About the monument to the 28th Massachusetts
The monument is a granite shaft topped by a marble American Eagle, standing 13′ 4″ tall. The face of each side has a different symbol: the Shield of the United States, the trefoil of the Second Corps, the Coat of Arms of the State of Massachusetts, and the harp of Ireland. The regiment’s motto, FAUGH A BALLAUGH (“Clear the way,” in Gaelic) is at the top of the front. The monument was erected by survivors and friends of the regiment in 1885.
The 28th Massachusetts at Gettysburg
The 28th Massachusetts was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Colonel Richard Byrnes. It brought 265 men to the field, losing 8 killed, 57 wounded and 35 missing.
The 28th and the Irish Brigade were part of Caldwell’s Division sent to support Sickle’s Third Corps that was desperately fighting off Longstreet’s attack on the afternoon of July 2nd. They attacked south from the Trostle Woods across the Wheatfield and into the Rose Woods and the Stony Hill on its west side where the monument stands.
The Confederate advance was temporarily halted just as it threatened to overwhelm the entire Union position. But the brigade was flanked by Confederate reinforcements advancing from the Peach Orchard. It was forced to withdraw back across the bloody Wheatfield. Colonel Byrnes carried the regimental colors across the open ground, ordering frequent volleys back into the pursuing Confederates.
See Colonel Byrnes’ Official Report on the 28th Massachusetts at the Battle of Gettysburg.
From the front of the monument:
FAUGH A BALLAUGH
28th Mass. Inf’y Vol.
Col. Richard Byrns, com.
Meaghers Irish Brig.,
Col. Patrick Kelly com.
This regiment went into battle July 2, 1863 numbering 220 officers and men 101 of whom were killed or wounded
Erected by the survivors and friends of the Regt. to mark the spot where it fought in defense of the American Union.
From around the base of the monument:
28th Mass. 2nd Brig. 1st Div. 2nd Corp.
See more about the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment