“Fifth German Rifles”
The monument to the 45th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment is north of Gettysburg on Howard Avenue (Howard Avenue West tour map) A marker beside the McLean farm lane north of Mummasburg Road shows the regiment’s advanced position on July 1st.
The 45th New York at the Battle of Gettysburg
The 45th New York was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Colonel George Karl Heinrich Wilhelm Von Amsberg. He took command of the brigade on July 1st and Lieutenant Colonel Adolphus Dobke then took command of the regiment.
|Captain Francis Irsch was awarded the Medal of Honor for “gallantry in flanking the enemy and capturing a number of prisoners and in holding a part of the town against heavy odds while the Army was rallying on Cemetery Hill” at Gettysburg on July 1st.|
From the front of the monument:
45th N. Y. Infantry.
1st Brig. 3rd Div. 11th Corps
July 1, 1863.
From the left (south) side of the monument:
This regiment went into action about 11:30 a.m., July 1st 1863 by deploying four companies as skirmishers under Captain Irsch. About one hundred yards to the rear of this monument, they advanced supported by the other six companies under Lt. Dobke, about five hundred and forty yards under a terrific artillery and sharpshooters fire to a point indicated by marker in front. This regiment also assisted in repelling a charge on the flank of the 1st Corps to the left, capturing many prisoners. Covered retrograde movement into town, fighting through the streets, where Major Koch fell desperately wounded. A portion of the regiment was cut off and took shelter in connecting houses and yards on Chambersburg Street west of the town square, holding the enemy at bay, until about 5:30 p.m. when they surrendered, after having destroyed their arms and accoutrements.
From the rear of the monument:
The regiment carried into action July 1st, 25 officers and about 250 men as officially reported. It lost, killed 11, wounded 35, missing 164, total 210 officers and men. Among the missing many were killed or wounded in the town and not included in the above numbers. Those captured refused offered parole hoping to encumber the enemy, believing that the Union Army would capture the crippled foe. and thereby effect their release. Sadly disappointed, they suffered indescribable misery in Andersonville and other prison pens, neglected, often maltreated and finally believing themselves forgotten and forsaken. Many died martyrs and joined their more fortunate comrades who fell gloriously on this field.
From the right (north) side of the monument:
On July 2, the remnant of the regiment was exposed to a heavy artillery fire on Cemetery Hill, and in the evening moved hastily to Culp’s Hill and assisted in repulsing an attack on Greene’s Brigade 12th Corps (see markers on Culp’s and Cemetery Hills). On 3rd it was again exposed to artillery and sharpshooters fire, whereupon Sergt. Link, with volunteers, dislodged the enemy’s sharpshooters in the edge of town, nearly all the small attacking party being killed or wounded in the effort. The regiment while in the Army of the Potomac participated in the following battles; Cross Keys, Cedar Mountain, Waterloo Bridge, White Sulphur Springs, Gainesville, Groveton, 2d Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and then transferred to the Army of the Cumberland at: Lookout Mountain, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, and many other minor engagements.
From the marker on the McLean farm lane:
45. N.Y. Inf.
July 1, 1863
Location of the main monument
The main monument to the 45th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment is north of Gettysburg on the south side of Howard Avenue about 140 yards east of Mummasburg Road. (39°50’25.9″N 77°14’08.5″W)
Location of the position marker
The position marker to the 45th New York is north of Gettysburg on the east side of the driveway for the McLean Farm north of Mummasburg Road. (39°50’40.9″N 77°14’23.7″W)