The monument to the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment is south of Gettysburg near the Copse of Trees. (39.81262 N, 77.23629 W; Google map; Tour map: Hancock Avenue at The Angle) It was dedicated in 1887 by the State of Pennsylvania.
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.
The 69th was created from Irish militia companies in Philadelphia. It was the only Pennsylvania regiment authorized to carry a green battle flag, and a harp is inscribed at the top of the monument.
From the front of the monument:
2d. Division 2d. Corps
69th Regt. Penna. Vols.
July. 2, 3, 1863.
This position 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 mortally wounded. A number of Confederate flags were picked up on this front after the battle.
From the left side:
This Regiment 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:
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:
In memoriam 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.
Erected by the surviving members and their friends
and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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