(back to list)

Enduring Pathway: History of Soldiers' National Monument

This monument honors the fallen Union soldiers of the Battle of Gettysburg and tells an allegory of "peace and plenty under freedom … following a heroic struggle.” It is the first monument constructed on the battlefield.

The cornerstone was laid on July 4th, 1865. A dedication ceremony was held on July 1st , 1869. It included a prayer by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, followed by an address by Gen. George G. Meade, oration by Senator Oliver P. Morton, and a poem by Bayard Taylor.

James Goodwin Batterson and George W. Keller provided the design of the monument: a granite memorial with a column rising from a four-cornered pedestal with five statues sculptured by Randolph Rogers.

The statue “Genius of Liberty” stands atop the 60-foot column. Mourning the dead, she holds a sword in one hand and the wreath of peace in the other, representing the constant struggle for freedom. Eighteen bronze stars, one for each state whose citizens fought in the Union army, encircle the upper portion of the column.

At the sides of the pedestal are four marble statues:
• War - represented by the American Civil War soldier who recounts the story of the battle to Clio.
• Clio, the “Muse of History” - represented by the woman writing upon the tablet. Clio records, with stylus and tablet, the achievements of the battle and the names of the honored dead.
• Peace – represented by the man in work clothes holding a mallet in his right hand and a cogwheel at his feet.
• Plenty - represented by the woman holding a sheaf of wheat and the fruits of the earth that typify peace and abundance as the soldier's crowning triumph.

The monument is notable as being near the location of the dais of the dedication ceremony where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)3 Organization
P. O. Box 3372, Gettysburg, PA  17325

Email:  lincolnfellowshipofpa@gmail.com

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software