“20th New York State Militia”

“Ulster Guard

The monument to the 80th New York, or 20th New York State Militia, is west of Gettysburg on Doubleday Avenue. (39.831432° N, 77.251279° W; Tour map: South Reynolds Avenue) It was dedicated in 1888 by the State of New York.

Monument to the 80th New York (20th New York State Militia) at Gettysburg

A marker is south of town on Hancock Avenue showing the regiment’s position on July 2nd and 3rd and telling of its actions during Pickett’s Charge. (39.810234° N, 77.236076° W; Tour map: Hancock Avenue Part 3; Google maps to both monuments)

The regiment was a long-established New York militia unit when it volunteered for Federal service at the beginning of the Civil War. After several months of duty as the 20th New York State Militia it was redesigned as the 80th New York Volunteer Infantry to fit into New York’s newly created volunteer units. Like several other militia units, it protested this loss of identity as well as the assignment of a low-prestiege high number and continued to use its original designation whenever possible.

The regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Colonel Theodore B. Gates. It brought 375 men to the field.

Official Records thumbnail
See Colonel Gates’ Official Report on the 20th New York State Militia at Gettysburg
1st Corps Headquarters Flag

From the front of the monument:

Ulster Guard
20th N.Y. State Militia

80th N.Y. Infantry.
1st Brig. 3d Div. 1st. Corps.
Organized 1851 at Kingston, N.Y. as 20th N.Y.S.M.
Apr. 28, 1861 Entered U.S. service for 3 months.
Sept. 5, 1861 Re-entered service for 3 years.
Sept. 5, 1864 Re-enlisted as veterans for the war.
Jan. 28, 1866 Mustered out of service.

From the rear:

Held substantially this position from about 12m. July 1st 1863 to 4 p.m.
July 2nd on Cemetery Hill in support of 3rd Corps.
July 3rd in front line of battle resisting Pickett’s attack.
Number engaged 375.
Killed 35, wounded 111, missing 24.

Fom the left side:

Norman’s Ford
Warrenton Springs
2d Bull Run

From the right side:

South Mountain

Marker showing the location of the 80th New York (20th New York State Militia) during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg

Marker showing the location of the 80th New York (20th New York State Militia) during Pickett’s Charge

From the marker on Hancock Avenue (below right):

20th New York State Militia
Ulster Guard

(80th N.Y. Infantry)

From a position south of this point the 20th New York State Militia delivered a most destructive fire into the attacking southerners’ right flank. As the enemy infantry moved obliquely to the left, the New York Regiment advanced north along this line firing as they moved to the right. Occupying a new position near the copse of trees the Ulster Guard fought to repel Longstreet’s assault, finally charging a group of Confederates, driving them from the shelter of the slashing.

This Hand for Our Country

From the rear:

1st Brigade 3rd Division 1st Corps
Col. Theodore B. Gates Commanding Regiment

From the right side:

Major Walter A. Van Rensselaer was wounded near the slashing in a successful attempt to capture an enemy battle-flag.

From the left side:

Captain Ambrose N. Baldwin Co, K was mortally wounded in the final action near the Copse of Trees.

See more about the 20th New York State Militia (80th New York Volunteers) in the Civil War