Soldiers' National Monument - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Math Teacher
N 39° 49.187 W 077° 13.873
18S E 309035 N 4410136
Quick Description: The Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery. It was here Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address at the dedication ceremony of this church.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/11/2010 5:56:05 AM
Waymark Code: WM9NW1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 5

Long Description:

I. The SOLDIER'S NATIONAL CEMETERY, Baltimore Road to Taneyton Road, at the southern boundary of Gettysburg, embraces 17 acres and contains graves of 3,604 soldiers, 979 of them unidentified. The cemetery was established through the efforts of Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin, of Pennsylvania, and David Wills, of Gettysburg. Curtin, visiting the battlefield shortly after the troops departed, was shocked to find that shallow, scattered graves revealed portions of uniformed corpses above ground. He took measures to collect the bodies and inter them decently. In the cemetery stands the 60-foot marble Soldiers' National Monument, designed by J.G. Batterson and executed in Italy under the supervision of Randolph Rogers. It occupies the site where Lincoln gave his address. Near by is the Lincoln Speech Memorial, a semicircular monument with a bust of the Great Emancipator. --- Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, 1940; page 232

This is the first monument of any type to be placed at Gettysburg was the Soldiers National Monument in the National Cemetery, which is pretty important as there are literally hundreds of these things. The monument was designed by the Batterson-Canfield Company and sculpted by Randolph Rogers. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1865, and the full monument dedicated on July 1, 1869, Abraham Lincoln presiding. The white Westerly granite pedestal supports a shaft and marble statue entitled "Genius of Liberty". The top statue is of a woman holding some kind of ring in her proper left hand. The four buttresses on the pedestal support allegorical statues in white marble. Their meanings are:

  • War, depicted as a seated American soldier resting after the conflict. The soldier is said to be relating the story of what happened at Gettysburg to the second monument.
  • History, depicted as a woman recording the names and accomplishments of the dead in her book.
  • Plenty, a woman with a sheaf of wheat over her arm and cornucopias filled with the fruits of the earth, the result of the peace at the end of the war. a Sheaf of Wheat is also a very Masonic symbol and no doubt Masons were involved in the monument's construction.
  • Peace, a mechanic accompanied by machine cogs and heavy hammers. Although statues depicting peace are generally represented by female models, the seated mechanic in this work is male.
  • The Smithsonian PAGE describes the monument as consisting of five allegorical figures on a center column structure and a star-shaped base. Liberty stands atop the column, a female figure in Classical robes holding a laurel wreath in her proper right hand and a sword in her proper left hand. Eighteen bronze stars, one for each state whose citizens fought in the Union army, encircle the upper portion of the column. The four remaining figures are seated at the base of the column. They personify War, History, Peace and Plenty. War is a bearded, uniformed Civil War Soldier. History is a female figure in Classical robes, a garland around her head and a book in her lap. Peace is an American mechanic in work clothes holding a mallet in his proper right hand and a cogwheel at his feet. Plenty is a female figure with fruits and a sheaf of wheat. A bronze eagle in relief appears on the front center of the column. Relief items relevant to each figure appear on their respective chairs.

    Inscriptions: (On cornerstone, right:) J. G. Batterson, FECIT/Hartford, Conn. (On plaque, center front:) GETTYSBURG/JULY 1, 2, 3, 1863 (Text of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address appears on the back center) signed

    Artists:
    Rogers, Randolph, 1825-1892, sculptor.
    Batterson, James Goodwin, 1823-1901, designer.
    Keller, George W., 1842-1935, designer.

  • TITLE: Soldiers' National Monument

    ARTIST(S): Rogers, Randolph, 1825-1892, sculptor. Batterson, James Goodwin, 1823-1901, designer. Keller, George W., 1842-1935, designer.

    DATE: Cornerstone laid July 4, 1865. ca. 1866-1869. Dedicated July 1, 1869.

    MEDIUM: Figures: marble; Base: Westerly granite with bronze elements.

    CONTROL NUMBER: IAS PA000765

    Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

    PHYSICAL LOCATION:
    Located Gettysburg National Military Park, Soldiers' National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325


    DIFFERENCES NOTED BETWEEN THE INVENTORY LISTING AND YOUR OBSERVATIONS AND RESEARCH:
    Looks the same only restored


    Visit Instructions:
    Please give the date of your visit, your impressions of the sculpture, and at least ONE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH. Add any additional information you may have, particularly any personal observations about the condition of the sculpture.
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