Union Monuments at Gettysburg > Maryland

The monument to Company A of the Maryland Purnell Legion is east of Gettysburg on the East Cavalry Field. (East Cavalry Battlefield – south tour map) The State of Maryland dedicated the monument in 1890 .

The Purnell Legion Infantry is honored by a marker and monument at Antietam.

About the Legion

The “legion” was an organization used on both sides in the early part of the Civil War, and was conceived as a combined arms organization incorporating infantry, cavalry and artillery in one unit. The Purnell Legion consisted of nine companies of infantry, two companies of cavalry (A and B), and two batteries of light artillery.

As the war went on the legion concept did not fit well into the large armies that were forming. The legions on both sides were broken up and their components assigned to their respective arms. The Purnell Legion split up in February of 1862 .

Monument to Maryland's Purnell Legion at Gettyburg

The Purnell Legion Cavalry at Gettysburg

Captain Robert E. Duvall commanded the company at Gettysburg. It brought 78 men to the field and had no casualties. The company was temporarily attached to the Cavalry Corps, 2nd Division, 1st Brigade.

Company A was not technically part of the Army of the Potomac. At the start of Lee’s invasion it had been guarding the bridge over the Monocacy River outside of Frederick, Maryland with a section of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery. The detachment was retreating to the safety of the Baltimore garrison when they were almost snapped up by Stuart’s Cavalry raid in the rear of the Union army. They joined with McIntosh’s Cavalry Brigade when it passed by the next day, which brought them to the field outside Gettysburg.

Text from the front of the monument:

Co. A Purnell Legion
Maryland Cavalry

Maryland’s Tribute to her loyal sons.

Rear view of the monument to Maryland's Purnell Legion Cavalry on the Gettysburg battlefield

Rear view of the monument

Text from the rear of the monument:

This detached Company commanded by Capt. Robert E. Duvall,
served in the cavalry engagement on this flank, July 2nd and 3rd, 1863.
Organized at Pikesville Md.
Sept. Oct. and Nov. 1861
ustered out at Fort Monroe Va.
July 28, 1865

Location of the monument to the Purnell Legion at Gettysburg

The monument to the Purnell Legion (Maryland) Cavalry is east of Gettysburg on the East Cavalry Battlefield on the south side of Cavalry Field Road about 550 yards west of Low Dutch Road. (39°49’35.3″N 77°09’52.6″W)

See more on Maryland’s Purnell Legion Cavalry in the Civil War