The Pennsylvania State Memorial Monument is the Largest Monument at Gettysburg

Appropriately, the largest monument on the Gettysburg battlefield honors the soldiers of Pennsylvania who defended their home state in that July 1-3, 1863 battle. Situated on Cemetery Ridge, the Pennsylvania State Monument is 110 feet high as measured to the tip of the sword of the 21 foot tall statue of the Goddess of Victory and Peace (cast from bronze of melted down cannons) on the top.

Pennsylvania State Monument, Gettysburg NMP

The granite monument itself is a square pedestal with four corner towers joined by arches. Two statues of prominent individuals are located on the exterior of each corner. Two of these are Abraham Lincoln and Pennsylvania wartime governor Andrew Curtin. The other six are generals who were Pennsylvania natives or had other ties to the state and participated in the Gettysburg Campaign. These generals were George Meade, John F. Reynolds (killed in action on July 1st), Winfield Scott Hancock, David McMurtrie Gregg, Alfred Pleasanton, and David B. Birney. Each arch is topped by a bas relief honoring the infantry, cavalry, artillery, and the signal corps.

But it’s not just the generals who are recognized on the monument. There were over 34,500 soldiers in 69 infantry regiments, nine cavalry regiments, and seven artillery batteries from Pennsylvania present at the battle. Each unit has a bronze tablet with a roster by company of its members. The names of those who were killed or mortally wounded in the campaign have stars next to their names. These tablets are around the base and in the inside of the monument.

The Pennsylvania State Memorial Monument was dedicated in 1910, and although the final touches were not completed until 1914, it was mostly finished in time for the big 1913 50th anniversary commemoration of the battle.

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