Friday, June 20, 2008
My favorite monument of the entire Gettysburg Campaign...
...is that honoring the 1st Pa. Cavalry. Located on Hancock Ave., not far from the Angle and the Copse of Trees, it shows a kneeling Cavalry trooper, with a Sharp's carbine at the ready and a look of determination on his face. A man, Pvt. Joseph Lindemuth from Co. L of the unit was used as a model for the monument. Sculpted by H.J. Ellicott, it initially cost $1500 and was dedicated in 1890.
Ok, so there are hundreds of monuments, hundreds of different sculptures on the field and in the surrounding area, so why this one?
Why this one, indeed? I don't know really. It has something to do with 'his look'. The sculptor got it right. He looks so real that sometimes, I almost expect him to step of the base, to walk around, and to talk to those of us nearby.
Several emotions are captured in his facial features (the photos don't do it the justice it deserves. It must be seen to be truly appreciated!).
He has a look of concern. He's obviously worried about the coming onslaught and possibly in a bit of fear about what the future may bring. If the Confederate assault breaks through, life as he knows it will change drastically.
He also has a look of fierce determination, a look that says that no matter what happens, he will hold his ground and do his duty. What more can one expect? He may be moved from his position, but not without putting up a heck of a fight first!
I was explaining this to Lori a few weeks back. I think that this sculpture summarizes life in general. Be aware of the present while at the same time, look toward the future. Look with a bit of concern, though, because we never can be truly certain of what's coming. Let's be ready for it! At the same time, have the determination that no matter what happens, be prepared to deal with it. Take it all, good or bad, but take it nonetheless, and win.
That is what this monument means to me. In the area while I now live, there was a lot of concern, a lot of changing fortunes, and a lot of dealing with a future the men involved had no control over. The boys did it then and prevailed. How can we be expected to do any less?