Monument to the High Water Mark of the Rebellion
Front of Monument
View of battlefield from Union side
Backstory and Context
The Monument to the High Water Mark of the Rebellion is a monument dedicated to the highest point the Confederate forces reached at the Battle of Gettysburg. The monument is positioned near the Copse of Trees and has many state monuments near it as well.
In 1863, Confederate and Union forces met near the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. From their positions they waged a three day battle that claimed the lives of over 45,000 men. The battle began when a Confederate outfit that was searching for supplies arrived in Gettysburg after General Robert E. Lee had been given the order to go forward with his plan to attack the North. The forces battled over Little Round Top, Big Round Top, and Devil's Den. On July 3, 1863 General Lee gave the order to General George Pickett to lead his men up Cemetery Ridge and attack the Union stronghold. At this point was where the monument is placed.
The monument is set where the Confederate troops reached and where all 4,500 laid down their arms and were captured. The battle ended shortly after this rush by the Confederate troops and is a great turning point for the war. In 1892, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association erected the monument after they had denied the design by John B. Bachelder two years in a row. The monument is paired with the High Water Mark of the Confederacy and the Armistead Marker, which markers the place where General Lewis Armistead placed his hand on a Union cannon before collapsing due to mortal wounds.
The Monument to the High Water Mark of the Rebellion is one that marks the highest point of a people and the lowest point of a battle. As the designer John Bachelder stated the monument represents, "unquestionably the “high water mark of this battle, and of the war!"