Gettysburg Interactive Panoramas

  battleofgettysburgday2 devils den gettysburg pickett pettigrew charge 2

Click on the images above to load the interactive panoramas. (Panoramas will take several seconds to load)

Welcome to Historical Spotlight’s panorama page. These panoramas feature extensive areas of the Gettysburg Battlefield. We have developed a unique software that allows the viewer to zoom in and out and pan across the battlefield. For those interested in troop placements, you can hover over a monument and the designated unit will appear. For those viewing the panoramas on a non-flash device, there are links to the panorama below. However, the monuments will not be identified. We will continue to add panoramas as they become available, and we hope you enjoy exploring them and the battlefield as much as we do.

Click the links below to view the panoramas without monument identification:

Devils’s Den

“Pickett-Pettigrew Charge”

The Emmitsburg Road

Here is more info about the panoramas:

1. The panoramas are interactive.

The viewer can pan from the Peach Orchard north to Big Round Top and zoom in for more detail. We have also made many monuments and landmarks identifiable. Simply hover over the object for identification. We are in the process of continuing to identify markers and monuments.

2. Easily view a large context of the 2nd day battle

The first time we visited the battlefield we were overwhelmed by the enormity of area it encompassed. It was also difficult to understand the overall context of the battle while in a car listening to an audio tour. This panorama will help the visitor to the battlefield or one interested in the battle to more efficiently identify the overall sense and scope of the second day of the battle.

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Click to enlarge screenshot of panorama

The topography above is probably close to what Confederate troops observed (with the exception of tree cutting) on July 2, 1863 as they emerged from Pitzer’s Woods. This is what Gettysburg historian Harry Pfanz wrote when Major General Lafayette McLaws viewed this site,

McLaws“McLaws had reached that area… and a quick glance told him that he was on the horns of a dilemma not of his making… The sight overwhelmed him as it had Kershaw (Brigadier General, McLaws Division). This was a situation not contemplated by General Lee when the attack plan was made and not envisioned by General Longstreet… If McLaws had sworn mighty oaths when forced to counter-march… he must have strained his vocabulary after studying the Federal position along the Emmitsburg Road.” (Gettysburg: The Second Day, Harry W. Pfanz)

It seems McLaws had been told his division would encounter the Federal army on their flank. Instead he encountered a force larger than his own, which extended far beyond his right to Little Round Top.

3. Understand troop placement 

The identification of the monuments is also important as they identify troop positions during the battle. Viewing the large number of monuments at the Peach Orchard area gives us a sense of the size of the force the Confederates would be engaging.

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Click to enlarge screenshot of panorama

 4. Understand troop maneuvering

As the viewer pans over to the Little Round top area the immense scale of the battle comes into focus. Zooming in on Little Round Top clearly reveals the 44th New York and 140th New York monuments. The 16th Michigan monument is obscured by the tree line. Between it and the 44th and 140th New York monuments, some of the fiercest fighting took place.

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Click to enlarge screenshot of panorama

Pfanz wrote about this area specifically,

“Probably at Vincent’s (Strong Vincent, Colonel, 20th Maine, 83rd Penn. 16th Mich. 44th N.Y.) order, the 44th New York tried to relieve the Strong_Vincentpressure on the 16th (Michigan) by firing to the right against some of its attackers (the 4th or 5th Texas). Vincent himself hurried to that end of the line, and “throwing himself into the breach he rallied his men.” It was a hot spot and Vincent fell with a mortal wound.” (Gettysburg: The Second Day, Harry W. Pfanz)

From the panorama, one can sense the arduous task the Texans had in climbing this hill under intense federal musket fire.

5. Understand troop movements

Lastly the Rose Farm and the adjacent Rose Woods are also viewable. Zooming in reveals several monuments along DeTrobriand Ave.

Click to enlarge screenshot of panorama

In this area Confederate troops from Major General John Hood’s division passed the Rose Farm and slammed into Federal brigades commanded by Colonels Tilton and Sweitzer. The “Stony Hill” and “Wheatfield” lay hidden behind the trees to the left. Also in this area Confederate Brigadier General J.B. Kershaw wheeled part of his line left to attack federal troops in the “Peach Orchard”.

Pfanz writes,

Simon baruch“Confederate surgeon Simon Baruch, father of Bernard Baruch, the statesman and financier, was new to battle and curious to see his brigade in action… He watched the charge of Kershaw’s left wing, as he later recounted, “upon a battery supported by infantry in the Peach Orchard while sitting some distance in the rear at the first aid station. The storm of shot and shell that cut down 400 of our men passed over me in an uncomfortable proximity, so that when the orders came to proceed to the field hospital I lost no time in departing.” (Gettysburg: The Second Day, Harry W. Pfanz)

We hope you enjoy this interactive panorama. We are continually working to bring interesting and informative historical insights to our readers.