69th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 48.757 W 077° 14.177
18S E 308581 N 4409352
Quick Description: The 69th Pa Irish fought in every campaign w/ the Union and were in the midst of almost every major battle during the Civil War. These men, mostly born in Ireland, fought to defeat the Rebels and are represented by this obelisk-monument.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 3/17/2013 7:51:45 PM
Waymark Code: WMGKY1
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Irish dominant 69th Pennsylvania Infantry was also known as Union Guards. During the battle of Gettysburg, it served as a member of Webb’s Brigade in Gibbon’s Division of the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, a Fighting 300 Regiment. The 69th Pennsylvania Infantry (originally raised as the 2nd California) was a volunteer regiment in the Union army during the American Civil War. Part of the famed Philadelphia Brigade consisting primarily of Irish. The 69th was the only Pennsylvania regiment to carry a green "Irish" flag into battle. Companies I and K wore a very Americanized Zouave uniform. This uniform consisted of a dark blue Zouave jacket with green trimming, green cuffs, and sixteen brass buttons down the front on both sides of the jacket, a sky blue Zouave vest, chasseur sky-blue trousers, and a dark blue kepi. This was one of the few Zouave uniforms that did not use red as the jacket trimming. To read more about the Irish of the 69th and their involement in the Civil War, click HERE

The unit played a large role at the Battle of Gettysburg, helping repel both Brig. Gen. Ambrose Wright’s charge on July 2 and defending against Pickett's Charge on July 3. Its casualties over the last two days of the battle were enormous, losing 143 men out of 258, including its colonel, lieutenant colonel, two captains, and a lieutenant. The regiment's ranking officer, Major Duffy, was seriously wounded but refused to give up command until the battle was over. The 69th finished the campaign under the command of a captain.

At Gettysburg, the 69th was commanded by Colonel Dennis O’Kane (1824-1863). Born in Ireland, O'Kane was a tavern keeper in Richmond before the war. On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 3, 1863) the 69th Pennsylvania was stationed at the famous Angle on Cemetery Ridge, and was in the forefront of the troops that help repulse Pickett's Charge. Col. O'Kane was shot in the head at the wall and died the next day. The 69th Pennsylvania Monument now stands in the Gettysburg National Military Park on the spot where he was mortally wounded. Under O'Kane's command, the 69th brought 329 men to the Gettysburg battlefield, and among them 40 men were killed , 80 wounded and 17 went missing.

The 69th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument is located on the left or west side of Hancock Avenue (RD310) if traveling north along the road at an area called The Angle. The monument is 193 feet from the road, resting in the grass, 180 feet west northwest of the High Water Mark of the Rebellion Monument (MN230). On this side of the road there are about 1080 feet of green fields with a line of monumentation spread across it representing the line of union regiments who defended Cemetery Ridge at The Angle against Longstreet's assault also referred to as Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863, the final day of the Great Battle. Parking is plentiful and is available road-side at intermittently enlarged shoulder cut-outs, usually marked with white striping. Be sure to keep vehicles off the grass or you will be ticketed by park police. I visited this monument on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at approximately 4:35 P.M. I was at an elevation of 591 feet, ASL. I used a Canon PowerShot 14.1 Megapixel, SX210 IS digital camera for the photos.

The Draw the Sword site helped out by the NPS narrative and the SIRIS site offers the following description: Monument that has ten company markers. Ten granite company markers are one foot square, connected by a chain. Shaft stands on a polished pedestal and a rough-hewn base. A Coat of Arms for the State of Pennsylvania is affixed to the plinth. Decorative elements include the Corps insignia, Irish lyre and United States flags. The sculpture indicates the position held by the 69th Pennsylvania during Longstreet’s Assault July 3, 1863. It is also near the spot where their commander, Col. Dennis O’Kane, was killed.

The monument was dedicated in July 3, 1887 by the State of Pennsylvania. The monument is composed of Quincy granite w/ bronze elements and has the following dimensions: The obelisk is 20 feet in height and the base is approximately 5 feet 6 inches². The monument was sculpted by Joseph E. Burk. There are lengthy inscriptions on all four sides which read:

(Upper Front of Shaft):
Phila. Brigade
2d. Division
2d. Corps
69th Regt.
Penna. Vols.
July. 2, 3,

This position
was held by the 69th PA. Vols.,
July 2nd and 3rd 1863.
Late on the afternoon of the 2nd, this
regiment assisted in repulsing a desperate
attack made by Wright's Ga. Brigade.
About 1 O'Clock, p.m. of the 3rd, these lines
were subjected to an artillery fire from
nearly 150 guns, lasting over one hour after
which, Pickett's division charged this position,
was repulsed, and nearly annihilated. The
contest on the left and centre of this
regiment, for a time being hand-to-hand. Of the
regimental commanders attacking, but one
remained unhurt. Genl. Garnett was killed,
Genl. Kemper desperately wounded, and
Genl. Armistead, after crossing the stonewall
above the right of this command - 2 companies
of which changed front to oppose him - fell
mortally wounded.
A number of Confederate flags were picked
up on this front after the battle.

69th Pennsylvania

This Regiment
was organized April 12, 1861
from the 2nd Regt. Pa. State Militia,
for 3 months, was designated the
24th Regt. Reorganized for 3 years
August 19th, 1861. As the 69th Regt.
Reenlisted January 31st, 1864.
Mustered out at the end of the war.
July 1st, 1865.
Aggregate strength of the regiment from
re-organization until muster out 1736
Agregate number of casualties 762

In memoriam
of our deceased comrades,
who gave up their lives in defence
of a perpetual Union.
On this spot fell our commander,
Col. Dennis O'Kane, his true glory was
victory or death, at the moment of achieving
the former, he fell victim to the latter.
While rallying the right to repulse Armistead,
the Lieut. Col. Martin Tschuby was killed. He
was also wounded on the previous day, but
nobly refused to leave the field. The Major
and Adjutant were also wounded.
Out of an aggregate strength of 258
the regiment suffered a loss of 137
By the surviving members and
their friends
and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

in the following battles.
Falling Waters, Ball's Crossroads,
Dranesville, Yorktown, Fair Oaks,
Peach Orchard, Savage Station,
White Oak Swamp, Glendale, 1st & 2nd Malvern Hill,
2nd Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain,
Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville,
Thoroughfare Gap, Haymarket, Gettysburg,
Rappahannock Station, Auburn, Bristoe Station,
Kelly's Ford, Robertson's Farm, Mine Run,
Wilderness, Po River, 1st-2nd Spottsylvania,
Milford, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor,
Petersburg, Jerusalem Plank Road,
Deep Bottom, Strawberry Plains, Reams Station,
Boydton Plank Road, 1st-2nd Hatcher's Run,
Dabney's Mills, Five Forks, Jettersville,
Farmville, Saylor's Creek,
Surrender of Lee.

The 69th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument is a contributing feature to the Gettysburg National Military Park Historic District which is nationally significant under NR Criteria A, B, C & D. Areas of Significance: Military, Politics/Government, Landscape Architecture, Conservation, Archeology-Historic. Period of Significance: 1863-1938. The original National Register Nomination was approved by the Keeper March 19, 1975. An update to this nomination was approved by the Keeper on January 23, 2004. The monument is identified as structure number MN228-J.

From the Nomination Form:
1 of 110 Monuments to Pennsylvania. Indicates position of 69th PA Infty Jul 3, 1863. Row of granite posts connected by chain designates co's. A-K place line. Located S side Webb Av. W of Copse of Trees.

Short Physical Description:
Mn & 10 Co. Markers. Mn: 5'6"sq, rough-cut base w/incised inscrip. 3 part finished & polished granite shaft w/ 3rd part obelisk. Bronze tablet missing. 10 co. markers 1'sq x 2'-3'H. Chains between co. mkrs re-installed. ERO noted @ Co. K mkr.

Long Physical Description:
Monument that has ten company markers. Monument is a three-part finished and polished granite shaft with a third part obelisk and set on a 5.6 foot rough cut base with incised inscription. Ten granite company markers are one foot square, connected by a chain. Located on the south side of the former Webb Avenue west of the Copse of Trees.

My Sources
1. NRHP Nomination Form
3. Stone Sentinels
4. Virtual Gettysburg
5. Draw the Sword
6. Historical Marker Database
7. Wikipedia
8. Find a Grave

Website with background information about this Waymark: [Web Link]

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