The Virginia monument was the first of the Confederate State monuments at Gettysburg. It was dedicated on June 8, 1917 and unveiled by Miss Virginia Carter, a niece of Robert E Lee.
It is the largest of the Confederate monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield, a fitting tribute for the state that provided the largest contingent to the Army of Northern Virginia, its commander, and its name. Lee’s figure, topping the monument astride his favorite horse, Traveler, was created by sculptor Frederick Sievers from photographs and life masks of the general. He even went to Lexington, Virginia to study Traveler’s skeleton, preserved at Washington and Lee University.
The monument stands 41 feet high. The statue of Lee and Traveler stands 14 feet high. The total cost of the monument was $50,000.
Virginia contributed over 19,000 men to the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg, the largest contingent from the twelve Confederate states. Almost 4,500 of these – almost 1 out of 4 – became casualties, the second highest state total (see the States at Gettysburg).
From the monument:
Virginia to her sons at Gettysburg
Below Lee as he studies the distant Union lines are seven Confederate soldiers. According to the marker at the base of the monument:
The group represents various types who left civil occupations to join the Confederate Army. Left to right;
a professional man, a mechanic, an artist, a boy, a business man, a farmer, a youth.