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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Confederate Sharpshooter?

 
 
Confederate Sharpshooter Marker in Devil's Den. image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 7, 2007
1. Confederate Sharpshooter Marker in Devil's Den.
Inscription. “…some mother may yet be patiently waiting for the return of her boy, whose bones lie bleaching, unrecognized and alone, between the rocks at Gettysburg.”
Alexander Gardner
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
Sharpshooter's Wall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 7, 2007
2. Sharpshooter's Wall
The crest of Little Round Top is visible from the Confederate Sharpshooter's position. This area saw intense action on the afternoon of July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
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.
 
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 47.502′ N, 77° 14.573′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Sickles Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. ocated in the Devils Den section of Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Attack on Devil's Den (within shouting distance of this marker); 4th New York Independent Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Robertson's Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Smith's New York Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); The Fight for Devil's Den (within shouting distance of this marker); Benning's Brigade
Devil's Den image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 7, 2007
3. Devil's Den
Hood's troops, under Gen. Longstreet, charged Devil's Den on the second day at Gettysburg. They held most of Devil's Den, but never made it to the summit of Little Round Top.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Devil's Den and the Slaughter Pen (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 99th Pennsylvania Infantry (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. On the right are Gardner's famous photo of the Rebel Sharpshooter and one other photograph taken by him from the area around the Devil's Den.
 
Also see . . .  Devil's Den: Southern Sharpshooters. National Park Service site discussing the famous photograph. (Submitted on February 29, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The "Sharpshooter's Den" Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 8, 2008
4. The "Sharpshooter's Den" Today
Note the Monuments on Little Round Top in the background.
The Sharpshooter Position seen from the Front image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 11, 2008
5. The Sharpshooter Position seen from the Front
“The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter" image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 7, 2007
6. “The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter"
Alexander Gardner's "staged" photograph.
Little Round Top from Devil's Den image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 7, 2007
7. Little Round Top from Devil's Den
Confederate sharpshooters in Devil's Den fired on the Union troops that occupied Little Round Top. Despite constant fighting, these height were never taken by the Confederates.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 3,235 times since then and 204 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6, 7. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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