The monument to the 19th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment is south of Gettysburg on the east side of Hancock Avenue south of the Copse of Trees. (39.811503° N, 77.235416° W; map; Tour map: Hancock Avenue Part 3)
About the monument to the 19th Massachusetts
The granite monument is 7’ high, with carved reliefs of a knapsack and bugle on its slanting front face and of a cartridge box on its top. It was dedicated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1885.
The 19th Massachusetts at Gettysburg
The 19th Massachusetts was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Colonel Arthur F. Devereaux. It brought 231 men to the field, losing 9 killed, 61 wounded and 7 missing.
Colonel Devereaux noted that the opening shot of the artillery barrage preceding Pickett’s Charge struck Lieutenant S.S. Robinson of the 19th, “cutting his body nearly in two, killing him instantly.” While there is no doubt of Robinson’s death, there are four other contradictory accounts of the first shot, including one by the 19th’s own Lieutenant J.B.G. Adams, who claimed to have had the shot pass over him while lying in a field hospital just behind the lines.*
*From George R. Stewart, Pickett’s Charge: A Microhistory of the Final Attack at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, p126
|Five members of the 19th Massachusetts were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions on July 3rd at Gettysburg:Major Edward Rice for “conspicuous bravery on the countercharge against Pickett’s division where he fell severely wounded within the enemy’s lines.” Color Sergeant Benjamin F. Falls for the capture of an enemy flag. Sergeant Benjamin H. Jellison of Company C and Private John H. Robinson of Company I for the capture of the flag of the 57th Virginia Infantry. Corporal Joseph H. De Castro for the capture of the flag of the 19th Virginia Infantry.|
|See Colonel Devereaux’s Official Report for the 19th Massachusetts in the Battle of Gettysburg|
From the monument:
The 19th Reg’t Mass. Vol. Infty
3rd Brigade – 2nd Division – 2nd Army Corps
stood here on the afternoon of July 3rd 1863
From an iron sign on the south side of the Copse of Trees:
Nineteenth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
The position of this regiment in line of battle was 119 yards S.S.E. and is represented by its monument.
The 19th Massachusetts and 42d New York Regiments were the first troops to attack Pickett’s Division in flank.
“Passing at this time Colonel Devereux, commanding the 19th Massachusetts Volunteers, anxious to be in the right place, appled to me for permission to move his regiment to the right and to the front where the line had been broken.” – Hancock’s official report.
See more on the 19th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.