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Coins on monuments

Discussion in 'Battle of Gettysburg' started by mt155, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. mt155

    mt155 Sergeant Civil War Photo Contest
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    I have seen this at Gettysburg more that anywhere else. Why or what is the purpose behind leaving coins/change on the monuments? Is it collected daily/weekly for that particular monuments up keep, because they do have a monument donation box at the VC. They did at the old one, have not been to the new one. Can some one please shed some light on this?
     

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  3. prroh

    prroh Captain

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    If there are pennies face down that is a red neck attempt at disrespect towards Lincoln or his "vassals".

    Other coins might be placed because 1) the person had run out of pennies or, 2) it is simply a remembrance that somebody stooped by the memorial, much like stones are left on tombstones in Jewish Cemeteries to mark a visit. I have even seen a few tombstones in Catholic cemeteries with rocks on the stones. Maybe that custom has become more widespread.
     
  4. K Hale

    K Hale Colonel Civil War Photo Contest
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    I left a penny on the Texas "Slab o'Spam" monument at Gettysburg, just 'cause I'm a Texan. I wanted to leave a Texas quarter, but didn't have one. And oh yes it was face up.
     
  5. TerryB

    TerryB Captain

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    There's a thread at findagrave.com that deals with this, but that's been at least two or three years. It might be hard to look up.
     
  6. judi

    judi Sergeant

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    Just recently we were by the Irish Brigade Monument and the whole front ledge was lined up with pennies face up. Also Sally at the 11th PA will sometimes have money, dog bones, and one time I was there there was even a cupcake left there.
    The Kentucky Monument in front of the Soldiers Monument in the National Cemetery almost always has pennies with Lincoln's face up as a way to honor Lincoln.
     
  7. Copper 83rd PA INF

    Copper 83rd PA INF Sergeant

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    When I visit someone's grave I always leave something: flowers, a coin, a stone. Something to show that I was there and paid my respects. It would be so good if that money could be collected to help with preservation costs. I'd make sure to take extra coins with me the next time I visit Gettysburg.
     
  8. prroh

    prroh Captain

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    The treats, dog toys, etc. left for Sally are cute. I always use the memorial as a prop to photograph children and to excite their interest.
     
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  9. judi

    judi Sergeant

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    Sally is the one monument that my small grandkids remember when the are going to Gettysburg. Always ask if they can go see Sally and the older ones even remember the story behind the monument.
    Had some one tell me that the Park Service doesn't like leaving coins because they can tarnish the monuments. I didn't buy it but maybe someone else knows if that is true
     
  10. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    I suspect it is true. copper will oxidize and leave a greenish tint in the presence of water IIRC
     
  11. millerlgt82

    millerlgt82 Private

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    I was just there last week and left a penny at Sally's marker (with Lincoln facing up) and at the national cemetery i placed a buckeye from the nearby tree on the graves of the Ohio soldiers buried there so they would have a "little bit of home" close by. I did it because i saw some of the other graves had buckeyes on them already, hopefully i didnt break any laws and if i did i am truly sorry.
     
  12. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    I do want to say that not every "face up" or "face down" penny necessarily means anything. I doubt many five year olds (who often beg to do stuff like that--did you EVER pass a wishing well or fountain when you were little without asking?) pay much attention.
     
  13. Mark F. Jenkins

    Mark F. Jenkins Major Forum Host

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    I remember we all tossed pennies onto Benjamin Franklin's grave when we were in Philadelphia. I've wondered since then how often the groundskeepers swear at that sort of thing. :D
     
  14. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Not at Gettysburg....but definitely for luck and definitely a tradition:

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. LoyaltyOfDogs

    LoyaltyOfDogs Corporal

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    Interesting photo! What is the monument?
     
  16. JerseyBart

    JerseyBart Captain Forum Host

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    ...or take them for themselves. :wavespin:
     
  17. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Captain Forum Host

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    Good to know, on the face-down thing because I never check to see which way the darn thing is- probably would have been disrespectful to a hundred or memorials if this is some tradition!

    Always leave something for Sallie. Have an uncle who died right there, with her regiment.
     
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  18. Rob9641

    Rob9641 Captain Civil War Photo Contest
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    The story I've heard is that it started with Sally and the Irish Wolfhound on the Irish Brigade monument - pennies left to buy dog food. It's spread to other places - I found one once on the upraised hoof of Longstreet's horse - horse food, I guess.
     
  19. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    This is actually...this.....Gen. Sull Ross, 1st President of Texas A&M University. The tradition is to put a penny at his feet for luck during finals, but the dog is sort of taking it to extremes! (It's totally made of pennies to look like Reville, our mascot!

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. shanniereb

    shanniereb First Sergeant

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    Never heard of the face down penny thing and I am Southern:eek: Anyways, good possiblity I would have left a coin or something. I think it is just a way of rememberance, but I wouldn't have thought about which way to left my coin!
     
  21. 23rdYahoos

    23rdYahoos Corporal Civil War Photo Contest
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    Everytime I walk by there are dozens of pennies on the slab. It helps that there is a grated opening in the wall next to his grave to toss those pennies trough or there may not be as many as they charge you now to enter the actual cemetery.
     

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