Grand Army of the Republic/Albert Woolson Memorial - Gettysburg National Military Park Historic District - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Math Teacher
N 39° 48.968 W 077° 14.089
18S E 308717 N 4409739
Quick Description: A most unusual monument dedicated to the last confirmed Union survivor of the Civil War.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/30/2011 8:33:24 PM
Waymark Code: WMCPRY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member QuesterMark
Views: 1

Long Description:
** To view the complete photo gallery of this monument, please visit HERE. **

This is one of the more unique monuments, along with the High Water Mark monument and the Gettysburg National Military Park monument found nearby. I found this along North Hancock Avenue, in front of the old Cyclorama building. The sculpture is a contributing structure to the Gettysburg National Military Park Historic District, despite its relatively young age (Dedicated Sept. 12, 1956). Although this commemorative monument falls outside of the period of significance, it has an association with the theme of the park accounting for its eligibility for listing on the national register.

I spent about 45 minutes on the computer learning about Woolson. Hard to believe only a decade before I was born, a Civil War survivor still walked the earth. Now, the last WW I survivor has left the world. Time sure marches on and this monument is definitely a reminder of that and a tribute to what was.

The Grand Army of the Republic/Albert Woolson Memorial is located on the east side of Hancock Avenue in Ziegler’s Grove. (if you are traveling south down North hancock Road), in Ziegler's Grove in Gettysburg National Military Park, north of the Angle. It is in front of the Cyclorama, the former visitor center for the park. Draw the Sword, with descriptive help from the NPS site, offers the following description: A seated portrait of an elderly Albert Woolson holding a walking stick in his proper right hand and resting his proper left hand on a GAR hat which rests on the bench beside him. The sculpture is installed on a rectangular base made of polished granite. Surrounding the monument is a flagstone plaza adorned with two mahogany granite benches. The portrait was modeled from life in the year he died. Flagstone surrounding the monument was added in Oct. 1963 and mahogany granite benches were added to the site on Nov. 20. 1965. A dedicatory plaque was later added. Woolson, of Duluth, Minnesota, was the last surviving member of the Union Army. He did not fight at Gettysburg.

The monument was dedicated Sept. 12, 1956 by the Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. There is a bronze tablet to the rear of the monument which has their dedication information. The monument was sculpted by Avard Fairbanks (1897-1987) (his name and date are on the front of the monument) and the Roman Bronze Works foundry was used in the production. The monument is composed of bronze with a granite base and is approximately: Sculpture: approx. 64 x 51 x 42 in.; Base: approx. 43.5 in. x 7 ft. x 6 in. The three-sided inscription reads:

Memorial to the
Grand Army of the Republic

Senior Vice Commander in Chief
of the G.A.R.
Albert Woolson of Duluth, Minnesota
the last survivor

Dedicated on September 12, 1956
by National Auxiliary to
Sons of Union Veterans
of the Civil War 1861-1865

The Grand Army of the Republic/Albert Woolson Memorial 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 monument is identified as structure number MN212.

From the Nomination Form:

1 of 16 bronze statues. Commemorates last survivor of the Grand Army of the Republic. Located N Hancock Avenue north of cyclorama. Falls outside period of significance, but has association w/theme of park.

Short Physical Description:

Mn: fnd base 6'x7' polished, shaft polished granite w/ incised lettering, bronze statuary of Woolson. Flagstone paving added 1963, granite benches added 1965.

Long Physical Description:


My Sources
1. NRHP Narrative
3. Stone Sentinels
4. Draw the Sword
5. Historical Marker Database

Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): Gettysburg National Military Park Historic District

Link to page with the Historic District: [Web Link]

NRHP Historic District Waymark (Optional): [Web Link]

Gettysburg National Military Park
Hancock Road
Ziegler's Grove
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325

How did you determine the building to be a contributing structure?: Narrative found on the internet (Link provided below)

Optional link to narrative or database: [Web Link]

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