2 Bridges(Gettysburg Site)

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Eternal Light Peace Memorial

Day 1 Map

Eternal Light Panoramic View

Eternal Light Peace Memorial Plaque (click to read)

Eternal Light Front View

Thanks to Jim Puente at 2 Bridges for Eternal Light Postcard GIF. See his link on this page!

During the second day of the battle on July 2,1863.

At 16:00, Ewell opened fire with artillery from batteries near the Seminary and atop Benner's Hill. These were soon silenced by the overwhelming Union artillery presence on Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill. MG Henry W. Slocum's XII Corps was positioned on Culp's Hill and had spent considerable time erecting breastworks there. During the fighting on Cemetery Hill, Meade ordered most of the XII Corps except BG George S. Greene's Brigade from Culp's Hill to reinforce the position. (Actually, most of XII Corps never arrived to the fighting). The attack began at 20:00 as Johnson's Division attacked from the east. Greene's Brigade stretched from Culp's Hill and then southward to the lower portion of the hill. The Union brigade faced eastward against Johnson's 3 Brigades who had forded Rock Creek and began ascended the hill. BG George Steuart's Brigade comprised the left flank of the attack and occupied the unoccupied breastworks on the lower hill. Darkness fell and Steuart's men fumbled their way toward Greene's right flank. Greene was in a very precarious position until reinforcements were rushed from I Corps which had been positioned on the western slope of the hill and XI Corps units from Cemetery Ridge.

Throughout the darkness, Johnson's Division was unable to determine the force they were opposing. Unknown to Johnson, Greene's Brigade was the only unit on the Union's right.


By days end, both flanks of the Union army had been attacked and both had held (Little Round Top to the South and Culp's Hill to the North) despite losing ground. In a council of war, General Meade, anticipating an assualt on the center of His line (July 4th Pickett's Charge)determined that his army would stay at Gettysburg and fight.

One of the most beautiful views in Gettysburg is when your standing behind the Eternal Light Peace Memorial,about at the woods line on a clear evening as the sun goes down.If you look at the photograph below you'll notice that the light of day is going quickly as the sun sets into the mountains in the distance.

The Flame from the memorial is visable as the sky turns an orangish color.This makes a great spot for a photographer to do his or her work.

One other neat thing that I want to mention. While on a visit to Gettysburg, President John F. Kennedy took notice of the Eternal Peace Light Memorial and told his wife that when he died he would like to have an eternal flame over his gravesite. This inspiration is apparent today at his gravesite in Arlington Cemetery. To see his gravesite goto the Links page and click on Find A Grave. President Kennedy was invited to stay in Gettysburg on November 19th 1963 for the 100th anniversary of The Gettysburg Address but declined because had had a trip planned to Dallas.

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