Over 50 local maps let you see where the monuments are in relation to each other, the main roads and the terrain features of the park and surrounding area.|
|Visit the battlefield farms and other buildings.|
Many of the pages on this site have links to a companion site, The Civil War in the East, which provides unit histories, biographies, and additional information of interest. And visit the main Stone Sentinels website, which has links to over 40 battlefields and other important Civil War sites from Pennsylvania to southern Virginia.