“Ira Harris Guard”
The monument to the Sixth New York Cavalry is west of Gettysburg on Buford Avenue. (39.844572° N, 77.247159° W; Google map; Tour map: Buford Avenue) It was erected by the State of New York and dedicated on July 11, 1889 by Colonel W. L. Heermance.
About the monument to the 6th New York Cavalry
The front and back of the monument feature bronze reliefs by sculptor James E. Kelley, who also sculpted the statue of Brigadier General John Buford. The bronze was cast by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company of New York. The granite work was done by Frederick & Field of Quincy Mass. The imposing monument, over 25 feet high, cost $8,500, a sizeable sum at the time.
The monument was badly damaged by lightning in October of 2007, but has been completely restored.
The 6th New York Cavalry at Gettysburg
The 6th New York Cavalry was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Major William Elliott Beardsley while Colonel Thomas Devin commanded the brigade, the 2d Brigade, 1st Division Cavalry Corps. Half the regiment was detached on various assignments: Company A was assigned to 3rd Corps HQ, Companies D & K to 2nd Corps HQ, Company L to the 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd Brigade Provost Guard, and Companies F & H were at Yorktown, Virginia.
The regiment brought 407 men to the field, picketing the west side of Gettysburg on June 30 and holding back Confederate infantry until relieved by the Union First Army Corps on July 1st. It then shifted east to cover the York Road, eventually retiring to south of town near the Peach Orchard on Emmitsburg Road. The 6th New York Cavalry lost one killed, three wounded and eight missing.
From the front of the monument:
6th New York Cavalry
Ira Harris Guard
From the rear:
Regiment organized in New York City. Mustered into service September, 1861. Re-enlisted as Veteran Volunteers at Culpeper Court House, Va. Dec. 16, 1863. Mustered out of service June 17, 1865. Total number enlisted 1969. Total casualties, officers 34, men 382.
Barnett’s Ford, Seven Pines, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Frederick, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Brandy Station, Aldie, Upperville, Gettysburg, Boonsboro, Williamsport, Culpeper Court House, Mine Run, Morton’s Ford, Wilderness, Todd’s Tavern, Spottsylvania, Yellow Tavern, Sheridan’s Raid Around Richmond, Hawe’s Shop, Cold Harbor, Trevillian Station, White House, Deep Bottom, Shepherdstown, Front Royal, Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek, Dinwiddie C.H., Apomattox Station
and 46 other battles and skirmishes.
Regiment at Gettysburg
Arrived June 30, 1863. July 1st skirmished dismounted, on this line until arrival of 1st Corps and the rest of the day on right of the York Road, then retired to Cemetery Hill, one squadron being among the last Union troops in Gettysburg on that day. Bivouacked in Peach Orchard that night, and engaged enemy’s skirmishers on the morning of July 2 until relieved by troops of the 3rd Corps. Then moved to Taneytown and on the third to Westminster, from which place moved with the Division (Buford’s) in pursuit of the enemy, met and engaged them July 8th at Boonsboro, Md., holding that position.
killed 1, wounded 5, missing 16, total 22.
Thomas C. Devin
6th New York Cavalry
See more about the 6th New York Volunteer Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War.