Sunday, February 04, 2018

General studies: Custer to Kilpatrick at West Point Cemetery

A bas-relief plaque on George Armstrong Custer's memorial at West Point Cemetery.
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George Custer | John Buford | Hugh Kilpatrick | Daniel Butterfield | Joseph Kiddoo | Winfield Scott 
On a frigid February afternoon, a lone visitor crunches through a thin coating of snow and ice as he slowly walks through West Point Cemetery. A wild turkey bounds past an ancient oak and among pearl-white stones.  The low whoosh of nearby traffic is barely noticed. In this outdoor art gallery, ornate markers, some topped by eagles, soar into a deep-blue sky. Here near the semi-frozen Hudson River lie the remains of military heroes -- and perhaps a few villians, too. There's Custer, Cushing, Scott and other Civil War notables. Close your eyes and imagine their long-ago deeds.


A buffalo peers from Custer's memorial.
Undoubtedly homage to Custer's Indian fighting days, this plaque adorns his memorial. 
He was killed by Sioux at Little Big Horn in 1876.
Visitors leave stones atop Custer's popular memorial.


Eagles on the memorial for cavalry commander and Gettysburg hero John Buford.
Always vigilant, these eagles stand watch on Buford's memorial, paid for by soldiers who served with him.
Another eagle boldly stands watch at the grave of Buford, who died of disease in 1863.
Markers for Buford and Alonzo Cushing, another Gettysburg hero, cast shadows on a February afternoon.


Cavalry commander Hugh Kilpatrick's bronze plaque has seen better days. He died in 1881.


In 1892, Army of the Potomac General Daniel Butterfield was awarded a Medal of Honor for gallantry 
at Gaines' Mill during the war. He died in 1901.
Columns on Bufferfield's ornate memorial note the battles in which he fought.
A deep-blue sky serves as a bold backdrop for Butterfield's impressive memorial.
An interior view of Daniel Butterfield's massive memorial.


Snow and ice partly obscure this tablet for Joseph Kiddoo, who was shot in the spine while leading
  charge of U.S. Colored Troops at The Crater in Petersburg  in 1864. He survived the war, dying in 1880.


An ornate fence was no defense for a curious bird, which pranced on Winfield Scott's gravestone. 
 "Old Fuss and Feathers" was general-in-chief of Union forces when the war began,. He died in 1866.

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  1. General Buford was the best cavalry officer the Union had.

    1. Would love to see a Buford biography that does him justice. He and his brave band of men saved The Union Army at Gettysburg.

    2. i agree Robert, Buford was the great hero of the first day at Gettysburg. I give him more credit than anyone for saving the Union Army at Gettysburg.