Thursday, December 9, 2010


We arrived in Gettysburg on November 15 under threatening skies. The weather through the middle of the week was iffy at best but since we were inside it was little more than a nuisance. The biggest issue with the rain and cold was that Wendy, my wife and I, had little chance to get out onto the battlefield. I had even hoped to hook up with a certified battlefield guide named Bill Dowling for a photgraphic tour, but the weather was just to rainy and overcast. Perhaps next year.

The main reason we were in Gettysburg was to attend the Lincoln Forum being held at the Gettysburg Wyndham Hotel located east of the village of Gettsyburg. This year's theme for the Forum was "The Coming of the Civil War: Enter Lincoln, Exit the South". For parts of three days the Forum presented speakers such as Peter Carmichael, Gary Ecelbarger, Harold Holzer, Frank Williams, John Marszalek, Craig Symonds and Mark Neely.

On Thursday afternoon, the weather cleared a bit and we finally had a chance to get out of the hotel for a while and made a short trip to a little crossroads southeast of Gettysburg called Hanover Junction. Hanover Junction is famous for one thing - at this railroad station in rural Pennsylvania President Abraham Lincoln changed trains on his way to Gettysburg on November 18, 1863. The next day Lincoln would give his legendary Gettysburg Address. Hanover Junction was also the site of a minor skirmish involving Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry a few days prior to the battle at Gettsyburg 20 miles west. Stuart's troops burned bridges and other property in the Hanover Junction area but the railroad station in Hanover Junction was not damaged.
A photo exists showing Lincoln's train on the tracks next to the station and some have claimed that President Lincoln is shown in the picture. It is generally thought the man in the picture, resembling Lincoln, is a member of the traveling party.

On February 12, 2009, a bust of Lincoln was dedicated near the now restored railroad station to commemerate Lincoln shart but significant stop at Hanover Junction.
The bust, that sets on a pedestal engraved with Lincoln's signature, was executed by a local sculptor named Joe Kelly. When I saw this new Lincoln bust I thought the bust and the artist's name looked familiar but could not place it. After returning home, itfinally hit me that there is a bust of Lincoln in the old railway station in Gettysburg that is very reminescent of this piece at Hanover Junction.
Just as I suspected, the bust in Gettysburg, at the recently restored train station, is also by Joe Kelly. I have not had time to find Mr. Kelly yet. I know he lives in the Hanover/York/Gettysburg area. I want to learn more about his two Lincoln busts. I am curious about what materials he used for the statues. It is not bronze and it does not seem to be concrete. I suspect that the two works may be constructed of a resin-like material. I'll add to the blog when I am able to run down some of these facts.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cleveland Rocks

Three weeks ago my wife Wendy and I set out from the Chicago area towards our ultimate destination of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Every year for the past four years I have taken a week's worth of vacation time and I have attended the Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg. The Lincoln Forum is held annually during the three days prior to Gettsyburg Remebrance Day.

On the way, I decided to make a slight detour and to stop in Cleveland to visit the Soldier's and Sailor's Monument right in the middle of downtown Cleveland. I became familiar with the Cleveland monument from reading Donald Charles Durman's 1951 book on Lincoln sculptures, He Belongs to the Ages - The Statues of Abraham Lincoln. This work has been long out of print but is an invaluable tool for anyone interested in learning more about Lincoln statuary. Ocassionally a copy comes up for sale on the Web. I have attempted to visit and photograph the Monument several times but something always came up. I was determined that I would check this one off my list on this trip.
The imposing S&S Monument was opened in 1894 .The column in the center rises 125 feet above Public Square in downtown Cleveland. Atop the stone column is the statue of the Goddess of Freedom. Directly underneath the column, is the memorial or "tablet" room which contains a series a four deep relief bronze sculpture groups designed and executed by the sculptor and architect of the entire project Levi Tucker Scofield. The memorial room also includes bronze busts of Civil War heroes from Cuyahoga County and the walls are covered with 9000 names of county residents that served in the Civil War.

The four relief sculptures are the center piece of the room. Each of the panels measures seven by ten feet and are solid bronze. Two of the four feature Abraham Lincoln. The panel on the north side of the room features President Lincoln lifting high the shackles of slavery and offering the now freed slave a musket. The portrait of Lincoln is joined by the figures of Chase, Sherman, Wade and Giddings.

The second panel on the east side of the room, represents Lincoln meeting with his generals at City Point, Virginia in March of 1865. Lincoln is seen with many of his generals incuding Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Custer, Meade and Legett. There is one figuring peering over President Lincoln's left shoulder. This soldier is Lincoln's son Robert Todd Lincoln. Robert Todd was a captain and served on General Grant's staff. As far as I can determine there is only one other group that shows Lincoln together with his eldest son. The work is in Springfield, Illinois near the old state capital building. The artist is Larry Andersen.

The building has now been fully restored and it is glorius. If you are going through Cleveland it would be worth your time to stop and visit the Cleveland Soldier's and Sailors Monument.
More photos of the Cleveland Soldier's and Sailor's Monument can be found on my photography website located at