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The height of the battle-tide Near this gate to the local cemetery of Gettysburg there stood during the battle this sign: “All persons found using firearms in these grounds will be prosecuted with the utmost rigor of the law.” Many a soldier must have smiled grimly at these words, for this gateway way became the key of the Federal line, the very center of the cruelest use of firearms yet seen on this continent. On the first day Reynolds saw the value of Cemetery Hill in case of a retreat. Howard posted his reserves here, and Hancock greatly strengthened the position. One hundred and twenty Confederate guns were turned against it that last afternoon. In five minutes every man of the Federals had been forced to cover; for an hour and a half the shells fell fast, dealing death and laying waste the summer verdure in the little graveyard. Up to the very guns of the Federals on Cemetery Hill, Pickett led his devoted troops. At night of the 3d it was one vast slaughter-field. On this eminence, where thousands were buried, was dedicated the soldiers' National Cemetery.

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