Stone monuments are erected throughout the area where the heaviest fighting occurred, naming the various regiments involved. The number of monuments is staggering, but when you consider that the casualties from this one battle are estimated at 51,000 (including dead, wounded, and missing), you can only imagine the number of men who engaged in the three days of fighting there, from July 1-3 of 1863.
Colonel Wallace of the Union 1st Maryland wrote, “The 1st Maryland Confederate Regiment met us and were cut to pieces. We sorrowfully gathered up many of our old friends and acquaintances and had them carefully and tenderly cared for.”
The ten thousand dead soldiers from both sides were hastily buried to prevent disease, laid to rest in shallow graves on the battlefield with wooden boards to mark their identities. As wind and rain eroded these crudely penciled markers, the citizens of the town requested that a national cemetery be created to honor the Union dead.
In October of the same year, the bodies were disinterred and the Federal remains were buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery. Confederate dead were relocated to cemeteries in the South, in Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
It was at the dedication ceremony of this cemetery where Lincoln delivered his famous “Gettysburg Address.”