Oak Hill is the third highest point on the battlefield at a little over 640 feet above sea level. It is to the northwest of Gettysburg and dominates the fields to the west and north of town that were the scene of most of the fighting on the first day of the battle. (Tour map: North Confederate Avenue) Confederate possession of Oak Hill by reinforcements turned the tide of the battle and led to the collapse of the Union line and their retreat through Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill.
(above) This view is from the west end of the parking area on Oak Hill along North Confederate Avenue. It faces north to the high point of the hill and shows the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and the monuments to several Confederate units: the King William and Hardaway artillery batteries and the headquarters marker for Daniel’s Brigade of Rodes’ Division.
(above) This view looks back down the hill from near the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. It faces south along Oak Ridge and the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of July 1. The building in the far distance in front of the tree line just to the right of center is the McPherson Barn, not quite a mile away on the other side of the railroad and Chambersburg Pike. The battle line of much of the Union First Corps was formed in this area perpendicular to the hill, showing its value as an artillery position for the Confederates.
(above) This view is from just west of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial on Oak Hill. The road running straight ahead is North Confederate Avenue, which turns into Doubleday Avenue just before the observation tower that is visible in front of the large clump of trees. To its right several Union monuments are visible, with Big and Little Round Tops in the far distance. To left of center in the middle distance is Gettysburg College, with the town of Gettysburg behind, and the irregular treeline of Cemetery Hill on the distant skyline. The light blue water tower that stands across from the gates of the National Cemetery can just be seen to the left of the last stand of tall trees on the ridge, with the more distant heights of Culp’s Hill to its left and Benner’s Hill to the far left. At the left of the photo at the foot of the ridge is the McLean farm.