Battlefield Preservation: Theft of Swords

National Park Service
Gettysburg National Military Park
97 Taneytown Road
Gettysburg, PA, 17325
717/334-1124 phone
717/ 334-1891 fax


Gettysburg Park News Release
For Release: January 21, 2005
Contact: Katie Lawhon
Phone: 717/ 334-1124 x 452

Update February 2006: According to the National Park Service, the culprits who stole the swords from the monuments mentioned below remain at large.

Update June 2005: According to the United States National Park Service, neither sword stolen earlier this year from two separate monuments has been recovered. In a June 13, 2005 e-mail, Katie Lawhon of the National Park Service was kind enough to report, "No we never recovered the two stolen swords, or arrested anyone in connection with the thefts.  On the bright side, 5th graders from Dalmatia Elementary in Dalmatia, Pa., just donated $1000 to replace the Hay sword and we should have it fabricated and reinstalled sometime within a year."

January 2005: The United States National Park Service is currently investigating two separate incidents of the theft of bronze swords removed and stolen from monuments on the historic grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park Battlefield. On January 20, 2005, Gettysburg National Military Park officials discovered that a bronze sword was stolen from the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry monument on Pleasonton Avenue, which joins the Taneytown Road and Hancock Avenue near the Pennsylvania Memorial. The Park Service believes that the theft occurred sometime between Jan 17 and Jan 19, 2005.

Previously, another bronze sword was stolen from the monument honoring Brigadier General Alexander Hays situated in Ziegler's grove, near the Cyclorama parking area, along the ground he helped to successfully defend on July 3, 1863. This theft was reported on September 15, 2004.

The total estimate to replace the swords and repairs the damage is $4200 -$1200 for Hays and $3000 for the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Anyone with information should call Gettysburg National Military Park at 717-334-0909.  The Adams County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of $1000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

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