We continue to make progress towards documenting the bronze sculptures on the Gettysburg Battlefield with many more to follow. Please check back to follow our progress!
Major General John Sedgwick Equestrian Statue
H.K. Bush-Brown Sculptor, dedicated June 19th, 1913
Welcome to Gettysburg Sculptures!
It is our hope to share with you information about the monuments that stand on the Gettysburg National Military Park . My first visit to Gettysburg was in 1966 when our family took a vacation traveling the Eastern battlefields. Since that trip, I have been fascinated with the Civil War and Gettysburg . This passion has lead me to study the American Civil War for years. In particular, Gettysburg.
Much has been written in regards to the battle and the fine details of the fighting over those three days in July 1863. There seems to appear, yearly, more books on the battle or its participants. Many of which rewrite the same details with the intent to present “new” material. But in reality much of it is simply rehashing previously written facts. All of this is good, but any student of the battle knows which books to read and re-read.
Most written material on the monuments or sculptures is scattered throughout many books and papers. There are a few writings such as Gettysburg: Stories of Men and Monuments written by the Gettysburg Battlefield Guides or The Sculptures of Gettysburg by Wayne Craven and photographs by Milo Stewart that give the reader an overview of the memorials at Gettysburg. Both of these are wonderful works and I would encourage the reader to own these. But with the number of monuments and their stories, much more can and should be written.
When one walks the battlefield, even for the first time, it’s the monuments and sculptures that meet their eye. After all they are everywhere! These monuments are no accident. They were not put here by a battlefield entrepreneur scheming to raise money from the ever growing numbers of visitors. They were placed here, for the most part, by the men that fought on these fields. These men witnessed, through the smoke and din of battle, horrific scenes of death and destruction. Before their eyes they witnessed fellow comrades falling wounded or being killed. Scenes, we today, can only read about and imagine.
These veterans that fought at Gettysburg realized that someday visitors would come here and visit this field in rememberance of them. The survivors felt it was important to tell their story. They knew eventually they would all “answer the last roll call” and there would be no eye witness to tell their story. These veterans wanted to remember their fallen comrades. Those that were wounded, maimed or paid the ultimate sacrifice. They wanted us to know where they were originally from, the battles they fought and the ultimate price they paid. In many cases they wanted us to remember a specific event that occured during the battle.
Today we see their stories and “hear” their voices in bronze and granite, over 1,300 of them! We will discuss their stories and learn more about these works of art. We will learn about the sculptors that created them and the construction and casting processes involved. So, welcome!
We appreciate any comments or suggestions. Let us know what you would like to see or if you have something to share. This site is simply our way of sharing the stories of these now gone heros who fought to make this hallowed ground a part of American history.
What their monument meant to the veterans of the 53rd Pa.
"It is this feeling of affection for our old regiment which gives us our deep appreciation for this memorial, for next to the soldier’s personnel consciousness that he and his comrades fulfilled their duty on the field is its public acknowledgment, and this crowning gratification of the soldier is given us in this monument, and when we once again leave the field of Gettysburg we may do so with the feeling that our work here is indeed completed, but with the added assurance that the Fifty-third Pennsylvania, vigilant in its country’s cause will hereafter, even when we may be sleeping the long sleep, still maintain on permanent post a sentinel to represent the Fifty-third Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, and by his silent presence keep alive the same self-sacrificing patriotism it displayed."
Dedication Address of First Lieut. & Adjutant Charles P. Hatch, 53rd PA Infantry
September 1st, 1889
The "sentinel" of the 53rd
The "Sentinel" photographed July, 2010.
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