Tuesday, October 25, 2016

American Civil War Monuments: 
James Longstreet Equestrian Statue
West Confederate Avenue, Pitzer’s Woods
Gettysburg National Military Park

Photo and text by LCWRT Member Charles Moore

The monument was commissioned by the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and sculpted by Gary Casteel.  It was dedicated on July 3, 1998.
It is a bronze sculpture of Gen. James Longstreet astride his horse Hero.  This is the only equestrian monument at Gettysburg which does not have a pedestal.  The sculptor, Gary Casteel, states on his web site, “The monument was erected without a pedestal to become not less heroic, but more approachable by those who visit Lee’s lieutenant.”  The tablet beside the monument reads: “Lieutenant General James Longstreet, Commanding First Corps Army of Northern Virginia. Soldiers of Gen. Longstreet’s command held and protected the right wing of the army July 2-4, 1863.  His First Corps attacked and dislodged Union forces at the Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield and the Peach Orchard, on July 2.  As a portion of his infantry secured the Peach Orchard, Gen. Longstreet advanced on horseback with them.  The following day Gen. Longstreet was ordered by Gen. Robert E. Lee to coordinate an attack on the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. On July 3, “Longstreet’s Assault” was repulsed with great loss after penetrating the enemy’s battle line on Cemetery Ridge.  During the march back to Virginia, Gen. Longstreet and his First Corps played a prominent role in protecting the retreating army.

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