Union monuments at Gettysburg > New York > Cavalry

“Ira Harris Guard”

The monument to the Sixth New York Volunteer Cavalry Regiment is west of Gettysburg on Buford Avenue. (Buford Avenue tour map) It was erected by the State of New York and dedicated on July 11, 1889 by Colonel W. L. Heermance.

Monument to the 6th new York Cavalry at Gettysburg

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

2d Brigade, 1st Division Cavalry Corps

Bronze tablet from the rear of the monument to the 6th New York Cavalry at Gettysburg

Bronze tablet from the rear of the monument

From the rear of the monument

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.

Principal engagements
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, Spotsylvania, 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., Appomattox 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
First Colonel
Brevet Major-General
6th New York Cavalry

Bronze bas-relief from the front of the monument to the 6th New York Cavalry at Gettysburg

The bronze bas-relief from the front of the monument is titled “General Fitzhugh’s Charge” and did not take place at Gettysburg

Location of the monument

The monument to the Sixth New York Cavalry Regiment is northwest of Gettysburg on Buford Avenue about 400 yards south of Mummasburg Road.