The monument to the 61st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment is southeast of Gettysburg on Neil Avenue, often called “Lost Lane” because of its inaccessibility.
About the monument to the 61st Pensylvania
The pink granite monument stands 11′ 3″ tall. Rising from a 6′ square base, it tapers to a 3′ square shaft before curving in at the top to a pyramidal cap. A relief of the Greek cross symbol of the Sixth Corps flanked by laurel leaves of victory is on all four sides of the top section, and a bronze tablet of the Coat of Arms of Pennsylvania is on the front center. The monument was dedicated on July 24, 1888 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The 61st Pennsylvania at Gettysburg
The 61st Pennsylvania was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Colonel George F. Smith, an attorney from West Chester. It brought 400 men to the field, losing 1 wounded and 1 missing.
The regiment was part of Neil’s Brigade of the Sixth Corps. Neil was ordered to protect the army’s major supply line on Baltimore Pike from Confederate scouts who were drifting down from the fighting around Culp’s Hill. Neill formed his brigade and advanced to the present location of Neil Avenue, driving back the Confederates while taking a handful of casualties.
The 61st Pennsylvania was the right flank of the brigade, which on July 3 was the extreme right flank of the infantry of the entire Army of the Potomac. It is indicated by a nearby marker which is next to the flank marker for the regiment.
|Attached to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Corps, Army of the Potomac|
From the front of the monument:
After a march of 37 miles
reached the field about 4 p.m. July 2nd.
Moved to support of 12th Corps.
Occupied this position from morning
of July 3rd until close of battle.
61st. Penna. Infantry
3rd Brig. 2nd. Div. 6th Corps.
From the left side:
Extreme right of infantry of the army.
From the right side:
Mustered in August 1861
Re-enlisted Dec. 1863. to Feb. 1864
Mustered out June 28, 1865
Total enrollment – 1987
Total killed and mortally wounded
18 officers 214 enlisted men
Wounded 28 officers 470 enlisted men
Died of disease 103 enlisted men
Total 46 officers 787 enlisted men
Location of the monument
The monument and marker are southeast of Gettysburg on Neil Avenue, a difficult to access strip of public land almost totally surrounded by private property and often referred to as “Lost Lane.” Public access is by an unmaintained right of way which starts from the end of Clapsaddle Road, heads southwest about 400 yards, then turns back southeast another 130 yards to the western end of Neil Avenue. At last examination the way was almost impassible due to downed trees and erosion. (39°48’28.9″N 77°12’33.9″W)