The monument to Brigadier General Alexander Hays is south of Gettysburg at the north end of Hancock Avenue in Ziegler’s Woods. (39.816829° N, 77.234547° W; Google map; Monument map: Hancock Ave. at Ziegler’s Grove)
The monument is a bronze statue by J. Otto Schweitzer, one of seven statues by the Swiss-born sculptor on the Gettysburg battlefield.* It stands on a rough-hewn granite base with an inscribed bronze tablet on the front of the base.
Thee is a monument to Alexander Hays on the Wilderness Battlefield showing where he was killed leading his division on May 5, 1864.
From the tablet on the front of the monument:
Cadet U.S. Military Academy July 1, 1840.
Brevet Second Lieutenant 4th U.S. Infantry
July 1, 1844. Second Lieutenant 8th Infantry
June 18, 1846. Resigned April 12, 1848.
Captain 16th U.S. Infantry May 14, 1861.
Brevetted First Lieutenant U.S. Army May 9,
1846 “For gallant conduct in the Battles of
Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Texas.”
Major June 30, 1862 “For gallant and meritorious
service in the Battles of Fair Oaks, Peach
Orchard, and Glendale, Va.” Lieut. Colonel July
1, 1862 “For gallant and meritorious service
at the Battle of Malvern Hill, Va.” Colonel
July 2, 1863 “For gallant and meritorious
service at the Battle of Gettysburg, Pa.”
Brevetted Major General U.S. Volunteers May
5, 1864 “For gallant and distinguished conduct
at the Battles of the Peninsula, Gettysburg,
and the Wilderness.”
Born July 8, 1819 at Franklin, Pa.
Killed May 5, 1864 at the Battle of the
Alexander Hays was born on July 19, 1819, in Franklin, Pennsylvania. He graduated from West Point in 1844 and served in the Mexican War, receiving a brevet for gallantry.
He resigned from the army in 1848, joining the California gold rush before returning to Pennsylvania to become a construction engineer specializing in bridges.
With the outbreak of the war Hays became a captain in the 16th Pennsylvania and then a Colonel of the 63rd Pennsylvania. He received several brevets for gallantry and was promoted to brigade and then division command.
Hays was killed in the fighting in the Wilderness on May 5, 1864. Posthumously breveted Major General, he is buried in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburg.
*The other six statues by Schweitzer at Gettysburg are President Lincoln, David McM. Gregg and Alfred Pleasonton from the State of Pennsylvania Monument; William Wells on South Confederate Avenue, John Geary on Culp’s Hill and Andrew Humphreys on Emmitsburg Road.