The monument to the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment is south of Gettysburg near the Copse of Trees. (Hancock Avenue at The Angle tour map) It was dedicated in 1887 by the State of Pennsylvania. Symbolism on the monument includes a harp at the top, crossed flags, and many trefoils, the symbol of the Union Second Corps, but also known as the shamrock, a symbol of Ireland.
The 69th Pennsylvania was created from Irish militia companies in Philadelphia. It was the only Pennsylvania regiment authorized to carry a green battle flag in the place of the state flag.
The 69th Pennsylvania was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Colonel Dennis O’Kane. He was mortally wounded on July 3rd during Pickett’s Charge and died the next day. Lieutenant Colonel Martin Tschudy, who had been wounded on the 2nd but remained on the field, was also killed on the 3rd. Major Duffy, although wounded, remained on the field in command until the battle was over, when Captain William Davis took over the regiment.
|Attached to the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac|
From the front of the monument:
July. 2, 3,
was held by the 69th PA. Vols.
July 2nd and 3rd 1863.
Late on the afternoon of the 2nd, this
regiment assisted in repulsing a desperate
attack made by Wright’s Ga. Brigade.
About 1 o’clock, p.m. of the 3rd, these lines
were subjected to an artillery fire from
nearly 150 guns, lasting over one hour after
which, Pickett’s division charged this position,
was repulsed, and nearly annihilated. The
contest on the left and centre of this
regiment, for a time being hand-to-hand. Of the
regimental commanders attacking, but one
remained unhurt. Genl. Garnett was killed,
Genl. Kemper desperately wounded, and
Genl. Armistead, after crossing the stonewall
above the right of this command – 2 companies
of which changed front to oppose him – fell
A number of Confederate flags were picked
up on this front after the battle.
From the left side of the monument:
was organized April 12, 1861
from the 2nd Regt. Pa. State Militia
for 3 months, was designated the
24th Regt. Reorganized for 3 years
August 19th, 1861, as the 69th Regt.
Reenlisted January 31st, 1864.
Mustered out at the end of the war,
July 1st, 1865.
Aggregate strength of the regiment from
re-organization until muster out 1736
Agregate number of casualties 762
From the right side of the monument:
Engaged in the following battles.
Falling Waters, Ball’s Crossroads,
Dranesville, Yorktown, Fair Oaks,
Peach Orchard, Savage Station,
White Oak Swamp, Glendale, 1st & 2nd Malvern Hill,
2nd Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain,
Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville,
Thoroughfare Gap, Haymarket, Gettysburg,
Rappahannock Station, Auburn, Bristoe Station,
Kelly’s Ford, Robertson’s Farm, Mine Run,
Wilderness, Po River, 1st-2nd Spottsylvania,
Milford, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor,
Petersburg, Jerusalem Plank Road,
Deep Bottom, Strawberry Plains, Reams Station,
Boydton Plank Road, 1st-2nd Hatcher’s Run,
Dabney’s Mills, Five Forks, Jettersville,
Farmville, Saylor’s Creek,
Surrender of Lee.
From the rear of the monument:
of our deceased comrades
who gave up their lives in defense
of a perpetual Union.
On this spot fell our commander,
Col. Dennis O’Kane, his true glory was
victory or death, at the moment of achieving
the former, he fell victim to the latter.
While rallying the right to repulse Armistead,
the Lieut. Col. Martin Tschudy was killed. He
was also wounded on the previous day, but
nobly refused to leave the field. The Major
and Adjutant were also wounded.
Out of an aggregate strength of 258
the regiment suffered a loss of 137.
by the surviving members and
and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Location of the monument
The monument to the 69th Pennsylvania is south of Gettysburg 70 yards west of Hancock Avenue and immediately to the west of the Copse of Trees. (39°48’45.4″N 77°14’10.6″W)
The 69th Pennsylvania is also honored on the Philadelphia Brigade monument at Antietam
See more on the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War