Psalm 18:48 - Horatio S. Howell Monument - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 49.847 W 077° 13.954
18S E 308950 N 4411360
This Civil War memorial pays homage to Reverend Horatio S. Howell Chaplain of the 90th PA volunteers who was cruelly shot to death on the steps of Christ Lutheran Church when he did not give up his sword to a Confederate soldier.
Waymark Code: WMBMB2
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 06/01/2011
Views: 4

The monument was erected in 1889 by the survivors of the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry. There is a memorial to Chaplain Horatio Howell of the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, who was killed on the church steps of Christ Lutheran Church on July 1, 1863. The memorial marks the spot where he was felled. The marker was erected in 1889 by the Survivors of the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry. On the marker, the pages of an open bronze book read:

"In Memoriam. Reverend Horatio S. Howell, Chaplain. 90th Penn'a Volunteers, was cruelly shot dead on these church steps on the afternoon of July 1st 1863. "He delivereth me from mine enemies. Yea Thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me." 18th Psalms 48th Verse. "He being dead yet speaketh." Hebrews 11, 4th.

At the bottom of the stand is a bronze plaque with the dedication inscription, which reads Our tribute Survivors Association of the 90th Penn'a Vol's and personal friends of the lamented chaplain.

There are different versions of Howell’s death. All versions agree that he was visiting the church which was then being used as a hospital on July 1, 1863. All versions agree that he was shot as the Confederates came into the town that afternoon. The most likely version of what happened has Howell emerging from hospital/church from the center door at the top of the steps. A Confederate at the bottom of the steps demanded that Howell surrender his sword. Howell, instead of unbuckling his weapon, tried to explain that he didn’t have to surrender it because he was a noncombatant. The Confederate, who had probably had an interesting time fighting other United States’ soldiers throughout the day was in no mood now to begin negotiating. He shot and killed Howell while standing at the spot now designated by Howell’s marker. Howell’s body fell at the landing/portico on the top of the steps. SOURCE

I also found this on another web page:

As the battle raged on Day 1 and casualties mounted, both armies worked to identify suitable locations to treat the wounded and comfort the dying. With the Confederates pushing the men in blue back through the town, buildings that the Union had commandeered for such purposes would change hands. On Chambersburg Street in Gettysburg stands the Christ Lutheran Church which initially appeared well suited to serve as a hospital and shelter the Northern wounded. Reverend Horatio S. Howell, chaplain for the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry, aided with the caring for the casualties of his regiment in this house of peace. As he was exiting the building, a Confederate soldier demanded that he surrender and turn over his sword. He did not, and was shot on the steps of this church. No one knows with any certainty if the soldier who pulled the trigger knew that the officer that he saw belonged to the chaplaincy, but the men of the 90th Pennsylvania were incensed. SOURCE

The monument is of bronze and polished granite or marble and is approximately 4 X 2.5 X 2 feet. I was not able to find out who was the artist. The SIRIS site describes it as simply as an open book on a circular pedestal set within church steps.

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church 44 Chambersburg Street Gettysburg, PA 17325

Website: [Web Link]

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