Pennsylvania State Memorial, Gettysburg

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Pennsylvania State Memorial
Pennsylvania Monument[1]:69
Gettysburg Battlefield (3440826067).jpg
Coordinates39°48′27.32″N 77°14′6.55″W / 39.8075889°N 77.2351528°W / 39.8075889; -77.2351528Coordinates: 39°48′27.32″N 77°14′6.55″W / 39.8075889°N 77.2351528°W / 39.8075889; -77.2351528
LocationGettysburg National Military Park
DesignerW. Liance Cottrell (Architect)
Samuel Murray (Sculptor)
Completion date1914
Opening dateSeptember 27, 1910

The Pennsylvania State Memorial[2] is a monument in Gettysburg National Military Park that commemorates the 34,530 Pennsylvania soldiers who fought in the July 1 to 3, 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. The memorial stands along Cemetery Ridge, the Union battle line on July 2, 1863.[3] Completed in 1914, it is the largest of the state monuments on the Gettysburg Battlefield.[4]

History[edit]

Cottrell & Murray's plaster model, circa 1909.

In the 1880s, Senator Andrew G. Curtin, who had served as Pennsylvania's governor during the Civil War, advocated for a "Pennsylvania Memorial Hall" to be built atop Little Round Top.[5] The 60 ft (18 m)-square hall would display "a treasury of trophies and mementos of all the Pennsylvania regiments that fought at Gettysburg."[6] The proposed building was included in an 1889 state appropriations bill, that was vetoed by Governor James A. Beaver.[7]

Eighteen years later, the Pennsylvania Legislature appropriated $150,000 for construction of a state memorial, and the current site was announced in February 1909.[8] The design competition for the commission was won by the entry of New York architect W. Liance Cottrell and Philadelphia sculptor Samuel Murray.[2] The building was to be completed by July 1, 1910.[9]

Humphreys Avenue, along the east side of the memorial, was not surveyed until 1911, so materials were delivered by railroad, via the Round Top Branch to nearby Hancock Station.[10]

The memorial was unfinished when it was dedicated on September 27, 1910, and the project was out of money. An additional state appropriation of $40,000 was approved in 1911.[10] The new completion date was set for July 1, 1913 – the 50th anniversary of the battle. The portrait statues were installed in April 1913,[1]:69 and the memorial was rededicated on July 4, 1913. A bronze tablet listing the names of 945 additional Pennsylvania veterans completed the memorial in 1914.[4]

Description[edit]

The memorial features a square, granite pedestal (terrace) – 100 feet on each side – with bronze tablets on its exterior face that list the names of the 34,530 Pennsylvania soldiers who fought in the battle.[1] Set upon the pedestal is the granite pavilion, which consists of 4 corner towers linked by arches that form an arcus quadrifrons, or 4-sided triumphal arch.[1]:38 Engaged Ionic columns at the corners and flanking the arches form niches for the 8 portrait statues.[4] The pavilion is topped by a granite dome. Between the parapet and the dome's base is an observation deck, accessed by a spiral staircase in the northwest corner tower. Under the pavilion is an undercroft or vaulted cellar.[4] The memorial's entrance is on the west (Hancock Avenue) side, where a wide flight of steps rises to the pedestal's terrace. Half-flights rise beneath each arch into the pavilion's central hall.[11]

A bronze Nike figure, the Goddess of Victory and Peace, crowns the podium atop the dome. She holds a sword in one hand and a palm branch, a symbol of victory through peace, in the other. In a gesture to the Biblical passage "they shall beat their swords into plowshares," the bronze used to cast the Nike came from melted-down cannons.[12] Above the arches are spandrel bas-reliefs of winged goddesses, and above the cornice is a parapet with a bas-relief panel on each side that depicts the Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry and Signal Corps. Larger-than-life bronze statues of President Abraham Lincoln and other prominent Civil War figures flank the arches. Above them are bas-relief shields and laurel wreaths. The names of important figures in the battle are inscribed across the pavilion's frieze and on its interior.

Sculpture[edit]

Goddess of Victory and Peace by Samuel Murray.

Architectural sculpture[edit]

  • 4 white marble parapet bas-relief panels:
    • Artillery (1909–10) by Samuel Murray, north parapet.
    • Cavalry (1909–10) by Samuel Murray, south parapet.
    • Infantry (1909–10) by Samuel Murray, west parapet. Pennsylvania Bucktails of Stone's Brigade at the McPherson Farm.[14]
    • Signal Corps (1909–10) by Samuel Murray, east parapet.
  • Attendants to Victory, 8 white marble bas-relief goddess figures (1909–10) by Samuel Murray, a pair in the spandrels above each arch.
  • 8 white marble Shield & Laurel Wreath bas-reliefs (1909–10) by Samuel Murray, one in the niche above each portrait statue.

Regimental memorials[edit]

The perimeter wall features 75 bronze plaques memorializing Pennsylvania units during the war.

Maintenance[edit]

In 1921, the dome was lined with steel and sealed by William D. Gilbert and James Weikert [2] and in 1929, the monument's copper was relined and defective woodwork was replaced.[10]:'30 The nearby comfort station was completed in 1933 as the first "Gettysburg Parkitecture" structure[15] using Gettysburg granite as in native colonial structures. A 1941 memorial bench [3] of marble in front of the monument was broken by "unknown culprits" in 1952,[4] and a marble bench was smashed in 1994.[5]

Images[edit]

External images
Photograph during construction
Google Maps overhead view

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Beitler, Lewis Eugene (editor and compiler) (December 31, 1913). Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg: Report of the Pennsylvania Commission (Google Books) (Report). Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Wm. Stanley Bay (state printer). p. 173. Retrieved 2012-04-06. "The Name of Every Pennsylvania Soldier Who Fought at Gettysburg is Recorded on These Bronze Tablets Adorning Her Memorial Monument. (p. 22b)
  2. ^ a b "The Pennsylvania State Memorial". List of Classified Structures: GETT p. 20. National Park Service. Retrieved 2011-02-03. Monument is a four-sided raised granite pedestal with bronze tablets listing Pennsylvania soldiers and set on a 100 foot square base. It has arched central passages to the domed interior. … Double bronze statues are located in niches on all four sides. Four oversized granite reliefs adorn the upper observation deck parapet walls. External link in |work= (help)
  3. ^ "Touring the Battlefield" (PDF) (Map). Plan Your Visit. Cartography by NPS.gov. Retrieved 2011-02-03. Union artillery held the line alone [near the site of the Pennsylvania Memorial] on Cemetery Ridge late in the [2nd] day as Meade called for infantry from Culp's Hill and other areas to strengthen and hold the center of the Union position.
  4. ^ a b c d "Pennsylvania Memorial" (west-facing of 4 interpretive panels [HMdb.org transcription]). Gettysburg interpretive panels. FriendsofGettysburg.org. after "1998". Retrieved 2012-04-05. Check date values in: |date= (help); External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "Pennsylvania Monument" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Compiler. August 17, 1910. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
  6. ^ Nicholson, John Page (1904). Pennsylvania at Gettysburg (Google Books). pp. 87, 90. Retrieved 2011-03-12.
  7. ^ "Pennsylvania Day: Great Crowds & Miserable Weather" (Google News Archive). The Star and Sentinel. September 17, 1889. Retrieved 2012-04-05. One of the most interesting reunions was that of the Pennsylvania Reserves in the pavilion at Round Top Park.
  8. ^ "Commission Selects Site,"The Gettysburg Times February 25, 1909.
  9. ^ "Work to Start Immediately," The Gettysburg Times, May 9, 1909.
  10. ^ a b c "The Gettysburg Commission Reports" (weblist with transcribed versions: 1893–1921, 1927–1933). Gettysburg Discussion Group. Retrieved 2010-02-04. (original formats: 1895, '96, '97, '98, 1901-4, '09, '13, '18)
  11. ^ The Pennsylvania State Memorial, from National Park Service.
  12. ^ Loski, Diana. "The Pennsylvania Memorial: A Centennial". GettysburgExperience.com. Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  13. ^ Goddess of Victory and Peace, from SIRIS.
  14. ^ James D. Ristine, Gettysburg: Vintage Postcard Views of America's Greatest Battlefield, Arcadia Publishing, 1999.[1]
  15. ^ "New Comfort Station to be Built on Field" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times. May 5, 1933. Retrieved 2011-04-11.