Civil War

Furness carried his father’s abolitionist beliefs into military service, serving in the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry until the end of 1864. His regiment was ordered by General McClellan to carry lances into battle; in an age of sabers and carbines, these were impediments but they gave the regiment its identity as Rush’s Lancers. His career spanned from Manassas to Gettysburg and on to the largest cavalry engagement of the war at Trevilian Station. For conspicuous heroism in the latter battle he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Several of his principal clients including William West Frazier, Rudolf Ellis, Henry Winsor were drawn from the ranks of officers in the regiment. In 1888 to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Gettysburg, Furness designed a six-sided granite shaft surrounded by lances cast in bronze with bronze pennants fluttering with or without wind. © George E. Thomas