There are two wo monuments to the First Vermont Cavalry south of Gettysburg, one in the Slyder field near Confederate Avenue (above right) and a second on Confederate Avenue (bottom right) (map)
The Slyder field monument was dedicated by the State of Vermont in 1889 and the monument topped with the statue to General Wells was dedicated in 1913.
The 1st Vermont Cavalry was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Lieutenant Colonel Addison W. Preston. It brought 687 men to the field, losing 13 killed, 25 wounded and 27 missing.
Major (later Major General) WIlliam Wells earned the Medal of Honor on July 3rd for "extraordinary heroism while serving with 2d Battalion, 1st Vermont Cavalry, in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Major Wells led the second battalion of his regiment in a daring charge."
From the front of the Slyder Field monument:
First Regiment Vermont Cavalry
First Brig. Third Div. Cavalry Corps
In the Gettysburg campaign this
regiment fought Stuart's Cavalry at
Hanover, Pa. June 3d, and at Hunterstown
July 2d; and on this field July 3, led by
Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth, who fell near this
spot, charged through the First Texas Infantry
and to the line of Law's Brigade, receiving
the fire of five Confederate regiments and
two batteries, and losing 67 men.
From the rear:
Entered the United States service Nov. 19, 1861. Mustered out Aug. 9, 1865. Took part in the
battles of Gettysburg, Wilderness, Yellow
Cedar Creek, Waynesboro,
Five Forks, Appomattox Station and 67 other
battles and engagements. Aggregate 2297
officers and men. Killed and mortally
wounded in action 102; died of disease and
by accidents 123; died in Confederate prisons
172, - total 397. Total wounded in action 275.
From the monument on Confederate Avenue:
At 5 p.m. July 3 the 2nd Battalion 1st Vermont Cavalry led by Major William Wells, General Farnsworth commanding the brigade riding by his side crossed Plum Run near this point charging over stone walls amid rocks and through woods till they encountered five regiments of Law's Confederate Brigade near the spot where the regimental monument stands.
The 1st Battalion and part of the 3rd Lt. Col. A.W. Preston commanding were ordered to the lane and struck Law's Brigade in the flank. The onset was terrific sabres and bayonets revolvers and muskets being freely used after a struggle the hill was carried by the 1st Vermont and the prisoners captured sent to the rear.
The three battalions united soon came under the fire of the 4th Alabama Infantry and presently of the 9th Georgia Infantry. Finding no exit to the south they turned to the east and charged the 15th Alabama Infantry which answered a summons to surrender by a destructive musketry fire. Those unhurt escaping mostly to the south.
This memorial signalizes the valor of the officers and the men of the First Vermont Cavalry who here paid to the nation the uttermost tribute of devotion.
The monument on Confederate Avenue is topped with a statue of Major William Wells.
See more on the 1st Vermont Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War