About the monument to the 56th Pennsylvania
The monument is sculped bronze on a base of granite, with the monument standing about 15′ 8″ tall. The bronze sculpture includes a stand of three rifles supporting furled colors, symbolizing that the regiment’s work has been finished.
The monument’s text mentions a stone marker on Culp’s Hill showing its position on July 2nd and 3rd but this was apparently never placed.
The 56th Pennsylvania at Gettysburg
The 56th Pennsylvania was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Colonel John W. Hoffmann. It was the second Union infantry regiment on the field on July 1st and the first to open fire, taking on the Confederates of Davis’ Brigade. A twenty minute firefight caused the Pennsylvanians heavy casualties before the regiment was withdrawn to the woods along Oak Ridge, the extension of Seminary Ridge north of the Railroad Cut.
With the collapse of the Union defensive line north and west of Gettysburg in late afternoon the 56th retreated through town to Cemetery Hill, where it was posted to Culp’s Hill for the rest of the battle.
From the front of the monument:
56th Penna. Infantry
2nd Brigade, 1st Division. 1st Corps.
The Regiment here delivered the opening fire of the infantry in the Battle of Gettysburg in the forenoon of July 1st, 1863. July 2nd and 3rd, occupied position on Culp’s Hill as indicated by stone marker.
From the left side:
Went into action with 252 officers and men.
Killed and died of wounds 17
Captured or missing 55
Recruited in the counties of Centre,
Indiana, Luzerne, Philadelphia,
Susquehanna and Wayne.
Mustered in October 16th, 1861,
re-enlisted February 1864,
mustered out July 1st, 1865.
From the right side:
2d Bull Run
Pollock’s Mill, Chancellorsville
Poplar Spring Church Hatchers Run
White Oak Road
See more on the 56th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War