Battlefield Preservation: Acts of Desecration

February 2006: A sad day indeed. Sometime between the night of February 15th and the morning of the 16th, vandals desecrated and permanently damaged three sacred monuments on the fields of Gettysburg. The National Park Service issued a press release as follows:

National Park Service Asks Public for Information.

Gettysburg National Military Park is looking for information related to the vandalism of Civil War monuments on the Gettysburg Battlefield damaged during the night of February 15, 2006 or the early morning hours of February 16, 2006. Vandals pulled the top stone and sculpture off of the 11th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Monument, dedicated on October 8, 1885. The 11th Massachusetts monument is located on Emmitsburg Road at the intersection of Sickles Avenue. Vandals pulled down the bronze sculpture of a Zouave infantryman from the pedestal of the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Monument, dedicated on July 2, 1886, located at the Sherfy house on Emmitsburg Road. The figure landed on a decorative iron fence that was also damaged.

Vandals also pulled the bronze sculpture of a Civil War Artilleryman from the monument to Smith's battery, also known as the 4th New York battery, located on Devil's Den. The Smith's battery monument was dedicated July 2, 1888.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the National Park Service at 717/ 334-0909. Anyone with any information is asked to call the National Park Service at 717/ 334-0909.

Contact Information
Katie Lawhon | (717) 334-1124
Laurie Gantz | (717) 334-0909

Images of the vandalized monuments, courtesy of the US National Park Service.


Damaged statue of a Zouave Soldier from the top of the
114th Pennsylvania Monument along the Emmitsburg Road.

Restoring the monument to its rightful place.

The 4th New York battery monument with the statue missing.
You can see the hole in the macadam where the head hit the pavement.

The now headless statue of an artilleryman from the pedestal of
Smith's 4th New York Battery Monument.
Taken by the vandals, officials remain doubtful that the head will be recovered.

The permanently damaged monument to the 11th Massachusetts Infantry.

Remains of the fingers that had proudly held the sword atop the
11th Massachusetts monument.