Earlier this spring, the Texas Historical Commission (THC), in conjunction with other organizations, dedicated a new monument on the Gaines’ Mill battlefield. Keeping with the sesquicentennial, the THC and their partners also placed a monument on the Second Manassas battlefield this summer.
While touring the field on Saturday, park historian Hank Elliot drew attention to the new memorial, noting its recent placement. I haven’t seen any press releases concerning a dedication, but the monument is out there for the public to see… so I’ll mention it here.
The monument stands on Chinn Ridge and conforms to the standards set by the THC for similar monuments on other battlefields – a simple granite shaft. Not too obtrusive, but with the star of Texas right up top. While one might pick at the fine details of the narrative, it is better than many I could mention. Certainly not drowned with overly emotional and romantic sentiments, and factual given the space limitations. The monument on Chinn Ridge brings the tally to nineteen, if my count is correct.
Hank Elliot also pointed out a couple of other aspects to the monument’s placement. In the battle, while breaking through several layers of the Federal lines as noted in the monument’s inscription, were not able to cross over Chinn Ridge. Other formations, not the Texans, gained the ground the monument stands upon.
And speaking of the ground, how did that come into the park?
Well it has to do with the placement of this memorial in 1914 by the Fletcher Webster Post, G.A.R. of Brockton, Massachusetts, honoring the fallen commander of the 12th Massachusetts.
As Hank pointed out, somewhat ironic the Texas monument is placed on land originally purchased by Union veterans.