Size: 4½” x 4” x 9”
Weight: 3.2 lbs
1863 Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Monument Replicas
At approximately 6:30 p.m. on July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, a Confederate solid shot hurtled through the air and struck Union Major General Daniel E. Sickles’s right knee, leaving the lower half of his leg hanging in shreds. Sickles and members of his staff had been riding behind Abraham Trostle’s barn to escape the rain of enemy fire. The General claimed that “I never knew I was hit…Suddenly I was conscious of dampness along the lower part of my high-top boots and pulling it out I was surprised to see it dripping with blood……I lifted it carefully over my horse’s neck and slid to the ground…the knee had been smashed, probably by a piece of shell, and that the leg had been broken above and also below the knee….”
Staff officers scooped up the General and carried him over to the nearby Trostle Barn. “General, are you hurt?” inquired a dumbfounded staff officer. “Tell General [David] Birney he must take command,” Sickles replied. Bandaging Sickles with their handkerchiefs and attempting to stop the bleeding with a saddle strap, it was clear that the General was in no shape to stay in the field. Fearing capture by the Confederates above all else at this moment, the General was placed on a litter and evacuated from the battlefield. It is alleged that he propped himself on his elbow and puffed on a cigar as he was taken to the 3rd Corps field hospital.
The leg of General Sickles was amputated at the 3rd Corps hospital by Dr. Thomas Sim, the Corps Medical Director. The leg itself was a celebrity. Keeping it as a macabre souvenir, Sickles eventually donated the limb to the Army Medical Museum in Washington, D.C. The General supposedly visited the limb on the anniversary of its amputation.
The Battle of Gettysburg marked the end of Sickles’s active military service. But he would spend the rest of his life trying to win his place in history as the man who won the Civil War’s most famous battle.
The monument was dedicated on July 2, 1901 and is located about 70 yards north of United States Avenue on the west side of the Trostle Barn.