Reflections on Gettysburg

Statue of General Gouverneur Warren atop Little Round Top

My family and I recently returned from a visit to Pennsylvania. While there we took the opportunity to revisit the Gettysburg National Military Park (having last been there in 1996). Anyone who has ever been there knows what a moving experience it is.

North Carolina monument along Seminary Ridge looking toward Cemetery Ridge.

Touring the museum, viewing the restored Cyclorama, and of course driving and walking over the field (with camera in hand) that witnessed so much death, destruction, and heroism on those three July days in 1863 brings home the sacrifice and loss the soldiers and their families endured. The battle is considered the “high water mark” of the Confederacy. After this defeat, Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was largely on the defensive until the end of the war almost two years later. It was an accidental meeting on a field of neither commander’s choosing that became one of the most famous and important battles in history.

The Union line along Cemetery Ridge.

The battlefield today is revered by many, and the National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation do their utmost to preserve this hallowed ground. Time has brought change to some areas of the field, while others remain very much the same. Its preservation and improvement are ongoing goals. If you haven’t visited Gettysburg, please put it on your “bucket” list. If you have, you most likely will be drawn back again to absorb and appreciate the sites and atmosphere from this epic battle that very likely changed the course of history.

View from the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.

Union monument along Cemetery Ridge.


The field Confederate forces crossed on their assault on Cemetery Ridge.

"High Water" mark of the Confederacy, where Confederate forces pierced the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.

Another view of the Union line at the 'high water" mark.

Union monuments along Cemetery Ridge.

11th Mississippi Infantry monument on Seminary Ridge. The regiment suffered almost 90% casualties in Pickett's Charge.

Daughter Emily keeping watch on Little Round Top.

View from Little Round Top toward Cemetery Ridge.

All the Holmberg troops - Elise, Aaron, and Emily - at the "High Water" mark in 1996.

James J. Holmberg

2 comments on “Reflections on Gettysburg

  1. Elise

    Hey Dad! Where’s my picture at the high water mark?

    1. admin

      Good to have you home this weekend and to see Garrett. Per your request – you are now part of Filson blog history.


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