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Civil War Blog

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Monuments at Gettysburg – 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Posted By on May 14, 2015

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The 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument at Gettysburg is located on Emmitsburg Road on the South Cavalry Battlefield.  It was erected by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1888.

The above drawing of the monument is from the Philadelphia Inquirer of 11 September 1889.

A picture of the monument can be seen on Stephen Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

A full description of the monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer of 11 September 1889 described the regiment thus:

A Famous Cavalry Regiment.

The 6th Cavalry was recruited for three years’ service in 1861 by Richard H. Rush of Philadelphia, John H. McArthur becoming Lieutenant Colonel; C. Ross Smith, First Major; Robert Morris, Second Major.

The 6th, in advance of its brigade, was the first to become engaged on the left of our lines near Round Top, where on the crest of the hill, they were saluted by balls whose whirling first determined the nature of the second days’ fight.

The 6th regiment was said to be in “a high carnival of powers infernal.”  The air seemed full of fragments of bursting shell and ball, and the cavalry, which at first was on the west of the Emmittsburg road, was forced back.  Through the night of the 3rd the men stood to horse, and although worn out by long marches and hard fighting, with less than half rations, they started at 5 o’clock on the following morning on a forced march of seventy miles, and on the afternoon of the 6th arrived upon the crest of the hill overlooking Williamsport.  After the surrender of Johnston, the 6th was consolidated with the 2nd and 17th, under the title of the Second Provisional Cavalry, and subsequently ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, where, on 17 August, it was mustered out of service.

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James H. Haseltine

The commander of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Gettysburg was Major James H. Haseltine.  In some of the war records, his surname is found as “Hazeltine.”

Haseltine was born in Philadelphia on 2 November 1833 and prior the the Civil War was pursing art studies in Europe but returned to join the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry as Captain of Company E on 18 September 1861.  On 1 March 1863, he was promoted to Major of the regiment.  He resigned from command on 12 November 1863 and after the war lived in Europe working as a sculptor.

One of Haseltine’s most famous sculptures, pictured above, “America Honoring Her Fallen Brave,” was completed in 1865 and is found at the Union League of Philadelphia.

James Henry Haseltine applied for a Civil War pension on 17 March 1892 from Italy.  He died in Italy on 9 November 1907 and his widow, Nina M. Haseltine, applied for benefits in January 1908 (application also from Italy), which she collected until her death.   At the time of this writing, his grave site has not been located through Findagrave.

The photograph of James H. Haseltine is from Ancestry.com.

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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 6th 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 6th 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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