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Purnell Legion, Co. A, Maryland Cavalry Monument - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 49.588 W 077° 09.877
18S E 314754 N 4410738
Quick Description: Really nice monument with a relief of a cavalryman on the front of it. Dedicated by the state of Maryland in 1890. The monument is roadside, and faces the north, facing the direction in which this detachment faced its threats.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 4/27/2011 9:16:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMBAX1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 3

Long Description:

This is a square monument, roughly hewn, with rounded corners at top stands on a low base. Full-length figure of a dismounted Cavalryman appears in relief on the front face. He kneels on his proper right knee, and holds his rifle diagonally in both hands. The cavalry trooper depicted on the monument is armed with a Spencer repeating carbine. The figure wears a cap and goatee, and is seen in profile. Reliefs of a State Seal and a crossed-sword Corps insignia are affixed to the reverse side. The base and monument have rough-hewn edges. There are inscriptions on all four sides.

The sculpture is approximately 6 ft. 8 inches x 4 ft. 7 inches x 1 ft. 6 inches and the base is approximately 2 ft. 6 inches in height and 5 ft. 3 inches in width. The marker was dedicated Dedicated Oct. 23, 1890 by the state of Maryland and is composed of granite with bronze elements. The base is also of granite. The company brought 78 men to the field and had no casualties. It was part of Cavalry Corps - 2nd Division - 1st Brigade. The Purnell Legion is also honored by a marker and monument at Antietam.

Monument is one of 6 honoring Maryland Union troops who participated in the Gettysburg campaign. The cost was $900. It indicates the approximate position held by the Company on July 3, 1863, as it fought along side John B. McIntosh's Cavalry Brigade against Stuart's Confederate Cavalry. The sculpture (referred to as MN 385) is listed on the National Park Service, List of Classified Structures and is referenced in the Gettysburg National Military Park Archives, vol. 15.

As already mentioned, Purnell Legion, Co. A, Maryland Cavalry Monument is a contributing feature to the Gettysburg National Military Park Historic District which is nationally significant under NR Criteria A, B, C & D. Areas of Significance: Military, Politics/Government, Landscape Architecture, Conservation, Archeology-Historic. Period of Significance: 1863-1938. The original National Register Nomination was approved by the Keeper March 19, 1975. An update to this nomination was approved by the Keeper on January 23, 2004

The inscriptions on the monument read:


Co. A. Purnell Legion
Maryland Cavalry
Maryland's Tribute to Her Loyal Sons

(Around Base):
1st Brigade
2nd Division
Cavalry Corps

This detached company
commanded by
Capt. Robert E. Duvall.
served in the cavalry engagement
on this flank. July 2nd and 3rd 1863.
Organized at Pikesville MD.
Sept. Oct. and Nov. 1861
Mustered out at Fort Monroe, Va.
July 23 1865.

From the NRHP narrative page for this tablet:

Short Significance Description:

1 of 6 Maryland Monuments (Union side) of the GBMA Era (1863-1895). Indicates general position held by cavalry July 3, 1863. Fought alongside McIntosh's Cavalry Brigade repulsing Stuart's Confederate Cavalry. Located on East Cavalry Field, S side Gregg Avenue..

Short Physical Description:

Gettysburg National Military Park is the site of the American Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and the commemoration of the great battle by Civil War veterans. The Civil War had a dramatic impact on the political and social evolution of the United States. The Battle of Gettysburg has national significance for its impact upon the Confederate war strategy and for its role in the ultimate preservation of the Union. Although the Battle of Gettysburg did not conclude the Civil War, the three-day struggle on the ridges and valleys in and around the small agricultural village brought it to world attention and lasting notoriety. It ended slavery and defined the meaning of freedom, citizenship and equality for all Americans.

My Sources:
1. Stone Sentinels
2. Draw the Sword
3. Historical Marker Database
4. NRHP Narrative
5. Smithsonian
6. M. Sean Maloy Photography

Your impression of the sculpture?:

Date Sculpture was opened for vewing?: 10/23/1890

Website for sculpture?: [Web Link]

Where is this sculpture?:
Gettysburg National Military Park
Gregg Cavalry Avenue; East Cavalry Field
Gettysburg, PA USA

Sculptors Name: Unknown Sculptor

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