The First Shot for the Battle of Gettysburg Marker is on Chambersburg Pike (US 30) at Knoxlyn Road, three miles west of Gettysburg. The monument is on the north side of U.S. 30 next to a private residence.(39.850964° N, 77.280727° W; Google map)

The First Shot at Gettysburg marker

There are several claims as to which Union soldier fired the first shot at the Battle of Gettysburg. Three men from the 8th Illinois Cavalry felt their claim was strong enough to erect their own monument.

Lieutenant (later Captain) Marcellus Jones’ Company E of the 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment was picketing the Chambersburg Pike at this location on the morning of July 1 when he saw a strong force of Confederate infantry begin to cross Marsh Creek about a half mile to the west. Jones borrowed a carbine from Sergeant Levi S. Shafer and fired a single shot at a mounted officer, who might have been Colonel Birkett Fry of the 13th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Jones apparently missed.

In 1886, Jones, Shafer and Riddler had the five-foot limestone shaft hewn in a Naperville quarry and brought it the 600 miles to Gettysburg, erecting it on land purchased from the owner of the house which still stands behind it.

Jones’ first shot claim ignited a controversy that raged for years, primarily with the 9th New York Cavalry.

Front of the The First Shot at Gettysburg marker

From the front (south) side of the monument:

First shot
Gettysburg
July 1st 1863
7:30 a.m

Left side of the The First Shot at Gettysburg marker

From the west side:

By
Capt. Jones,
Lieut  Riddler,
Sergt. Shafer

Right side of the The First Shot at Gettysburg marker

From the east side:

Fired by Cap. Jones
with  Sergt. Shafer’s carbine.
Co. E 8th Ills. Cavalry.

Rear view of the The First Shot at Gettysburg marker

From the north side:

Erected
1886