Posted By Norman Gasbarro on May 28, 2015
The 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument at Gettysburg is located northwest of the town of Gettysburg on Buford Avenue. It was dedicated in 1889 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The drawing of the monument (above) is from the Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 September 1889.
Some history of the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry and its program for the dedication day exercises were presented in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 11 September 1889:
Opposite the Sherby House.
The 17th Cavalry was recruited in Beaver, Susquehanna, Lancaster, Bradford, Lebanon, Cumberland, Franklin, Schuylkill, Perry, Luzerne, Montgomery, Chester and Wayne counties. Its battles are named on its monument, located at the junction of Mummasburg Road and Buford Avenue, a position which it held from 5 o’clock on the 1st until the arrival of the 1st Corps Troops. The brigade then moved to the right, covering the roads to Carlisle and Harrisburg, and holding the enemy in check until relieved by troops of the 11th Corps. It then took position on the right flank of the infantry and later aided in covering the retreat of the 11th Corps to Cemetery Hill, where it went into position with the division on the left of the army.
The ceremonies on the field at 11 o’clock A.M. will include: music, Methodist Church of Gettysburg Choir; prayer, Rev. H. A. Wheeler; oration, Colonel Theodore W. Bean; bugle calls, A. Donaberger; benediction, Rev. H. A. Wheeler.
The commander of the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Gettysburg was Colonel Josiah H. Kellogg.
Kellogg, who was from Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania, was one of the most militarily qualified men to lead a regiment of volunteers because he had served in the regular army prior to the Civil War and was a graduate of West Point, Class of 1860. When asked by Pennsylvania Governor Curtin to take command of a volunteer cavalry regiment, he request leave from the regular army and his request was granted. On 19 October 1862 he began service as Colonel of the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Due to several wartime injuries, he requested to resign and he was formally discharged from the volunteer service on 27 December 1864, but did not formally retire from the regular army until 6 February 1865.
For more information about Kellogg, see Ranger95.
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 17th 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 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry, but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg. There could also be errors on the plaque.