Brother vs. Brother: The Maryland Monument at Gettysburg
The State of Maryland Monument at Gettysburg National Military Park is a stark reminder that the American Civil War pitted “brother against brother and friend against friend.”
Maryland was one of the most important border states during the war. Its proximity to Virginia and the Union capital of Washington D.C. made it a place of tremendous strategic importance. Although Maryland did not secede from the Union, its residents were torn apart by the Northern and Southern causes. Divided Marylanders fought on both sides of the conflict.
More than 3,000 sons of Maryland served among the Union and Confederate ranks at the Battle of Gettysburg. Maryland’s state memorial at Gettysburg pays homage to these men who shared the same native soil, but fought on opposing sides. The memorial depicts two wounded Marylanders, one Union and one Confederate, helping each other on the battlefield.
A tablet on the back of the monument reads, “More than 3,000 Marylanders served on both sides of the conflict at the Battle of Gettysburg. They could be found in all branches of the army from the rank of private to major general and on all parts of the battlefield. Brother against brother would be their legacy, particularly on the slopes of Culp’s Hill. This memorial symbolizes the aftermath of that battle and the war. Brothers again, Marylanders all.”
On both sides of the Civil War, men fought and died for the causes that they believed in. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of it all was that it truly pitted brother against brother and friend against friend. There are endless lessons that can be learned from this conflict. One of the most important can be absorbed just by looking at the two soldiers on the State of Maryland Monument at Gettysburg. Brothers again, until the end.