Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Triumphant Return of the 114th Pennsylvania

the 114th PA Monument

The remounting of restored 114th PA Monument
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The least damaged of the recently vandalized monuments once again stands proudly back where it belongs. The United States National Park Service, showing their commitment to a quick but thorough restoration, has remounted the bronze statue of a 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Zouave Soldier on its pedestal where it once again will watch over the fields its men helped to defend on July 2, 1863. The 114th Pennsylvania fought with the Union Army's 3rd Corps under the command of Major General Daniel Sickles on the 2nd day of the Battle of Gettysburg. During this struggle, 9 men of the 114th lost their lives with 86 wounded and 60 captured.

The vandalized 114th PA Monument

The damaged 114th PA monument just 1 month ago.
Courtesy of the Gettysburg National Military Park.

As reported last month, vandals severely damaged three of the parks priceless monuments during a spree of pointless seemingly random destruction. The two other monuments, those to the 11th Massachusetts Infantry and the 4th New York Artillery, may take years to restore. The thoughtless thieves stole the arm and sword from the 11th Massachusetts and the head and rammer from the bronze statue atop the 4th New York. They also dragged artilleryman's statue behind their car some 160 feet causing severe damage.

During the battle's bloodiest day, the 11th Massachusetts lost 23 men killed and 96 men wounded. The 4th New York Artillery suffered 2 men killed and 10 wounded in their defense of the Devil's Den.

A recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that, since the monuments were each over 100 years old, the Archeological Resources Protection Act dictates that the criminals, when caught, will face felony charges and possible 10 year prison sentence.



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Pictures courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Gettysburg National Military Park

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