Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Monumental Task: Help Restore the 48th PA Monument at Antietam

Brigadier General James Nagle
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On this date 186 years ago, Brigadier General James Nagle, the organizer and first commander of the 48th Pennsylvania, was born. And I can think of no more fitting a date to announce, officially, that I am launching an effort to restore the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry monument at Antietam by raising money to replace the missing sword from the statue of General Nagle.
I have partnered with the Western Maryland Interpretative Association and am working in cooperation with the Antietam National Battlefield and the Antietam National Battlefield Division of Cultural Resources, and have secured the services of artist and Civil War preservationist Michael Kraus to sculpt a bronze replacement sword, in scabbard. When the 48th PA Monument was first dedicated and unveiled on September 17, 1904, a bronze sword--an exact duplicate of the one Nagle received from the people of Pottsville upon his return from the Mexican-American War--hung at the side of General Nagle's statue. That sword is now missing; when, and how, it disappeared no one seems to know. I am hoping, however, to honor General Nagle and pay tribute to his services by replacing the missing sword. . .and you can help. I am seeking donations from individuals and organizations. Mr. Kraus has provided an estimate of $6,800.00 to sculpt the sword. Donations can be made payable to the Western Maryland Interpretative Association (WMIA) and are tax deductible. Robert Casey, executive director of WMIA, has graciously agreed to match all donations on a one-to-one basis. If you are interested in donating, please write "Nagle Sword" in your check's subject line. Please mail all donations to: Western Maryland Interpretative Association/P.O. Box 692/Sharpsburg, MD 21782.
This will no doubt be a lengthy undertaking but one, I am sure, we can achieve. I have created another blogsite where I will regularly post updates on the progress of the project and keep a running tally of the money thus far raised. You can learn much more about this effort at
I have posted a link to this site on the left-hand side of this blog. Should you have any questions, or if you would like to pledge a donation, please contact me at Any amount will help, and will be greatly appreciated.

48th PA Monument in 1904. . .Note the Sword on General Nagle's Side

The 48th PA Monument in 2008. . .Sword Missing