There are several claims as to which Union soldier fired the first shot at the Battle of Gettysburg. Three men from the 8th Illinois Cavalry felt their claim was strong enough to erect their own monument.
Lieutenant (later Captain) Marcellus Jones' Company E of the 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment was picketing the Chambersburg Pike at this location on the morning of July 1 when he saw a strong force of Confederate infantry begin to cross Marsh Creek about a half mile to the west. Jones borrowed a carbine from Sergeant Levi S. Shafer and fired a single shot at a mounted officer, who might have been Colonel Birkett Fry of the 13th Alabama Infantry Regiment. Jones apparently missed.
In 1886, Jones, Shafer and Riddler had the five-foot limestone shaft hewn in a Naperville quarry and brought it the 600 miles to Gettysburg, erecting it on land purchased from the owner of the house which still stands behind it.
From the front (south) side of the monument:
July 1st 1863
From the west side:
From the east side:
From the north side:
Jones' first shot claim ignited a controversy that raged for years, primarily with the 9th New York Cavalry.