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Civil War Blog

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Monuments at Gettysburg – 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry

Posted By on April 29, 2015

The 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument at Gettysburg is located south of the town of Gettysburg on Hancock Avenue close to the High Water Mark.

A picture of the monument as shown above can be seen on Stephen Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry.

A full description of the monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.

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Some facts about the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry as presented in the Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889:

The 1st Cavalry Regiment.

The 1st Cavalry was composed of men from the rural districts, who were skillful riders and accustomed to the care of horses.  The first companies assembled at Camp Curtin, chose Captain Hastings, of the regular army, colonel, but failing to secure enough for a regiment, he declined.  Then, after a junction with a part of a Pittsburgh regiment, they were commanded by George D. Bayard of the 4th Regular Cavalry.  At Gettysburg the First was detailed for duty at General Meade’s headquarters.  It took part in the brilliant victories of General Pleasanton over Stuart.  Colonel John P. Taylor commanded it in desperate encounter at Brandy Station, capturing Stuart’s adjutant general at the Barbour House.  It was engaged in Sheridan’s grand raid upon Richmond and in the last battle at Ream’s Station, on the Weldon Railroad.  The veterans and recruits, 401 in number, organized a battalion of four companies, and were subsequently consolidated with the 6th and 17th Cavalry, forming the 2nd Provisional Cavalry.

The regiment will assemble at its headquarters in Gettysburg at 9 A.M. and proceed in a body to the point on the battlefield designate for the location of its monument, where a historical address will be delivered by Adjutant William Penn Lloyd and a poem read by Dr. G. B. Hotchkin, regimental surgeon.  The regiment will be commanded by Lieutenant Colonel David Gardner.

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John P. Taylor

Colonel John P. Taylor commanded the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry at Gettysburg.  He was mustered into service as Captain of Company C on 1 August 1861 and on 15 September 1862, he was promoted to headquarters as Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment.  His promotion to Colonel came on 2 March 1863, just four months before the Battle of Gettysburg.  He was breveted Brigadier General after seeing action in consolidated cavalry regiments at the end of the war.

John P. Taylor died on 27 June 1914 of heat prostration.  During his later years he was head of the Pennsylvania G.A.R. and was involved in nearly all prominent state and national gatherings of veterans during his lifetime.  The Philadelphia Inquirer noted in its obituary of him that prior to his own death he planned his own funeral, including the design of a bronze coffin which he had cast under his personal supervision.  The bronze was from military implements which he collected and had melted down and the coffin was left with a local undertaker in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, where his funeral was conducted about a year later.  He is buried in Church Hill Cemetery, Reedville, Mifflin County.

Additional information about him can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.

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Around the base of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg are a series of plaques which, by regiment and company, note the names of every soldier who was present at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The plaque for the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry is pictured below.  By clicking on the plaque it should enlarge so the names can be more clearly read.  If a name does not appear, it could be that the soldier did serve in the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry, but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There could also be errors on the plaque.

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