Question of the Week: 9/19-9/25/16

Question-HeaderDo you have a favorite battlefield monument? Why is it special to you?

18 Responses to Question of the Week: 9/19-9/25/16

  1. My favorite monument would have to be the Parker’s Battery marker atop The Fredericksburg National Cemetery. It’s special to me because my great-great grandfather was in this battery and fought on that spot May 3, 1863, during the second battle of Fredericksburg.

  2. I L-O-V-E battlefield monuments and photo them everywhere!! I have a lot of favorites, but possibly the best is the North Carolina monument at Fox Gap, Maryland — it’s 300 feet off a small road, and unless you know where it is, you just don’t drive by and see it — the agony and pathos represented in the bronze is stunning — see it and my other photos at — and Ive got to mention the Armistead monument at The Angle, Gettysburg — leading from the front.

      1. I think about 1998 — I know of a website where you can order a five inch replica!!

  3. I always visit the monument and statue of Frances Barlow on Barlow’s Knoll in Gettysburg. Just like on July 1st, he looks so lonely. What was he thinking when he saw hordes of Gordon’s command coming through the woods and over the creek on July 1st and he watched helplessly as his Germans fought and then ran. Then, to be shot and given up for dead. I’ve never visited Gettysburg without going out to the lonely Knoll.

  4. 13th Vermont Infantry monument at Gettysburg. The figure depicted on the monument is Lt. Stephen Brown standing, clutching a sword in his left hand. the object barely visible behind his right foot is a camp hatchet. The original design that was insisted on by the surviving members of the 13th Vermont was of the camp hatchet in his hand.
    The story behind the monument is that the veterans of the 13th Vermont wanted to honor Lt. Brown for disobeying an order by the brigade commander that absolutely no one fall out on the forced march to Gettysburg. He enforced that order by placing guards at every source of water along the way. The soldier’s canteens were soon drained on the exhausting march and Lt. Brown knew that the men were suffering from dehydration. He collected as many canteens as he could carry and broke ranks at the next water source to fill the canteens. The posted guard took his name and passed it along to the brigade commander, George Stannard, whose statue is atop the 2nd Vermont Brigade monument on the tall pedestal to the left of the 13th’s. Brigadier General Stannard placed Lt. Brown under arrest, ordered him to surrender his sidearms including his sword and had it placed in the baggage train, and sent him to the rear of the column, relieving him from the duties of his rank.
    The 13th ultimately found themselves on Cemetery Ridge facing Pickett’s division approaching them on July 3rd. Needing every man to repulse the attack, the arrest order on Brown was lifted, but his sidearms were too far away for him to arm himself. He picked up a camp hatchet and entered the fray. He came up a Confederate officer in Kemper’s Brigade and, threatening him with the camp hatchet, made him give up his sword.
    When the veterans of the 13th decided on their regiment’s monument, they wanted to memorialize Lt. Brown’s compassion for the enlisted men of his regiment at the expense of his inviting his own punishment, and presented a model of the proposed monument with Brown standing with hatchet in hand. The Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments Commission rejected the statute of an officer who disobeyed orders, but the veterans came back with the hatchet at the Lieutenant’s feet and Confederate sword in hand. So today we see Lt. stephen Brown at Gettysburg immediately after relieving the Confederate Officer of his sword, dropping his hatchet and doing his duty leading his men in flanking Kemper’s Brigade on the far right of Pickett’s Division rendering their advance on Cemetery Ridge untenable.

  5. Because you didn’t specify just Civil War, I’d like to nominate one of the most moving inscriptions on any battlefield monument anywhere. This is from the British 2d Division monument at Kohima:

    When you go home
    Tell them of us, and say:
    For your tomorrow
    We gave our today.

  6. For Civil War monuments, I always stop by the U.S. Regular monument when I’m in Gettysburg. It is a modest yet impressive recognition to the United States Army soldiers who fought there.

  7. My personal favorite is the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Yes, I realize it’s not quite a Civil War monument, but instead a testimony to someone much bigger than the war (IMHO). (That said, without the war, Lincoln would have likely joined the long list of other forgotten 19th century presidents). The monument captures both the grandeur of the man and the country, but also a sense of intimacy from being so close to Lincoln and his words. (I also did my college homework on the backside facing Rosslyn, VA and its high rises, but that’s another issue.)

    If you drill down to something more specific to the Civil War, it’s got to be the Pennsylvania monument at Gettysburg. The monument itself doesn’t do much for me, but a few years ago my 6 year old daughter agreed to go to Gettysburg with me for a day trip. The weather was perfect and the monument was open, so we climbed to the roof, where you get a great view up and down Cemetery Ridge and across to Seminary Ridge. It made an impression on her, and I’ve never had trouble convincing her to go to a battlefield with me since. So, I owe the architect a debt of gratitude.

  8. Not exactly a battlefield monument, but a favorite of mine is the lone, unarmed, Confederate soldier ( at the intersection of Washington and Prince Streets in Alexandria, VA. The statue marks the location where units from Alexandria left to join the Confederate Army on May 24, 1861. He is standing, arms folded, hat in hand, with eyes pensively downcast facing the battlefields to the South where his comrades fell. We lived in Alexandria for many years and I commuted and drove by it almost every day. It never failed to move me.

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