The Battle of Gettysburg was the largest and deadliest battle of the American Civil War. For three days over 160,000 men fought for 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 lasting messages in stone, bronze, and iron.
Gettysburg is a vast outdoor classroom. Over 1200 monuments and markers tell about one of the great turning points in American history. This site explores the battlefield with photographs, text and map locations for each of the monuments and markers along with links to background histories and biographies.
These are the most numerous monuments on the battlefield. Almost every Federal regiment and battery that fought at Gettysburg is represented by a monument. Many have a second monument, and a few have multiple monuments and markers showing their different positions on the battlefield. There are even some monuments to units that were not actually on the field but supported the battle.
There are only a few monuments at Gettysburg to individual Confederate units. Most Confederate monuments have been erected by Southern states honoring all the units from that state.
Over 40 monuments honor individuals, both North and South. Most are to generals, but a Medal of Honor recipient and two chaplains are represented. There are even monuments to two civilians – one who grabbed a gun and joined the fight, and another who represents the sacrifice and suffering of women in the Civil War.
In the early days of the park the War Department erected markers to over 100 Union and Confederate unit headquarters. These detail the actions of the brigades, divisions and corps during the battle to help visitors better understand the battle. The War Department also placed markers for each of the Confederate artillery batteries at the locations where they fought. These are usually accompanied by examples of the artillery used by that unit.
Over 50 tour maps let you see where the monuments are in relation to each other and the main roads. They also show some important terrain features of the park.
The farms and other buildings around Gettysburg were not just background scenery to the battle. They were people’s homes and shelters, and each has its unique story.
Many of the pages on this site have links to two companion sites. The Civil War in the East provides unit histories, biographies, and additional information on the regiments, brigades, divisions and corps that took part in the battle. The main Stone Sentinels website explores over 50 related Civil War battlefields and other important Civil War sites from Pennsylvania to southern Virginia.