"ome mother may yet be patiently waiting for the return of her boy, whose bones lie bleaching, unrecognized and alone, between the rocks at Gettysburg."
Civil War photographer
In front of you is the setting of one of Gettysburg's most famous historic photographs, taken three days after the battle.
The photo depicts a stone wall probably built and used by Confederate sharpshooters, a rifle-musket propped against the wall, and the body of a Confederate soldier with a knapsack under his head. Although the elements in the photo are authentic, they had been rearranged for dramatic effect.
Photographers Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan found the dead soldier - probably a Texas or Georgia infantryman - some 40 yards behind you, then placed the body on a blanket and moved it here to the sharpshooter position. The weapon - not a sharpshooter's rifle - was placed beside the body.
The photo was staged, but the tragedy was real. A young man from the South lay dead, far from family and home.
Civil war photographer Alexander Gardner titled this photo "The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter." It was taken near this spot where you are standing on July 6, 1863, while Union soldiers were still at work removing and burying the dead.
In Gardner's photo caption he claims he visited this site four months later and found the rusting rifle-musket and the decomposing body in the same position.
Gardner and his associates took this and three other photos of the body at the spot where it was found on the hillside behind you before moving it to the sharpshooter's wall.