July 3, 1863 - Third Day
"...The whole plain was covered with unarmed rebels, waving coats, hats, and handkerchiefs in token of a wish to surrender."
Lt. Col. Franklin Sawyer, U.S.A.
8th Ohio Infantry
You are standing at the Union position on Cemetery Ridge, looking west and a little north toward the Confederate position on Seminary Ridge. It was across this ground that Pettigrew and Trimble's Confederate infantry attacked on the afternoon of July 3.
When the attack failed, those Southerners not killed, wounded, or captured streamed back across the fields to Seminary Ridge.
(Numbered points indicated on the panoramic photograph):
(1) Emmitsburg Road
In 1863 this was a sunken, dirt road bordered by post-and-rail fences. On July 3, attacking Confederates were forced to either tear the fences down or climb over them, exposing themselves to the murderous fire of Union musketry and artillery.
(2) Virginia Memorial
This elegant memorial was erected in 1917 to honor all Virginians who fought at Gettysburg. Above the granite base stands a bronze figure of Gen. Robert E. Lee astride his horse "Traveler." Lee watched the attack from the point of woods to the left of the monument. It was here also that he consoled his defeated men, telling them, "It is all my fault."
(3) The Angle
This place where two stone walls join to form a 90? angle was the scene of desperate hand-to-hand fighting on July 3. Some Confederates succeeded in crossing the wall here, but were unable to prevail. Veterans remembered it as the "Bloody Angle."
(4) Site of Bliss Farm
On July 2, the house and farm of William Bliss provided shelter for Confederate sharpshooters who sniped at Union troops positioned here. Tired of this annoyance, Federals assaulted the farm buildings on the morning of July 3 and burned them to the ground. William Bliss lost all he owned.