8. The EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF LEE, W. Confederate Ave. N. of Wheatfield Road, is Virginia's memorial to the Confederate commander in chief. The bronze statue stands to the west of the field of Picket's charge. On the east side of its granite base is a group of bronze figures representing the infantry, calvary. and artillery. A broken cannon, discarded knapsack, and exploded shell under the feet of the standard bearer's horse are descriptive of the battle. --- Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, 1940; page 234.
The Virginia monument is southwest of Gettysburg on West Confederate Avenue, near Spangler Woods. The monument is an equestrian portrait of General Robert E. Lee standing atop a rectangular granite monument adorned on the front with a large bronze figure group depicting Virginia troops. General Lee holds the horse’s reins in his proper left hand and holds his hat in his proper right hand. On the base figure group, the central figure is an equestrian soldier holding a Confederate flag. To the left of him are two soldiers with rifles standing guard, and one soldier aiming a pistol. To the right of him is a soldier swinging a bayonet, a soldier about to aim his rifle, and a soldier blowing a bugle. It is the first state monument erected at Gettysburg by a former member of the Confederacy, and is installed on Seminary Ridge near where General Robert E. Lee watched Longstreet’s assault on July 3, 1863. The Virginia State Monument is the largest and most expensive Confederate monument on the battlefield. It was also the first monument erected to honor Confederate soldiers at Gettysburg. The sculpture of Lee on Traveller stands 14' tall. The pedestal itself rises 28 feet. The statue cost $50,000.
The monument is one of nineteen state and national monuments at Gettysburg and the most impressive of the rebel states. Virginia contributed over 19,000 men to the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg so it is entirely fitting this be the largest monument. Almost 4,500 of the Virginians who fought here became casualties, a quarter of those engaged. The artists involved in producing this behemoth were: Sievers, Frederick William, 1872-1966, sculptor; Kappes, Charles, contractor; Tiffany and Company, founder; and Van Amringe Granite Company, fabricator. The statue was commissioned on March 9, 1908, cast in, installed in 1913 and finally dedicated June 8, 1917. SIRIS lists the dimensions as: Sculpture: approx. H. 41 ft.; Base: approx. 24 ft. x 10 ft. x 13 ft. 7 in. The memorial is composed of Mt. Airy granite with the statues being made of bronze. There is an old sign at the base of the monument, in the front which warns of a $500 fine for anyone who screws around with the Memorial. The inscriptions reads:
General Robert E. Lee
Mounted on "Traveller"
The group represents various types who left civil occupations to join the Confederate Army. Left to right; a professional man, a mechanic, an artist, a boy, a business man, a farmer, a youth.
Dedicated June 6, 1917 Sculptor, F.W. Sievers
(Inscription across the base of Monument):
Virginia to her Sons at Gettysburg
The Virginia 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 tablet is designated as contributing structure number MN072-B.
From the nomination form:
Short Physical Description:
Equestrian statue of Gen Lee, 14' high, atop pedistal 13'7"x10'x14'. Grouping of 6 standing & 1 horseback figure, 8' high, on sculpted base, overall 18'x5'x16'. Overall Mn 41' high. Base inscribed in cut letters " Virginia to her Sons at Gettysburg."
Long Physical Description:
Monument is a bronze equestrian statue of General Robert E. Lee that is fourteen foot high atop a granite pedestal that is 13.7x10 foot and 14 feet high. There is a bronze group of six standing figures that are eight foot high and a mounted standard bearer on a sculptured bronze base that is 18x5 foot. The monument is inscribed "Virginia to her Sons at Gettysburg". Overall the monument is 41 feet high. Designed and sculptured by F. William Sievers. Associated with Monument are two War Dept Signs. The monument is located on the east side of West Confederate Avenue, near Spangler Woods.
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