Father William Corby Bronze Portrait Statue by
Samuel A. Murray
Located on Cemetery Ridge south of the Pennsylvania State Memorial . (see Google map link at bottom of page)
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Father William Corby Bronze Portrait Statue
Dedicated: October 29, 1910
Sculptor: Samuel A. Murray
Cast by: Roman Bronze Works
The face of Corby reflects the importance and reverence of the moment. Soldiers on bent knee and uncovered heads, knowing that these may be their last hours, listen carefully as Corby grants them general absolution.
The stole worn by Corby was a symbol of his priestly office, granting him and manifestation to all that he has the right, the authority and jurisdiction to perform ceremonies and sacraments in which he is engaged.
The sculptor has created a natural likeness of Father Corby. We see the calm and modest features of a man that has dedicated his life to his religion.
The uniform depicted on the bronze statue of Corby was typical of those worn by chaplains in the Civil War. On November 25, 1861 General Order #102 instructed chaplains to wear “plain black frock coat with standing collar and one row of nine black buttons, plain black pants, and a black felt hat.” This frock coat worn by chaplains was similar to those worn by infantry line officers. This similarity in dress would contribute to the killing of Chaplain Horatio Howell on the steps of the Christ Lutheran Church on July 1, 1863 when he was confused as a northern line officer and failed to surrender to a southern soldier.
It was reported that Father Corby was standing upon a large boulder when he addressed the soldiers of the Irish Brigade. The sculptor has depicted Father Corby’s hat and gloves which he would have removed and laid on the boulder before praying.
Another detailed view of the hat and hat cord typical of Civil War Officers headgear.
Another view of Father Corby with eyes lifted towards the heavens. Also note the skill of the sculptor in the folds of the coat and sleeves.
The details of the spurs and boots of Father Corby are very realistic in their appearance.
The Roman Bronze Works of New York would cast this wonderful bronze statue.
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