Wilcox’s Brigade served as a member of Anderson’s Division in the Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. The brigade was commanded by Brig. Gen. Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox (May 20, 1824 – December 2, 1890) was a career United States Army officer who served in the Mexican–American War and also was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. On the battle's second day, July 2, his charge against a weakened Union line was met (and held off) by a suicidally brave countercharge from the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.
The Wilcox's CS Brigade Tablet is located 13 feet off of West Confederate Avenue, on the right or northwest side if traveling southwest, north of Pitzer Woods. The monument faces southeast. Parking around here is limited to the side of the road. Please do not park on the grass, park on the side of the road. I cannot emphasize that enough! You will be ticketed. I visited this monument on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM, just before the clocks were set ahead for the Spring. I was at a 537 foot ASL elevation.
These monuments were first built in 1900 and concluded in 1906 according to the NRHP nomination form. The NRHP form has it at 1910, but other sources have it for different years. For some reason, the actual dates on these things are always murky. It is amazing with all the work and effort exerted to make the Gettysburg National Military Park a reality, no one took the time to keep accurate records and correct installation dates. The work was done under the direction of the Gettysburg National Park Commission (established by the United States Department of War), after they took over the administration of the park from the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association (whose funds had expired) on March 3, 1893, and whose stewardship was then transferred to the National Park Service in 1933) SOURCE.
Draw the Sword, with descriptive help from the NPS site, offers the following description: Albert Russell & Sons Co. of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Erected by the United States War Department. Monolith consisting of polished smooth red Maine granite pedestal with a circular base. On each pedestal is mounted a bronze inscription tablet describing the movements and actions of the unit.
One of 64 Confederate brigade monuments. Designed by E. B. Cope and erected by the U.S. War Department. They indicate the general location of the centers of the various Confederate brigades and artillery battalions during several phases of the battle. Some of the tablets were made from melted down Civil War cannon. The tablets describe the itinerary and movements of each brigade. The inscription on this tablet reads:
Army of Northern Virginia
Hill's Corps Anderson's Division
8th. 9th. 10th. 11th. 14th. Alabama Infantry
July 2 Formed line here in forenoon. The 10th and 11th Regiments taking position on the right after a severe skirmish with Union outpost. Advanced at 6 p.m. and broke the Union line on Emmitsburg road capturing two guns and pursuing rapidly took many prisoners and six more guns. At Plum Run was met by a heavy fire of Artillery and fresh Infantry and being unsupported after severe losses fell back without being able to bring off the captured guns.
July 3 Took position west of Emmitsburg Road in support of Artillery. Soon after Longstreet's column started an order was received to advance and support it but smoke riding the oblique course of Pickett's Division the Brigade moving straight forward found itself engaged in a separate and useless conflict was promptly withdrawn.
July 4 In line here all day and at dark began the march to Hagerstown.
Present 1777. Killed 51, wounded 469, missing 261. Total 781.
There are scores of similar monuments for the various Confederate States & Union units which fought at Gettysburg. Four designs represent brigade, division, corps and army headquarters, and each has elements which identify it as Union or Confederate. Many of the tablets were created by Albert Russell & Sons Co. of Newburyport, Massachusetts and are made of granite, bronze and concrete or like this one, cast iron. All of these tablets were designed by architect E.B. Cope. He designed pretty much every tablet for both the Union and Confederate armies, each one distinct, with several different varieties. The monuments were erected just after the turn of the century during the first and beginning of the second decade of the 20th century. Each one has since been preserved or restored at least twice since the turn of the 21st century. The plaques and tablets were erected by the Gettysburg Park Commission (established by the War Department). The Gettysburg Park Commission is also referred to as the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission or the Gettysburg National Park Commission, to clear up any confusions, especially my own.
On October 1, 1898, the Gettysburg National Park Commission in a letter to the Secretary of War set gave recommendations for continuing the task of organizing and progressing the work of the Gettysburg National Military Park. Every November they wrote their annual report which outlined the work of the GNPC for that year. The following is an excerpt from that report relevant to this waymark. The link at the end of the paragraph will take you to the entire report. The method of marking the positions of troops on this field, as approved by the War Department, is to place the principal tablet or monument of each command at the position occupied by the command in the main line of battle, and to mark the several important positions subsequently reached by each command in the course of the battle by subordinate and ancillary tablets, with appropriate brief inscriptions giving interesting details and occurrences and noting the day and hour as nearly as possible. SOURCE
Information about these specific types of monuments:
BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS MARKERS (FOR UNION & CONFEDERATE TABLETS)
Brigade Headquarters (and Confederate artillery battalions, equivalent to Union artillery brigades) are bronze tablets mounted at an angle on a stone pedestal. They are the most numerous headquarters at Gettysburg, with over 70 Union and over 60 Confederate examples on the field. Union headquarters are marked with their corps or service branch symbol (like a cross, clover or crescent moon), while Confederate headquarters are simply labeled "C.S.A.". There are seventy-four brigade markers at Gettysburg honoring the AOP’s various brigades. (Other sources say there are 75). They were built by Albert Russell & Sons Co. of Newburyport, Massachusetts and Charles Kappes. The pedestals consist of sea-green granite with a square 36” x 36” base; they weigh 3500 pounds. On each pedestal is mounted a bronze tablet with rounded corners weighing 300 pounds. There are sixty-four brigade markers honoring the Army of North Virginia's various brigades. They were built by Van Amringe Granite Company (pedestals), Albert Russell & Sons Co., Newburyport, Mass (tablets) and Charles Kappes (foundations). The last was completed in December 1910. The 1910 date is disputed by other sites listing the end dates as 1912. The monuments consist of red circular Maine granite bases 34 1/2 inches diameter and weighing 3,000 pounds. On each base is mounted a 300 pound bronze tablet. SOURCE & SOURCE
The Wilcox's Brigade - CS Brigade Tablet 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 MN726.
From the Nomination Form:
1 of 63 CS Brigade Tablets in Park. Records movement & itinerary of Wilcox's Brigade during Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. Located on W side of West Confederate Ave, N of Pitzer Woods.
Short Physical Description:
Bronze inscription tablet, 3'8"x3'4", mounted at a slant on circular, polished pedestal, 6'4" in circumference, 5'4" high.
Long Physical Description:
1. NRHP Nomination Form
2. Stone Sentinels
3. Virtual Gettysburg
4. Draw the Sword
5. Historical Marker Database