Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
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
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.
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. Touch 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 The Fight for Devil's Den (within shouting distance of this marker); Benning's Brigade (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). Touch for a list and map 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 •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 3,424 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 4, 5. submitted on January 1, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 6, 7. submitted on February 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.