“Rush’s Lancers”

There are two monuments and a position marker for the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment on the Gettysburg battlefield.

The main monument was erected by the State of Pennsylvania in 1888 on Emmitsburg Road on the South Cavalry Battlefield. It stands at the location of the regiment’s skirmish line on July 3rd, the farthest advance north of the Reserve Brigade in their attack on Lee’s flank after Pickett’s Charge. (39.779537° N, 77.26068° W; Google maps to all three monuments)

A position marker  about a third of a mile southwest of the Emmitsburg Road monument shows the location of the regiment’s left flank on July 3. (39.777113° N, 77.264928° W)

A monument to Companies E & I, who were assigned as escort to Army Headquarters, is near General Meade’s Headquarters at the Leister House(39.81461° N, 77.23213° W; Tour map: Taneytown Road)

The regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Major James H. Haseltine and was part of the Reserve Brigade of the 1st Division of the Cavalry Corps. The detachment of Companies E & I to Army Headquarters was commanded by Captain Emlen Carpenter.

The regiment’s nickname came from being the only cavalry unit in the war armed with lances, which are depicted on the Emmitsburg Road monument. It was an idea that proved impractical in the tangled forests of Northern Virginia, and the lances had been discarded by July of 1863.

Monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Gettysburg

From the monument:

6th Penna. Cavly.
Lancers
Reserve Brigade 1st Division Cavalry Corps
Army of the Potomac

Center base:

Gettysburg
July 3 1863.
Number engaged 365,
killed 3 wounded 7 missing 2.

Right base:

Mustered in Oct. 31st 1861.

Left base:

Mustered out June 17, 1865.

Flank marker for the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry on the South Cavalry Field at Gettysburg

Flank marker on the South Cavalry Field

The flank marker on the South Cavalry Field reads:

6th P. C. Left

Monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Gettysburg

From the front of the monument near Meade’s HQ:

Co’s E & I
6th Penna. Cavalry
“Lancers”
Reserve Brigade1st Div. Cavalry Corps
On duty as escort to Maj. Gen’l. George G. Meade
Com’dg Army of the Potomac
Erected by the survivors of the Regiment

From the rear:

The main body of this regiment during the 3d day of the battle were actively engaged on the extreme left flank of the Army on the  Emmittsburg Pike, where a monument has been erected commemorating their services. Four companies were specially detailed byGen. Geo. G. Meade for  “hazardous duty in the rear of Lee’s Army.”

See more on the Sixth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry Regiment in the Civil War

 

Recommended Reading

Rush’s Lancers:
The Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry
in the Civil War

by Eric J. Wittenberg