High Water Mark
Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg, PPA., USA
This small grove or "copse" of trees had little or no significance prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, but on July 3, 1863, it was the focal point around which swept vicious hand-to-hand combat during the climax of "Pickett's Charge". The trees grow within a confined area known as "The Angle", named for the stone fence that bends to the west and then southward to border the small pasture where the original trees stood. It was behind this stonewall that Union troops were positioned during the battle. The title of "High Water Mark of the Rebellion" was bestowed upon the copse by John B. Bachelder, the first government historian of the Gettysburg battlefield, who realized its significance during a visit to the site with a veteran of General Pickett's Division. It was through Bachelder's influence that the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion Monument" was placed here and dedicated in 1892. The monument lists the commands of both armies that participated in Pickett's Charge. This grouping of trees marked a Confederate crest of the battle and the war. After Gettysburg, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia would never reach such a high point again.