When we think of states that participated in the battle of Gettysburg, Arkansas might not readily come to mind, yet the second day of fighting brought forth a hearty band of Arkansans under General John B. Hood’s command, members of the 3rd regiment. These men were set up along a place known as Warfield Ridge, which has a commanding view of Little and Big Round Top. On the afternoon of July 2nd Hood’s Arkansans were marched through the woods and across the open ground that would later become known as Triangular Field.
The Arkansas State Memorial is a simple but elegant structure. It was sculpted from granite and was placed along Warfield Ridge in 1966, with a formal dedication fourteen days before the 103rd anniversary of the battle. The face of the monument shows silhouetted soldiers in action and also sports a cut-out of the state of Arkansas. It is one of the smaller state memorials on the field but is just as attractive as the others, stunning in its fluent design and simplicity. As a human interest fact, the 3rd Arkansas was the only Arkansan unit to fight in the battle of Gettysburg.
SGT. GORHAM RIGHTER
Born February 28, 1839 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 34
Sgt. Righter died a hero, as did every man, both North and South, who fought the enemy valiantly and gained a warrior’s laurel. His death came at the Klingel farm along Emmitsburg Road while he and his comrades repelled Southerners who were intent on using the property for their own purposes. Sadly, though Sgt. Righter was ceremoniously buried at the Gettysburg National Cemetery four months later, his stone is marked “James B. Rister.”
(c) 2012 Skies of Blue and Gray