The Opening Gun of The Battle of Gettysburg, GNMP, PA (Photo by Michael Kendra
- Type: Standard 3-inch Ordanance Rifle, Serial No. 233
- Year of Manufacture: 1862
- Tube Composition: Steel
- Bore Diameter: 3 inches
- Tube Weight: 816 lbs.
- Muzzle Markings: TTSL No. 233 PICo. 1862 816 lbs.
- Casting Foundry: Phoenix Iron Company, Phoenixville PA
- Current Disposition: Near Base of John Buford Monument, Chambersburg Pike, Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
- Coordinates: 39.837781, -77.251613
- Special Notes: This gun is one of four 3-inch ordnance rifles of Battery A, 2nd U.S. Artillery that today stand at the base of the Buford monument at Gettysburg, on the spot where they fired the opening artillery salvo of that pivotal battle.
More about the Opening Gun of The Battle of Gettysburg
The John Buford Statue can be found on the Chambersburg Pike in the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park. It stands facing westward toward the position of the advancing Rebel army postion of July 1, 1863. When a design for the Buford statue was under discussion in 1888, John Calef, the commander of Horse Artillery Battery "A" under Buford's command, suggested that the design incorporate four Ordnance Rifles that were in the battery. Included in his suggestion was gun number 233, the same gun that fired the first Union artillery shot of the battle. The Army Cheif of Ordnance tracked down all four guns and donated them to the monument design committee. During the dedication ceremony of the John Buford statue on July 1st, 1895, Major John Calef sybolically spiked all four tubes.
Gettysburg "Opening Gun" Plaque Text
- "The four cannon guarding the base of the statue belonged to Horse Battery "A" 2nd U.S. Artillery. This piece was the opening gun of the battle, fired from this spot under the personal direction of Gen. Buford, July 1, 1863."
Buford Monument, with four guns of Battery 'A', 2nd U.S., Kendra, 2006
Muzzle of the Opening Gun, Kendra, 2006
Plaque on Opening Gun, Kendra, 2006