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Monument to the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry

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1888, Frank Furness. Emmitsburg Rd., just south of the Park border, 0.6 miles south of Ridge Rd.
  • Monument to the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry (© George E. Thomas)
  • Monument southeast of Cyclorama (© George E. Thomas)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

Frank Furness served from Bull Run through the Virginia campaign, during which time he rose to captain and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous valor in carrying ammunition to an exposed outpost across an open battlefield at Trevilian Station, Virginia. The Lancers were conceived by General George McClellan as a throwback to the age of chivalry carrying into battle steeltipped lances from which fluttered bloodred pennants. One charge early in the war ended that nonsense in favor of sabers and carbines, but the troop continued to hold on to their identity by placing a stand of lances at their bivouac and carrying lances in review throughout the war. To memorialize his troop's position during the battle, Furness designed a six-sided granite pier (presumably a reference to the Sixth Cavalry) to which he attached life-sized lances cast in bronze on each of the six faces. With the pennants fluttering bravely even on a windless day, this monument captures the waiting that was at the heart of every engagement. One can readily imagine standing where Furness must have stood for the dedication of his monument. A second, simpler, six-sided stone is in the South Cavalry field across the road and a third, perhaps also by Furness, stands just to the southeast of the former Visitor Center and Cyclorama (AD6.4) in the vicinity of Meade's headquarters. It designates the location of a detachment from the regiment, among them General George Meade's son, who had the task of guarding the commander in chief. Like the first two monuments, it is six-sided but smooth, and rises to a tapered top. It is marked with crossed sabers and a plaque that declares that it was “erected by the survivors of the regiment.”

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas

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