Union monuments at Gettysburg > Pennsylvania > Cavalry 


“Rush’s Lancers”

There are two monuments and a position marker for the 6th Pennsylvania Volunteer 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.  A position marker about a third of a mile southwest of the main monument shows the location of the regiment’s left flank on July 3. Companies E & I, who were assigned as escort to Army Headquarters, have their own monument near General Meade’s Headquarters at the Leister House(Taneytown Road tour map)

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 army 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.

Main monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Gettysburg

Main monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Gettysburg

The six sided granite monument stands at the location of the regiment’s skirmish line on July 3rd. This was the farthest advance north by the Reserve Brigade of the Cavalry Corps in their attack on Lee’s flank after Pickett’s Charge. The monument supports four lances, commemorating the regiment’s armament in the early part of the war. The lances were discarded before the Battle of Gettysburg.

From the front of the monument, inside the keystone:

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

From the base of the front of the monument:

Gettysburg

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

From the base at the right of the monument:

Mustered in Oct. 31st 1861.

From the base at the left of the monument:

Mustered out June 17, 1865.

Location of the main monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Gettysburg

The main monument to the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment is south of Gettysburg on the South Cavalry battlefield. It is on the east side of Emmitsburg Road about 1 mile south of South Confederate Avenue and 0.15 mile south of Ridge Road. (39°46’46.3″N 77°15’38.5″W)

Left Flank position marker for the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

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

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

The flank marker on the South Cavalry Field reads:

6th P. C. Left

Location of the left flank marker of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

The left flank marker of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry is south of Gettysburg, 160 yards west of Emmitsburg Road.
The tree-lined path leading to the marker starts about 0.25 mile south of the main 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument
and about 1.1 mile south of South Confederate Avenue. (39°46’37.6″N 77°15’53.7″W)

Monument to Companies E & I, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

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 Brigade 1st 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 by Gen. Geo. G. Meade for  “hazardous duty in the rear of Lee’s Army.”

Location of the monument to companies E & I of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

The monument to Companies E & I of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry is south of Gettysburg 50 feet west of Taneytown Road and 45 feet north of Meade’s Headquarters at the Leister House. (39°48’52.6″N 77°13’55.7″W)

See more on the history of 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

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