The Battlefield of All Battlefields: Gettysburg

Three million people visit Gettysburg National Military Park every year, making it one of the most visited battlefields in American History.

People come to this battlefield to look over the landscape, read the carved marble words on monuments, and photograph the bronze statues.

There are 1,400 monuments, statues, markers, and tablets spread across the roughly 25 acres of the former battlefield of Gettysburg. The battle was fought over three days on July 1, 2, and 3 of 1863 in, but mostly around the town of Gettysburg.

This is one of the many monuments on the Gettysburg Battlefield. This monument marks the spot where General John Reynolds was shot and killed on the morning of July 1, the first day of the battle. Reynolds was they highest ranking officer killed at Gettysburg.

So why did the Battle of Gettysburg happen at Gettysburg? General Lee moved the Army of Northern Virginia through Maryland and up into Pennsylvania in an attempt to cause a battle that would force Lincoln into peace talks. Looking at a map of Gettysburg, we see that all roads lead to this town, from all points on the compass. And there was plenty of coveted high ground to the north and south of Gettysburg.

All roads lead to Gettysburg.

Over the next few posts I will share some of the many sketches I did at Gettysburg (summoning my inner Alfred Waud). I spend three days exploring the rich history of this battlefield and it provided many sketching opportunities.

Here I am field sketching the 72nd Pennsylvania Monument at the Highwater Mark, the climax of the Battle of Gettysburg as two people admire what is one of the most iconic statues on the battlefield.
This is largest monument at Gettysburg and it’s fitting that it is the Pennsylvania Monument.

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