September 17, 2014

1226 UNITED STATES (Pennsylvania) - Gettysburg National Military Park

The Gettysburg National Military Park protects and interprets the landscape of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, which involved the largest number of casualties of the entire Civil War, and is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's attempt to invade the North. The GNMP properties include most of the Gettysburg Battlefield, many of the battle's support areas during the battle (e.g., reserve, supply, & hospital locations), and several other non-battle areas associated with the battle's "aftermath and commemoration", including the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Many of the park's 43,000 American Civil War artifacts are displayed in the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center.

In the postcard is the Pennsylvania State Memorial, commemorating the 34,530 Pennsylvania soldiers "who fought at Gettysburg" (listed on the 100-foot-square pedestal's bronze tablets). Designed by W. Liance Cottrell in Beaux-Arts style, the pavilion is the largest monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield, and the 4 corner towers are architectural piers linked by arches. Stairs beneath each arch rise from the pedestal into the central memorial hall, and a spiral staircase in the northwest tower leads to an observation deck around the base of the dome. Flanking the arches are spandrel bas-reliefs of goddesses, and the arches support parapet panels with bas-relief sculptures. After the PA memorial structure was completed in 1910 with Round Top Branch transport of materials to the nearby Hancock Station, Humphreys Avenue on the east side was surveyed in 1911.

GNMP has one of the best collections of Civil War-era artillery anywhere. Bronze was still in heavy use in the construction of weapons like the Model 1857 12-pounder Light Field Gun (the Napolean), caught in the postcard (all the weapons made of bronze are green or greenish). This canon obusier, also known as the Canon de l’Empereur was developed by France in 1853, and its performance and versatility allowed it to replace all the previous field guns. It was the primary cannon used in the American Civil War (over 1,100 were manufactured by the North, and 600 by the South). At Gettysburg, 142 out of 360 Federal guns (36%) were Napoleons. It was widely admired because of its safety, reliability, and killing power, especially at close range. The Federal version of the Napoleon can be recognized by the flared front end of the barrel, called the muzzle swell. Confederate Napoleons were produced in at least six variations, most of which had straight muzzles, but at least eight cataloged survivors of 133 identified have muzzle swells.

About the stamp
The stamp is a Global Forever First-Class Mail International one ($1.10), about which I wrote here.

Gettysburg National Military Park - Wikipedia
Gettysburg National Military Park - National Park Service official website
The Pennsylvania State Memorial - Wikipedia
Civil War Artillery: Basics - No Vice & No Virtue
Canon obusier de 12 - Wikipedia

sender: Irma Brown (direct swap)
sent from Bath (Pennsylvania / United States), on 08.04.2013

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