E. A. Kretschman the Sculptor of the
The sculptor that created the bronze statue atop the monument of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry was Edward A. Kretschman. In searching for information on Kretschman I found very little. He was born in Germany August 27, 1847 and I believe he died in 1923. He did reside in the Philadelphia area for a portion of his life and was both a sculptor and a teacher. Kretschman was also the sculptor of the Collis' Zouave atop the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument located in the front yard of the Sherfy Farm House. It is unfortunate that the history of this artist is not readily available. If anyone has any information please forward to me so we may add it.
The beloved mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania was remembered by the men in the ranks by having a bronze likeness created of her. Sallie would be given to the members of the regiment when only a puppy. She would serve with the men in the ranks and suffer the hardships of long campaigns as well as the victories won on many fields. It was reported Sallie would be seen in the ranks and in line of battle barking as bullets whizzed by her. At Gettysburg she became separated from her friends of the 11th during their retreat through town. Not sure of where to go, she would return to the battle line of the first days battle and would be found several days later resting among the dead and wounded until she rejoined her comrades of the 11th.
Sallie would serve with the 11th until she was killed during the battle of Hatcher's Run, Virginia on February 6, 1865. Today she is remembered on the western face of the monument, as she calmly looks across the fields of Gettysburg in search of her old friends.
Dedication Day September 3rd, 1890
Memebers of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry have their picture taken in front of their new monument. Past commander, Richard Coulter, can be seen standing to the left of the monument.
A rare photograph of several members of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry having marked the location for the proposed monument (see wooden stake). Standing 2nd from the left is the past regimental commander Richard Coulter.
Captain H.B. Piper would give the monument dedication address. He would comment:
To him the common soldier, to our dead comrades, whether here beneath his native soil he sleeps, or under the softer skies of the sunny south-land, we turn in grateful, tearful remembrances. We rear these monuments to their honor and in their memory. But in the unborn ages yet to come, long after we too shall have passed away, a saved and grateful republic will rear in history an everlasting memorial to their devotion and their valor, more changeless than brass and more enduring than marble, and that shall exist as long as these voiceless hills bear tesimony to Gettysburg's fateful day"
"The eternal hills, lifting themselves toward the heavens, silent as though the spirit of solitude sat enthroned upon their changeless summits, give no sign of the red current of battle that twenty seven years ago, rolled around their rocky bases. But the level light of the western sun touches with softened ray the granite slabs and monumental shafts that mark the final resting places of the ashes into which has mouldered the brave hot hearts who fought, who fell, who died that the Union might be preserved."
The bronze statue and likeness of Sallie were cast by the Philadelphia foundry Bureau Brothers as noted on the monument.
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