Companies A, B, D, & H, US (NY) Sharpshooters Monument (1902 - 2012) - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 48.480 W 077° 15.454
18S E 306747 N 4408885
Quick Description: One of 90 monuments honoring N.Y. units in the Gettysburg campaign. The memorial, dedicated July 2, 1889, is located where four companies of sharpshooters reconnoitered on the afternoon of July 2, 1863, running into skirmishes with Confederate units.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 4/20/2012 5:56:31 PM
Waymark Code: WME915
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 2

Long Description:

The Gettysburg National Park Commission [The Commission is also referred to as the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission or the Gettysburg 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 later transferred to the National Park Service in 1933 (SOURCE), took an inventory of many the existing monuments in the eventual historic district (a majority of them seem to have been Pennsylvania monuments). I have found hundreds of these pictures on Virtual Gettysburg, a comprehensive website which pictorially inventories all the monuments, providing a text of all inscriptions and minor narratives. All the photos look the same as if they were taken by the same camera and in the same approximate time period. Even the angles are all the same, positioning the monument at a slight right angle, revealing a little of the left part of the monument. The entire park looks so young and immature when the photos were taken. After all, the Battle of Gettysburg was thirty-seven years old at the time and war veterans were only in their fifties. I have never been able to find any photo credits (I have a sneaking suspicion some of the photos may have been snapped by members of the Park Commissions and published in their annual November report to the War Department) but I know they are public domain because their copyrights have all expired. Most of my pictures I use come from a website called Virtual Gettysburg. It seems however, all the pictures of the New York monuments were either borrowed from or shared with a New York monuments website. That site, The New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs can be found HERE. I found my 1900 picture at the N.Y. site, which particular link can be found HERE but the same picture with a poorer resolution can be found HERE. The 110-year old picture was taken from Final Report on the Battlefield of Gettysburg (New York at Gettysburg) by the New York Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg and Chattanooga, published in Albany, NY by the J.B. Lyon Company in 1902.

Clearly it is evident, through a survey of historical pictures and other archival information, much change has occurred at Gettysburg Battlefield. With the passage of legislation affording historical status to this site as well as placing it under the auspices of the National Park Service, its patrons and caretakers had to groom and prepare the area to make it more authentic as well as educational. Today the battlefield has managed to maintain an authentic 1863 feel, but back then, as evident in the many photos, it was a desolate, empty place of brown and green fields broken only by the occasional farmstead, their outbuildings and fields of crops. With the emergence and dedication of hundreds of monuments since 1900 (and many before), and the development of farmland, some change has occurred but nothing too dramatic. The site of these pictures is at such a dangerous, rocky terrain and boulder strewn area, that nothing has changed as the rugged mountain top offers not the slightest chance of development. After 11o years, it is interesting to see how the woods have grown, from barren to full. Look to the far background and you can still match up the slope of the land.

The Sharpshooters Monument is located at the Berdan Avenue circle/rotary in Pitzer Woods. This little side road is off of S.W. Confederate Avenue. The road is rather small, leading into the woods which loops around like a cul-de-sac and then comes back out to the main road again. The memorial faces due west, into the setting sun so I faced east, southeast to get a slightly angled frontal shot. Parky is easy enough; just park along the circle's edge but stay off of the grass. I visited this monument on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM, just before the clocks were set ahead for the Spring. I was at a 544 foot ASL elevation. I used my General Electric 10.1 megapixel model # A1050 digital camera.

From a previous waymark about this monument:

The 1st United States Sharpshooters, Companies A, B, D, and H (New York) served as a member of Ward’s Brigade in Birney’s Division of the Third Corps, a Fighting 300 Regiment. The unit was commanded by Colonel Hiram Berdan (1824-1893) who was an American engineer, inventor and military officer, world-renowned marksman, and the guiding force behind and commanding colonel of the famed United States Volunteer Sharpshooter Regiments during the American Civil War. He was the inventor of the Berdan rifle, the Berdan centerfire primer and numerous other weapons and accessories. The regiment had 371 men engaged at Gettysburg with a total of 6 killed, 37 wounded, and 6 who went missing.

The Draw the Sword site helped out by the NPS narrative and the SIRIS site offers the following description: Monument comprised of a granite cylindrical shaft with partial fluting and a conical top, set atop a granite stepped base with bronze tablets. Flanking markers are flat topped, one foot square.

The memorial was dedicated on July 2, 1889 and is located where four companies of sharpshooters reconnoitered on the afternoon of July 2, 1863, running into skirmishes from the Confederate units.

The monument was erected on July 2, 1889 by the State of New York and was fabricated by Frederick & Field who seemed to have their hands in many granite monuments completed in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The other sharpshooter monument across the circle was also dedicated on the same exact day but by the State of Vermont. The monument is made of Quincy granite and has bronze tablets/adornments. SIRIS lists the dimensions as: Memorial: approx. H. 20 ft. x 6 in.; Base: approx. W. 7 ft. 3 in. x 7 ft. 3 in. The are inscriptions on all four sides which read:

1st. U.S. Sharpshooters
2d. Brig. 1st Div. 3d Corps

This Monument
is dedicated to
the brave men
of this command
who fell at

One hundred Sharp Shooters
reconnoitered to this spot
about 12. M. July 2d. 1863,
losing here nineteen men.
They first developed
the enemy's threatened attack
upon our left and rear.
July 3d. the regiment supported
batteries along Cemetery Ridge
on the 4th it picketed
and skirmished near the
Peach Orchard
Killed 6, Wounded 37,
Captured 6, Total 49.

This Regiment
was recruited in 1861,
five northern states
and had
four New York Companies,
("A", "B", "D", and "H".).
Served in 3rd, 5th, and 2nd Corps,
participating in
forty-three battles
and skirmishes,
from Yorktown (1862)
to Appomattox (1865).

The Companies A, B, D, & H, US (NY) Sharpshooters 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 monument is identified as structure number MN075-B.

From the Nomination Form:
This monument was placed where the 4th New York of US Sharpshooters reconnoitered on July 2, 1863 after Sickles moved up his III Corps line to determine threat of enemy attack. 1 of 90 in Park to NY troops at Gettysburg. Located S side Berdan Ave in Pitzer Woods.

Short Physical Description:
Mn & 2 flank markers. Base, 7'3"x7'3". Cylindrical shaft w/ partial fluting & conical top. All 20'6" high. Inscription tablets, 2'3"x2'6", bronze state seal, raised inscription & carved leaf cornice on base. Flank markers, flat topped, 1'x1'x1'6".

Long Physical Description:
Monument that has two flanking markers. The monument is a cylindrical granite shaft with partial fluting and a conical top set on a 7.3 foot square base. Inscription tablets that are 2.3x2.6 foot with a bronze seal, a raised inscription, and carved leaf cornice on the base. Flanking markers are flat topped, one foot square. Located on the south side of Berdan Avenue in Pitzer Woods.

My Sources
1. NRHP Nomination Form
3. Stone Sentinels
4. Virtual Gettysburg
5. Draw the Sword
6. Historical Marker Database
7. Wikipedia

Year photo was taken: 1902

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