Gettysburg Relics


Gettysburg Rail Fence Chair, Levi K. Fuller, Benjamin A. Crown.jpg

Photographer Benjamin A. Crown

Gettysburg Rail Fence Chair


Gettysburg Relics.


The relics purchased by Gov. Fuller at Gettysburg to present to Sedgwick Grand Army post have arrived. They consist of the section of an oak tree that stood in the rear of Pickett's line and nearly opposite where the Stannard monument now stands. This section is 36 inches high, and 22 in diameter and embedded in it is a 10 pound unexploded Hotchkiss shell. There is with this a stone that will be used as a capstone for it that comes from the ravine known as "Devils Den." It is five inches thick and has a face of 17 inches. Col. Fuller paid $75 for this tree alone, and the cutting, boxing, freight and al must make the total cost of this present fully $100, and it will of course be highly appreciated by the post and by all who are interested in the history of the Vermont troops even after the death of the last member has closed the doors of the post. The post will use the relic for a pedestal at the commander's station.


Brattleboro Reformer, October 25, 1889.


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A Valuable Relic.


Gov. Fuller's Unique Gift to Sedgwick.


Wednesday evening will always have a red-letter day mark in the calendar of Sedgwick Grand Army post. In the presence of an audience which crowded Grand Army hall on that evening, the commander's chair, made from fence rails from the Gettysburg battle-field, the unique gift to the post of Gov. Fuller, was presented with appropriate exercises. In the absence of Gov. Fuller, who was called to Putney to attend a Masonic gathering, the presentation was made by Col. Goulding, who, after reading the letter from Gov. Fuller, and the certificate from the owner of the Rose farm at Gettysburg as to the genuineness of the rails, recalled the critical historical events on that battle-field. He alluded to the opportune arrival of the old Vermont brigade and Sixth corps and the position of these troops behind Round Top, where they lay like a lion in wait for Longstreet's expected movement around the Union left. Col. Hooker, in his remarks accepting the chair for the post, spoke of Gov. Fuller's previous gift to the post of the stump from within the rebel lines at Gettysburg, which has embedded in it an exploded Union shell, and also of the cordial interest in the affairs of the post always manifested by the governor. Commander Hannon, who presided, then called upon Chaplain Selleck, Revs. Sprague and Parry, Dr. Holton, Commander Brown, and others, who contributed by their remarks to the interest of the occasion. These speeches were interspersed with musical and literary exercises, arranged and rendered by the ladies of the Relief corps, with the assistance of Mr. Maxham. The evening furnished great pleasure to all who were privileged to be present, and the speeches were full of information and timely reminiscence for the young people who listened to them.


The chair is built of rails taken in the natural state from the Gettysburg field, from a location within 20 paces of the position now occupied by the "Crouching Lion" monument to the Sixth corps, and thus near the position held by the old Vermont brigade, which formed the extreme left of the Union line. The chair was made by Heywood of Boston from a sketch furnished by Gov. Fuller, and the material has been used in a very ingenious way. The rails are untouched by tools except where necessary to put them together. They bear the moss and bullet holes just as when taken from the field. The chair has a sole leather seat, back and arms, to protect the rails, and the high side posts forming the back of the chair are each surmounted by a handsome gilt eagle. Curiously wrought in the rails of the back is an inscription showing the historic place from which they were taken.


Vermont Phoenix, December 30, 1892.


This chair is now at The Historical Society of Windham County, in Newfane, Vermont.


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