One of my favorite state memorials on the Gettysburg battlefield can be found along West Confederate Avenue just before you reach Millerstown Road and the turnoff for Sachs Covered Bridge. Dedicated to the many Mississippi soldiers who fought on all three days of battle, this striking monument took shape in the early 1970s. I remember standing at the pink granite base and looking out over the quiet summer fields and the Sherfy farm in the distance. It was near this spot that Gen. William Barksdale urged his Mississippi soldiers toward the Peach Orchard on July 2nd. This action would later be known as “Barksdale’s Charge.”
I’ve always been amazed at how sculptors can take nondescript hunks of bronze and turn them into human likenesses, and the Mississippi state memorial is a prime example of this. Everything --- from the wounded soldier still holding the fallen flag to the soldier readying to disable the enemy with the butt of his rifle --- is minutely detailed. Interestingly enough, as stated above, Mississippians fought all three days at Gettysburg: during July 1st they made a desperate stand at the Railroad Cut; on July 2nd they took part in Barksdale’s Charge; and during July 3rd they helped make up the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge (which is often mistakenly thought to have been a solely Virginian affair).
SGT. ISAAC SYLVESTER OSBORN, SR.
Born 1828 --- Died July 02, 1863 at age 35
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray