Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pillars of Stone: Antietam's Tallest Monuments

There are many beautiful monuments located on Antietam National Battlefield. Some of the most picturesque however are the tall, mostly granite monoliths that reach toward the Western Maryland sky.  Two of these stone sentinels are state monuments, two others honor specific regiments.  Three are located on the northern end of the field while the fourth stands proud south of the historic town of Sharpsburg.

                         Philadelphia Brigade Monument

The Philadelphia Brigade Monument is the tallest monument on Antietam National Battlefield. Made of granite quarried in Barre,Vermont the 73 feet tall obelisk was dedicated September 17, 1896.  It stands on top of a four tiered base in Philadelphia Brigade Park, west of the Hagerstown Pike.  The monument honors the 69th, 71st, 72nd and 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiments.

                         9th New York (Hawkins Zouave) Monument

The 52 feet tall 9th New York Monument, also called the Hawkins Zouave Monument, is on high ground southeast of Sharpsburg.  The monument was dedicated May  29, 1897.  It was erected where the 9th New York and other regiments of the Union 9th Corps made their last stand on the left of the Union line.  The monument is made of a  40 foot long, single piece of Barre granite.  The obelisk is 4.5 feet square at the base, tapering to 3.5 feet at the top.  

                         Indiana State Monument (NPS photo)

The Indiana State Monument, which was dedicated September 17, 1910, stands at the intersection of the Hagerstown Pike and Cornfield Avenue.  It honors the four infantry (7th, 14th, 19th & 27 Indiana Volunteer Infantry) and one cavalry (3rd Indiana Cavalry) regiment from Indiana that fought at Antietam.  The 50 foot tall Barre granite monument was designed by architect John R. Lowe of Indianapolis.  It was constructed and erected at a cost of $10,000 by J. N. Forbes Granite Company of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  The 22 foot square monument base is topped by a four sided 35 foot tall shaft which tapers from 3' 6" at the base to 2' 6" at the top.

                             New York State Monument

The New York State Monument, which stands near the Visitors Center, was erected in 1919 and dedicated September 17, 1920.  The monument, built at a cost of $30,000, is a 30 foot tall doric column topped by an eagle, that stands on a 36 foot square pedestal on a tiered base.  The monument honors the 3,765 officers and soldiers from New York's 5 cavalry regiments, 13 artillery batteries, 2 engineering regiments and 66 infantry regiments who were killed, wounded, captured or missing during the Battle of Antietam.

For future reading see "Indiana at Antietam", Indianapolis, Indiana 1911 and"Remembering the Dead" New York Times May 30, 1897.