Mystery at Gettysburg: General Farnsworth monument?

A friend’s question about a monument to General Farnsworth in Gettysburg:

I am one of those people who could not get enough of the national park at Gettysburg. I drove the 3 hours to the park about 125 times between 1998 and 2001. It bothered me that I could not find a monument to General Farnsworth who was killed on the 3rd day of the battle in a cavalry engagement. There are monster monuments to Generals who basically were held in reserve at the battle, how could there be no monument to a General who died in action?

In 2000 I grew frustrated in my search and went to the people in the park office and they pulled out a list of all the park monuments and after checking told me there was no monument to Farnsworth. I was not happy my search had ended this way, but what could I do . A couple weeks later I was reading Sickles biography and Dan Sickles talked about a trip he made to the park around 1888 and he talked about how Farnsworth died and he described a monument to Farnsworth at the park made of cannonballs. It seemed strange that a cavalry generals monument would be made of cannonballs but there was no mistake Sickles was talking about Farnsworth.

I returned to the park office with book in hand and the people at the park were dumbfounded to say the least. They insisted if the monument was there in 1888 it was still there today. Sickles description of the location of the monument was not to detailed but I searched in the area as best I could and could not find it. In the summer of 2001 I made several more searches and failed to find the monument, I decided to return in February 2001 and search when the leaves and brush that hide many monuments is gone for the winter. I found a detailed description in Batles and Leaders of where Farnsworth died and decided to search there. Unfortunately I got very sick that winter from Epilepsy and my driving days are over. I am unable to return to the park to finish my search so I am now reaching out on this website to ask if there are any Civil War buffs out there who might know the answer or would like to take a look while at the park.

See also: Sharon’s article on Gettysburg battlefield tourism

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  1. Sharon says:

    I did some research on this and found there is a monument/plaque to Farnsworth,not made of cannonballs, however. Type Farnsworth’s Cavalry Charge Marker in Search and you will see some information,a photo of the plaque, and a map to its location. I didn’t find anything about cannonballs or the date the plaque was erected. If I do, I’ll let you know. Hope this helps.

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