Friday, April 5, 2013

Sepia Saturday: You must remember this

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday photo is all about castles and monuments.  While castles in the United States are limited to mansions that call themselves “castles” and to fantasy castles in parks like Disney World, a monument in Gettysburg made me take another look.  Looks like a castle to me!

Monument to 12th and 44th Infantry Regiments of New York at Gettysburg
Edith Davis at the New York Monument
at Little Round Top, Gettysburg


One of several New York monuments, this one in particular is at Little Round Top and is dedicated to the 12th and 44th Infantry Regiments.  Interestingly, the monument measures 44 feet high and 12 feet wide, dimensions representing the two regiments. 

Followers of Sepia Saturday might recall that just a couple weeks ago I shared photos from trips my great aunts and uncles had taken to Gettysburg.  Are you in luck --  I have more!

Millard Davis at Gettysburg
Millard Davis and the Warren statue
Also at Little Round Top is the statue of Gouverneur K. Warren, a Union general most remembered as “The Hero of Little Round Top.”  The statue is often photographed from behind, giving the photographer a glimpse of what Warren saw standing on this boulder.  Gazing across the valley below, Warren detected the movement of Confederate troops.  Warren was given credit for quickly organizing the defense of Little Round Top.  

Millard Davis at Pennsylvania Monument, Gettysburg
Millard Davis
Pennsylvania Monument




The Pennsylvania Monument is the largest of the state monuments at the Gettysburg battlefield.  It is 110 feet from the ground to the tip of the sword held by Winged Victory.  The bronze plaques contain the names of not only all the regiments and batteries but also over 34,000 Pennsylvanians who served in the Civil War.  











Virginia Monument
from Velma Davis Woodring's
summer trip with Olive Williams and family




The Virginia Monument was the first Confederate monument and also the largest.  And why not?  After all, we contributed the largest number of soldiers and the leader, General Robert E. Lee depicted here on his trusty horse, Traveler.  (Interesting bit of trivia:  Traveler’s skeleton is preserved at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.)  The seven soldiers at the base of the statue represent the types of men who left their jobs to defend the South:  farmer, artist, business man, boy, professional man, mechanic, and youth.   








And one more monument but NOT from a battlefield (try to hide your despair). 

Woody Woodring at Gov. Spotswood monument October 1926
Woody Woodring
October 1926
monument to Governor Spotswood

This pyramid is dedicated to Governor Spotswood and the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.  Back in 1710, Alexander Spotswood was the royal governor getting a lot of pressure from “back home” in jolly ol’ England to expand westward.  So he gathered some prominent citizens and embarked on a journey across the interior of Virginia and on across the Blue Ridge Mountains.  They celebrated their amazing expedition, and stories of their discovery of such a beautiful valley with fertile soil spread quickly.  Of course, the whole idea had been for people in the east to move west, but the mountains proved to be difficult to cross.  Instead, people trickled in from the northern colonies, particularly Scots and Germans from Pennsylvania. 

This little pyramid is near and dear to my heart because the Shenandoah Valley is the center of my genealogical world.  My roots. The marker is at Swift Run Gap, right at the entrance to the Skyline Drive.  As a kid, I always looked for that marker, although I didn’t know its significance.  To me it merely signaled that we had finished climbing UP the mountain, and we’d be going DOWN the other side.  (I bet Governor Spotswood thought the same thing!)  It would be just a short ride to visit my cousins in Shenandoah

Please visit Sepia Saturday for some monumental stories and photos.


27 comments:

  1. Great research here! Wow, so interesting. It does capture and sing out castle to me all the way. I watched a movie last night that made me pause, was it because SS is somewhat focused on castles? It was the most lovely bridge, I think in Boston, or leaving Boston, and I've been to Boston and never saw it. The movie went from Boston to where the pilgrims first ate, so it could be elsewhere. But it had small towers across the entire bridge. Breath-taking I had to rewind and rewatch! America is just in too short of supply for castles!

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    1. Now you're making me want to find that bridge too.

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  2. Thanks for that. I have read up about Spotswood/Spottiswoode family. I suppose I too must have passed that marker twice in my life. I always remember my visits............."in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia....." Tra-la-la !

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  3. I did enjoy this tour of monuments Wendy and learned some history as well. I know what you mean about markers dear to your heart, and we have a similar marker atop our local volcano. It's a trig point really (I think I showed it when we had that 'windy' post last year) and like you, once we reach the top and have a little rest - the only way is down!

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    1. Thanks, Marilyn. It's funny how some rather insignificant marker takes on an importance just from the habit of looking for it. As Brett pointed out, the pyramid isn't all that attractive, but I'd miss it if it were gone.

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  4. I really like the Warren statue - with him overlooking the battlefield. Very dramatic.
    Nancy

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    1. It is indeed dramatic. I can imagine standing there too observing all the activity in the valley below.

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  5. It's surprising to me that the diminutive stone pyramid, which looks fairly hastily constructed, has not been replaced with something more substantial. It reminds me of those cairns of stones at the tops of passes that one adds to before heading down the other side. Another fine selection of monument photographs, thank you.

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    1. And what is sadder about the construction of that pyramid is that I believe the marker had been dismantled and moved from one side of the road to the other. I'm sure I read that.

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  6. It is interesting to see what Warren saw standing on the boulder.

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  7. Two years ago on our summer vacation, I included a few hours tour of the Gettysburg battlefields. The many memorials were quite moving even after so many decades have passed, but it was difficult to ignore the commercialism of the history. As for Governor Spotswood and his Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, he probably got to the Shenandoah Valley and thought, "This is far enough, it can't get any better than this."

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    1. I bet that's what Spotswood thought. I believe they were supposed to be finding a passage to Lake Eerie.

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  8. Another interesting post. I especially like the old car in the foreground of the first photo as it authenticates the date of the photo as many of the old monuments look the same now as they did decades ago.

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  9. I enjoyed your monument tour. There is a Spottiswoode near where I lve here in the Scottish Borders.

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    1. That's interesting. I wonder if the Royal Governor of Virginia was from near there. Maybe HIS ancestors.

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  10. I have only read about Gettysburg and the Civil War so this was an education post for me. The Virginia and Pennsylvania Monuments are great.

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    1. The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the "great" battles on US soil, so any state that participated in it surely wanted to honor its soldiers with a worthy monument.

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  11. It does indeed look like a castle! Glad you shared the rest of the images too. I thought Millard should have struck a pose up on that Pennsylvania monument.

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    1. Thanks Kathy. Yes, Millard could have been the first to do the Rocky pose.

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  12. Ahhhhh, Shenandoah and Gettysburg. I'd love to visit each place again. I've been away for far too long.

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  13. Let me guess:
    there's plenty more where that came from?!?!?
    :D~
    They all have their own charm,
    but the one with the 34 000 volunteers,
    gotta be moving to see all of those names,

    possibly forgotten by most
    but most who made the ultimate sacrifice,
    no?!?
    :)~
    HUGZ

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    1. Oh please -- I hope I don't have to drag out another battlefield! But I do have some cannon in reserve if worse comes to worse.

      I think of the PA monument with all the names much like the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington DC -- both sobering and impressive with each name listed.

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  14. I does indeed look like a castle! And we got American Civil War History history thrown in to boot! Good job!

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