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 captivity. The survivors knew they had been through one of history’s great struggles. Many later returned to the Gettysburg battlefield to pass their memories on to future generations through messages in stone, bronze, and iron.
Gettysburg is 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.
|Monuments to Union regiments and batteries are the most frequent on the battlefield. Several northern states also placed monuments honoring all the veterans of that state. There are also monuments to the regiments and batteries of United States Army Regulars.|
|There are fewer Confederate monuments. There are very few monuments to Confederate regiments and none to Confederate batteries. Most Confederate monuments are erected by Southern states honoring all the veterans of that state.|
|There are over 40 monuments to individuals. Most are to generals. But there is also a Medal of Honor recipient – one of 64 from Gettysburg. There are two chaplains, and even two civilians – one who grabbed a gun and joined the fight, and another who helped bury the dead and who represents the sacrifice and suffering of 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.|
|The battlefield farms and other buildings were not just background scenery where a battle was fought. They were people’s homes and shelters, and each has its unique story.|
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 50 related battlefields and other important Civil War sites from Pennsylvania to southern Virginia.