Mar 1

Gettysburg National MIlitary Park was blanketed in a thick fog this morning. The 2nd Company Massachusetts Sharpshooters (Andrew’s Sharpshooters) monument is to the left of “The Loop” on the Stony Hill. The monument in the right of frame is to the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

Update: We have received an official comment from the National Park Service.

“If anyone in the public saw anything or knows anything that would help us in this investigation we ask them to contact the park at (717) 334-1124 x4490.

On February 29, 2012, we found that the 2nd Andrews Sharpshooter (Mass.) monument at Gettysburg national Military Park on Sickles Avenue south of the Wheatfield had been sprayed with blue paint. The park’s monument preservation crew removed some of the paint yesterday (2/29) and will go back again later this morning to try to remove the rest of it using a microabrasive cleaner.

Gettysburg National Military Park law enforcement rangers are investigating. We have no suspects at this point.”

A familiar sight to many who have taken their cars this way on the battlefield in dusk or fog, the 2nd Co. Andrew Sharpshooters monument often crept up out of the fog, illuminated by headlights. At one point, the road was one-way in the direction the camera is facing (it is now one-way in the other direction), making the surprise of the monument even more pronounced. This view was taken facing south at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

From our understanding so far, the vandalism occurred between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

The 2nd Company of Andrew Sharpshooters was attached to the nearby 22nd Massachusetts Infantry. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

So … everything looks fine, right? If it wasn’t so foggy, the Rose Farm would be visible in the right background. This view was facing west at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

Not quite. The front of the monument was vandalized with blue spray paint. In the next few photos, we will document the extent of the vandalism. This view was facing east at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

This view was taken facing south at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

This view was taken facing north at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

This is not the first time this monument has been vandalized. Its unique position along the roadway attracted undue attention in September of 1991. This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.
In 1991, Park Superintendent Jose Cisneros reported five acts of vandalism, including that to the 2nd Company Andrew Sharpshooters. [news link]

If you look carefully, you can see the spot on the neck where the head was reattached after that 1991 incident. This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

You can read more about that incident and others in our November 12, 2010 post. This view was taken facing east at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

This is not the first time in the last few years spray paint has been used to vandalize the battlefield. The First US Regulars Monument was spray-painted back in 2009, along with the Peace Light, and rocks in Devil’s Den were vandalized in 2010. This view was taken facing west at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

We walked around to other monuments this morning and did not see any other signs of damage to monuments in the nearby area. The monument to the 140th Pennsylvania Infantry is in the background. This view was taken facing north at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

As always, we are saddened by incidents like these, and hope that the paint can be removed safely and expeditiously. This view was taken facing west at approximately 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 1, 2012.


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