General Custer Monument - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 49.569 W 077° 09.919
18S E 314693 N 4410705
Quick Description: This is a beautiful, larger than life, statue of Genera Custer hoisted high above a decorative column. Beneath, at the base, are the records of his exploits & the Michigan Cavalry Brigade he led at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1 - July 3, 1863.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 4/27/2011 2:43:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMBAT7
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Henki
Views: 7

Long Description:

The Smithsonian page describes the monument as a standing portrait of George A. Custer with his proper right hand on his chests is installed atop an elaborate and very tall base adorned with columns, horse heads, and bronze plaques. The front of the base features a circular niche with a bronze bust of George A. Custer and a rectangular bronze relief depicting a cavalry battle. The relief is very detailed and certainly one of the more memorable features of this elaborate memorial. The monument was erected on June 12, 1889 and was fabricated by the Ryegate Granite Company.

If traveling southeast on Cavalry Field Road, look to the right or south and you'll see an unpaved dirt road which is no longer used for vehicles. Next to it is a tablet for the same brigade and a cast iron road sign for Custer Ave. You'll see the monument as far away as a half mile. The monument is 1 of 9 Civil War Monuments to Michigan of the GBMA Era (1863-1895). Indicates general field of battle for Custer's Michigan Cavalry Regiments Nos. 1,5,6,7. It was extremely muddy when I visited so bring boots if it rained that day or the day before. There is no adequate drainage.

The 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiments were also known as The Wolverine Brigade. During the battle of Gettysburg, it served as a member of Custer’s Brigade in Kilpatrick’s Division of the Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac. The 1st, 5th, and 6th were Fighting 300 Regiment. Brig. Gen. George A. Custer commanded the Brigade. Regimental Commanders were Colonel Charles Town (1828-1865) (1st), Colonel Russell A. Alger (1836-1907) (5th), Colonel George Gray (6th), and Colonel William D’Alton Mann (1839-1920) (7th).

The Michigan Brigade 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 tablet is classified as Structure Number MN384.

From the nomination form:

Short Physical Description:

Mn base 4 part 11'5"sq, first 2 parts rough-cut w/ tooled edge, 2 smooth cut. 3 part columned shaft, bronze medallions, incised inscriptions, top columns w/horse head capitals. Top: statue of cavalryman. All 31'6"H.

Long Physical Description:

Monument is a three-part columned granite shaft topped by a statue of a cavalryman and set on a 11.5 foot square, four-part base of which the first two parts are rough cut with tooled edges and the last two parts are smooth cut. The shaft has bronze medallions, incised inscriptions, and horse head capitals on top of the columns. Overall height is 31.6 feet. Located on the south side of Gregg Ave (Custer Avenue) at East Cavalry Field.

The inscription of the monument reads:

(Left Face):

This monument
marks the field where the
Michigan Cavalry Brigade
under its gallant leader
General George A. Custer
rendered signal and distinguished
service in assisting to defeat the
further advance of a numerically
superior force under the Confederate
General J.E.B. Stuart, who in
conjunction with Pickett's charge
upon the centre, attempted to turn
the right flank of the Union
army at that critical hour of
conflict upon the afternoon of
July 3rd 1863.
Field held from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

1st Mich. - Killed 10 men. Wounded 6 officers, 37 men. Missing 20 men.
5th Mich. - Killed 1 officer, 7 men. Wounded 1 officer, 29 men. Missing 18 men.
6th Mich. - Killed 1 man. Wounded 2 officers, 24 men. Missing 1 man.
7th Mich. - Killed 13 men. Wounded 4 officers, 44 men. Missing 39 men.
Total casualties 257.

(Back Face):
First Michigan Cavalry

Mustered in at Detroit,
Sept. 13, 1861. Mustered out at
Salt Lake City, Utah, Mar. 10, 1866
Total enrollment 3244 officers and men.
Killed 10 officers, 92 men.
Died of wounds 5 officers, 46 men.
Died of disease 5 officers, 246 men.
Participated in 67 skirmishes
and general engagements from
Winchester, Va. Mar. 23, 1862, to
Appomattox, Va. April 9, 1865.

Fifth Michigan Cavalry
Mustered in at Detroit, Mich.
August 30, 1862. Mustered out at
Fort Leavenworth, Kas. June 22, 1865.
Total enrollment 1198 officers and men.
Killed 4 officers, 94 men.
Died of wounds 1 officer, 23 men.
Died of disease 3 officers, 23 men.
Total casualties 358.
Participated in 56 skirmishes
and general engagements from
Hanover, Pa. June 30, 1863, to
Appomattox, Va. April 9, 1865.
(Right Face):
Sixth Michigan Cavalry
Mustered in at Grand Rapids, Mich.
Oct. 13, 1862. Mustered out at
Fort Leavenworth, Kas. Nov. 24, 1865.
Total enrollment 1624 officers and men
Killed 7 officers, 95 men.
Wounded 18 men.
Died of disease 266 men.
Total casualties 386
Participated in 59 skirmishes
and general engagements from
Hanover, Pa June 30, 1863 to
Appomattox, Va. April 9, 1865.

Seventh Michigan Cavalry
mustered in at Grand Rapids, Mich.
Jan 16, 1863. Mustered out at
Fort Levenworth, Kas. Dec. 15, 1865
Total enrollment 1779 officers and men
Killed 2 officers, 47 men.
Died of wounds 2 officers, 24 men.
Died of disease 1 officer, 246 men.
Total casualties 322.
Participated in 56 skirmishes
and general engagements from
Hanover, June 30, 1863 to
Appomattox, Va. April 9, 1865.

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

Union or Confederacy: Union - North

General's Name: George Armstrong Custer

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