Statues, and Gettysburg

We’ve visited the Gettysburg Battlefield several times in the past two years, and one thing that always amazes me is the sculpture. There are statues of soldiers and bas-reliefs and symbolic figures everywhere; it’s like traveling through a grimmer-than-usual sculpture garden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor some reason, I’m always startled by this statue of William Wells of the Vermont Cavalry (a soldier I had never heard of until I saw him here on Big Round Top) striding out of the woods. At the time of the battle, he was a twenty-six year old major; only two years later, he was a general. That probably tells us something about the horrifying death rate back then, but he must have been a capable officer as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt any rate, rest in peace, William Wells; you did your job and helped put your country back together.

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3 responses to “Statues, and Gettysburg

  1. How amazing! Especially if you have never been to see them. Recently my daughter and i went to see the Titanic Exhibition in Liverpool and i was marked with a deep sadness for all that loss of life when sitting in front on full length wall plaques with every person’s name on it and whether they lived or was lost.

    • Reading that list of names must be heartbreaking! Some of the Gettysburg monuments, the ones put up by a specific regiment, are sort of similar – they list how many men were wounded, how many were killed, and so on. You can sense that they were planned by survivors who couldn’t forget the friends and neighbors they lost in those awful three days.

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