70th, 71st, 72nd & 73rd & 74th
New York Volunteer Infantry Regiments

The monument to New York’s Excelsior Brigade is south of Gettysburg on Sickles Avenue in Excelsior Field. (39.80179° N, 77.247491° W; Google map; Tour map: Sickles Ave. at Excelsior Field) It was dedicated in 1893 by the State of New York.

Monument to the Excelsior Brigade at Gettysburg

Five marker stones show the positions of each the brigade’s regiments north of the monument along the fenceline to United States Avenue.

Daniel Sickles raised this brigade of five regiments early in 1861. The regiments were raised directly under the authority of War Department and included companies from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Michigan. In December of 1861 they were redesignated as New York regiments and assigned their numbers.

Sickles commanded the brigade at Seven Pines and during the Seven Days battles. By the time of the Battle of Gettysburg he had been promoted to corps command, but the Excelsior Brigade would always be connected to its controverisal commander.

3rd Corps Headquarters Flag 3C-3D
Officially designated the 2nd Brigade2nd Division3rd Corps, Army of the Potomac

 

Looking east. Sickles Avenue immediately behind the monument. To its left is the bullet shape of the monument to the 7th New Jersey Infantry Regiment. The monument to New Jersey's Battery B is at the very right edge of the photo, with the Greek cross of the 139th Pennsylvania Infantry monument behind it to the left. In the right distance is Wheatfield Road and the monument to the 5th Massachusetts Battery.

Looking east. Sickles Avenue is behind the monument. In the distance to its left is the bullet shape of the monument to the 7th New Jersey. The monument to New Jersey’s Battery B is at the right edge of the photo, with the Greek cross of the 139th Pennsylvania Infantry monument behind it to the left. In the right distance is Wheatfield Road and the monument to the 5th Massachusetts Battery.

From around the top of the monument:

Sickles’ Excelsior Brigade E pluribus unum.

2d Division, 3d Corps
Colonel W. R. Brewster commanding

Position July 2, 1863, 2 to 6 p.m.
July 3, Supported left center

From around the five faces of the base of the monument:

70th New York Infantry
(1st Excelsior)
On the afternoon of the 2nd of July 1863, the brigade of which this regiment formed a part, supported Carr’s Brigade in resisting the assault of the enemy along the line of the Emmittsburg Road. On July 3rd, supported the left centre of the army.
—-
Casualties,
32 killed, 81 wounded, 4 missing
Total 117.
Mustered in June 20, 1861. Mustered out July 1, 1864.

71st New York Infantry
(2nd Excelsior)
On the afternoon of the 2nd of July 1863, the brigade of which this regiment formed a part, supported Carr’s Brigade in resisting the assault of the enemy along the line of the Emmittsburg Road. On July 3rd, supported the left centre of the army.
—-
Casualties,
14 killed – 64 wounded – 13 missing
Total 91
Mustered in June 20, 1861. Mustered out July 30, 1864.

72nd New York Infantry
(3rd Excelsior)
On the afternoon of the 2nd of July 1863, the brigade of which this regiment formed a part, supported Carr’s Brigade in resisting the assault of the enemy along the line of Emmittsburg Road. On July 3rd, supported the left centre of the army.
—-
Casualties
7 killed – 94 wounded – 15 missing
Total 116
Mustered in June 20, 1861. Mustered out July 19, 1864.

73rd New York Infantry
(4th Excelsior, “2nd Fire Zouaves”)
At 5:30 p.m. July 2, 1863, this regiment was detached to support General Graham’s Brigade at the Peach Orchard which was heavily attacked by McLaws’ Division of the Confederate Army. On July 3rd, supported the left centre of the army.
—-
Casualties
51 killed -103 wounded – 8 missing
Total 162
Mustered in July 10, 1861. Mustered out June 29, 1865.

74th New York Infantry
(5th Excelsior)
On the afternoon of the 2nd of July 1863, the brigade of which this regiment formed a part, supported Car’s Brigade in resisting the assault of the enemy along the line of Emmittsburg Road. On July 3rd, supported the left centre of the army.
—-
Casualties
17 killed – 69 wounded – 3 missing
Total 8
Mustered in June 20, 1861. Mustered out June 26, 1864.

The Excelsior Brigade was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Colonel William R. Brewster of the 73rd New York. He was senior colonel of the brigade and took command after Brigadier General Joseph Revere was court-martialled and dismissed for withdrawing the brigade without orders after the Battle of Chancellorsville.

A marker stone shows each regiment’s position in the battle.

Marker for the 70th New York Infantry of the Excelsior Brigade at Gettysburg

Marker for the 70th New York of the Excelsior Brigade. “70th N.Y.I. Sickles’ Brig.”

The 70th New York Infantry Regiment was commanded by Colonel John E. Farnum. See more about the 70th New York Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.

Marker for the 71st New York Infantry of the Excelsior Brigade at Gettysburg

Marker for the 71st New York of the Excelsior Brigade. “71st N.Y.I. Sickles’ Brig.”

The 71st New York Infantry Regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Colonel Henry R. Potter, who was wounded on July 2. See more about the 71st New York Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.

Marker for the 72nd New York Infantry of the Excelsior Brigade at Gettysburg

Marker for the 72nd New York of the Excelsior Brigade. “72nd N.Y.I. Sickles’ Brig.”

The 72nd New York Infantry Regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Colonel John S. Austin. He was wounded on July 2nd, and Lieutenant Colonel John Leonard then took command. See more about the 72nd New York Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.

Marker for the 73rd New York Infantry of the Excelsior Brigade at Gettysburg

Marker for the 73rd New York of the Excelsior Brigade. “73rd N.Y.I. Sickles’ Brig.”

The 73rd New York Infantry Regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Major Michael W. Burns while Colonel Brewster commanded the brigade. The 73rd is also honored at Gettysburg by its own monument. See more about the 73rd New York infantry Regiment in the Civil War.

Marker for the 74th New York Infantry of the Excelsior Brigade at Gettysburg

Marker for the 74th New York of the Excelsior Brigade. “74th N.Y.I. Sickles’ Brig.”

The 74th New York Infantry Regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Holt. See more about the 74th New York Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.

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