Monuments, Memory, and Reconstruction at the High Water Mark

Here’s Scott Hartwig giving yet another outstanding presentation. This is part of the Gettysburg National Military Park’s 2016 Winter Lecture Series.

As the video’s description tells us, “Few places on the Gettysburg battlefield are as highly visited or as symbolic as the High Water Mark. That something important and significant happened here is apparent to even the most casual visitor. Why else would this little knot of trees be enclosed by an iron fence, and an imposing bronze monument of an open book with the words ‘High Water Mark,’ flanked by cannons, stand in front of them? Monuments and National Park Service wayside exhibits cluster densely here as well. For Union veterans it was a place to remind the nation of their great victory and sacrifice through monuments, a process sometimes fiercely contested. It was also a place of great pain for veterans of both armies and it served some as a point to find peace and reconciliation with former enemies. Historian D. Scott Hartwig explores the major events up through the battle’s 50th anniversary that transformed this simple landscape into one of America’s most symbolic spaces.”

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