House Democratic Communications Office, May 9, 2008.
The Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project begun by state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny County, has passed the halfway mark in its drive to endow trusts for the future maintenance needs of the more than 140 monuments and markers to the Pennsylvanians who fought in the Civil War battle.
Readshaw today announced the organization has turned over to the trust about $30,000 raised in the past year. The deposit brings the trust amount to $250,000. The goal is $431,000 to pay for such routine work as cleaning the stones and their bronze features and re-pointing mortar.
The perpetual maintenance trust was begun after Readshaw raised $160,000 to ensure that current repairs needed by the monuments were funded. Those repairs have included replacement of broken features, such as the new hand put on the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Zouave on Little Round Top, one of the most photographed monuments in the park. One hand and the end of the rifle the soldier is loading had been missing for decades, possibly due to a lightning strike. Money was also provided to replace bronze features vandals ripped from the 90th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry monument several years ago, though the Park Service has not yet made the repairs.
In 2006, Readshaw’s Raiders, as the representative and his monument preservation supporters have come to be called, reacted swiftly in providing the Park Service funds to repair the bronze memorial on Emmitsburg Road that honored the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry after it was toppled by vandals and provided seed money for campaigns to restore two New York and Massachusetts monuments shattered by the same vandals. “The monuments project has been a refreshing break from the partisan politics in Harrisburg, as it has always enjoyed sweeping bipartisan support,” said Readshaw. “Most of the monuments were originally put up by the survivors of the battle to ensure that the story of their struggle, their losses and their ultimate triumph is there for future generations to visualize.
“Everyone who has assisted the Monuments Project should feel honored that they have been able to play a role in handing these ‘icons of freedom’ on to yet another generation of Americans and ensure they that will remain for many more to come."
In addition to individual contributions, the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project is assisted by the annual Preservation Ball sponsored by the Victorian Dance Ensemble in the Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building each March and the annual Ride to Gettysburg held by the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E.) of Pennsylvania each September.
Individuals or groups wishing to donate to the Gettysburg Battlefield Monument Trust can do so directly through the Adams County National Bank, Trust Department, P.O. Box 4566, Gettysburg, PA 17325. More information about the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project can be obtained by calling Readshaw’s Harrisburg office at 717-783-0422 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
SOURCE: Jay Purdy, House Democratic Communications Office
Phone: 717-787-7895 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CWL: Note 3rd and 4th Paragraphs---Without checking a map, I am pretty sure the 114th Pennsylvania (Zouave) monument is across from the Sherfy Farm house, near the Peach Orchard as shown in the photograph.