World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Cemetery Ridge

Article Id: WHEBN0002088124
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cemetery Ridge  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Battle of Gettysburg, J.E.B. Stuart, James Longstreet, George Pickett, Winfield Scott Hancock, Benjamin G. Humphreys, Edward Porter Alexander, John Buford, Daniel Sickles, Henry Jackson Hunt
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Cemetery Ridge

Cemetery Ridge
Template:Designation/text
Cemetery Ridge
Location Adams County, Pennsylvania
Part of Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District (#75000155)
MPS Battle of Gettysburg MPS
Added to NRHP March 19, 1975

Cemetery Ridge is a geographic feature in Gettysburg National Military Park, south of the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that figured prominently in the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1 to July 3, 1863. It formed a primary defensive position for the Union Army during the battle, roughly the center of what is popularly known as the "fish-hook" line. The Confederate army launched attacks on the Union positions on the second and third days of the battle, but were driven back both times.

Description

The ridge rises only about 40 feet (12 m) above the surrounding terrain and is under 2 miles (3.2 km) long. The northern end rises to become Cemetery Hill, the southern descends to low, wooded, and sometimes marshy ground just north of Little Round Top. At the northern end of Cemetery Ridge is a copse of trees and a low stone wall that makes two 90-degree turns; the latter has been nicknamed The Angle and the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. This area, and the nearby Codori Farm on Emmitsburg Road, were prominent features in the progress of Pickett's Charge during the third day of battle, as well as Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson's division assault on the second.[1]

American Civil War

On the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Cemetery Ridge was unoccupied for much of the day until the Union army retreated from its positions north of town, when the divisions of Brig. Gen. John C. Robinson and Maj. Gen. Abner Doubleday from the I Corps were placed on the northern end of the ridge, protecting the left flank of the XI Corps on Cemetery Hill. After the XII Corps arrived, Maj. Gen. John W. Geary's Second Division was sent to the southern end of the ridge near Little Round Top; Brig. Gen. John Buford's cavalry division formed a skirmish line in the fields between Cemetery Ridge and Seminary Ridge. The III Corps arrived about 8 p.m. and replaced Geary's division (which was sent to Culp's Hill); the II Corps arrived about 10:30 p.m. and camped immediately behind the III Corps.[2]

During the morning of the battle's 2nd day (July 2), Army of the Potomac commander Maj. Gen. George G. Meade shifted units to receive an expected Confederate attack on his positions. The II Corps was placed in the center of Cemetery Ridge, with Brig. Gen. Alexander Hays's division on the corps' right, John Gibbon's division in the center around the Angle, and John C. Caldwell's division on the left, adjacent to the III Corps; Robinson's division of the I Corps was placed in reserve behind the XI Corps. The V Corps was formed in reserve behind the II Corps.[3] In the late afternoon, the end of the Confederate Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws's assault drove portions of Maj. Gen. Daniel Sickles's III Corps line back to the southern end of Cemetery Ridge, and Brig. Gen. Ambrose Wright's Confederate brigade temporarily captured the southern end of the Angle before being driven back to Seminary Ridge by the Philadelphia Brigade.[4]

The Confederate artillery bombardment preceding Pickett's Charge on July 3 battered Cemetery Ridge, and Union artillery on the ridge counterfired to Seminary Ridge. Thirty-four Union cannons were disabled, but the three Confederate divisions of the subsequent infantry assault (Pickett's of the First Corps and Pettigrew's and Trimble's of the Third Corps), attacked the Union II Corps at the "stone fence" at the Angle.[5] Heavy rifle and artillery fire prevented all but about 250 Confederates led by Lewis Armistead from penetrating the Union line to the high water mark of the Confederacy. Armistead was mortally wounded. Two brigades of Anderson's Division, assigned to protect Pickett's right flank during the charge, reached a more southern portion of the Union line at Cemetery Ridge soon after the repulse of Pickett's Division, but were driven back with 40% casualties by the 2nd Vermont Brigade.[6]

Postbellum history

The Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association purchased rights-of-way for an avenue and monuments along the ridge, and the 1884 Round Top Branch steam railroad was built across the southern end of Cemetery Ridge. The 1893 Gettysburg Electric Railway was built across the north end of the ridge, and several Gettysburg Battlefield camps after the American Civil War used the ridge's west slope at the Angle (e.g., for Eisenhower's 1918 Camp Colt and during the 1938 Gettysburg reunion). The 1962 Cyclorama Building at Gettysburg with observation deck replaced the 1896 observation tower at the ridge's Zeigler's Woods, but was closed in 2008.

See also

Notes

References

External links

  • National Park Service: Gettysburg National Park Military Service

Coordinates: 39°49′05″N 77°13′57″W / 39.818056°N 77.2325°W / 39.818056; -77.2325

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.