Union monuments at Gettysburg > Pennsylvania > Infantry 


There are three monuments to the 90th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment on the battlefield of Gettysburg.  The “Granite Tree Monument” is northwest of Gettysburg on Oak Ridge. (Doubleday – Robinson Avenues tour map) The “Eagle monument” (Hancock Avenue at Ziegler’s Grove tour map) and “Boulder monument” (Hancock Avenue Part 1 tour map) are south of town along Hancock Avenue. In addition to the regimental monuments, a monument to the 90th Pennsylvania’s Chaplain Horatio Howell is on Chambersburg Street in Gettysburg. There is also a monument to the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry on the Antietam battlefield.

About the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg

Colonel Peter Lyle commanded the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry at the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg. He took over command of the brigade during the battle. Major Alfred J. Sellers then took command of the regiment.

The Medal of honor as it looked at the time of the Civil War Major Sellers was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on July 1st when he “voluntarily led the regiment under a withering fire to a position from which the enemy was repulsed.”
1st Corps Headquarters Flag Attached to the 2nd Brigade2nd Division 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac 1C-2D

The Granite Tree Monument

The Granite Tree monument of the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg

The Granite Tree monument to the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania erected the “Granite Tree Monument” in 1888 northwest of Gettysburg on Oak Ridge along Doubleday Avenue.

From the “Granite Tree” monument

Right of the First Corps
Here fought the 90th Penna. Infantry
on the afternoon of July 1, 1863.
Killed and mortally wounded 11,
wounded 44, captured or missing
39. Total 94, of 208 engaged.
Organized at Phila. Oct. 1, 1861
Mustered out Nov. 26, 1864

90th P.V.
2nd Brig. 2nd Div. First Corps.

Closeup detail from the Granite Tree monument to the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg

Closeup detail from the Granite Tree monument

About the Granite Tree monument

The 90th Pennsylvania’s Granite Tree monument on Doubleday Avenue is filled with interesting details. The beautifully realistic bark of the tree trunk is stripped in areas and splintered on the side from a grazing shot. The trunk itself is shattered at the top, with the cannonball that caused it still embedded in the tree’s heart.

Closeup of the bird's nest on the Granite Tree monument of the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg

Closeup of the bird’s nest on the Granite Tree monument

But after the ravages of war life goes on. Inches away a mother bird feeds two babies in her nest. Bronze vines grow around the trunk. And the tree still provides other useful services, holding a soldier’s rifle, bayonet, knapsack and cartridge case. The knapsack is lettered for the 90th Pennsylvania. Above the bronze shield telling the regiment’s story is a circle formed from the granite of the trunk, the symbol of the Union First Army Corps.

The Granite Tree monument to the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg

Rear view of the Granite Tree monument

The brass tablet seal of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is on the rear of the trunk. The seal is on all monuments funded by the state.

Flank marker for the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry on Oak Ridge at Gettysburg

Flank marker on Oak Ridge

Nearby, the 90th Pennsylvania’s right flank marker follows the granite tree theme in the form of the stump of a granite sapling.

Location of the “Granite Tree” monument to the 90th Pennsylvania at Gettysburg

The “Granite Tree” monument to the 90th Pennsylvania is northwest of Gettysburg on the east side of Doubleday Avenue in between Mummasburg Road and the observation tower. (39°50’39.7″N 77°14’31.1″W)

The Eagle monument to the 90th Pennsylvania

The “Eagle Monument” was erected in 1888 by the 90th Pennsylvania Survivors Association south of Gettysburg in Ziegler’s Grove. The monument is a tall granite spire topped with a large bronze eagle perched atop a drum. It shows the position the regiment after the evening of July 2 and through July 3.

Eagle monument of the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg

From around the base of the “Eagle” monument

90th P.V. Second Brig. 2nd Division First Corps

Detail from the 90th Pennslvania Infantry's Eagle monument at Gettysburg

Detail from the front of the regiment’s Eagle Monument showing a combination of the badges of the two Corps in which the regiment served.

From the front of the monument

This Regiment recruited in Phila.
Responded to the first call April 6, 1861.
Served until Aug. 9, as the 9th P.V.
Reorganized Oct 1, 1861, as the 90th P.V.
Serving in the First and Fifth Corps, and participating in all the important battles of the Army of the Potomac until mustered out Nov. 26, 1864.
Non sibi sed patriae
(“Not for self, but for country”)

From the tablet on the left side of the monument

Erected by the “Survivors Association” aided by grateful friends, to commemorate the valor and patriotism of our honored dead, and the cause for which they and their comrades fought. This monument marks the position of the 90th Penna. Volunteers of Philada., July 3rd, 1863, Col. Peter Lyle, commanding the 1st Brigade, Major A.J. Sellers, the Regiment.

July 1st From one to three o’clock p.m., the Regiment fought on the extreme right of the 1st Corps on Seminary (Oak) Ridge, as indicated by its monument there. Eight companies being refused, facing the Mummasburg Road, it there engaged Page’s Va. Confederate Battery and O’Neal’s Ala. Brigade of Rodes’ Division until its ammunition was exhausted; losing 11 killed and mortally wounded, 44 wounded, 39 captured and missing, total 94 out of 208 engaged. Three regiments of Iverson’s North Carolina Confederate Infantry were captured on our brigade front.

 July 2nd It occupied Cemetery Hill, and in the evening moved to left of 2nd Corps, returning during the evening to this position.

From the right side:

Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty

Detail from the 90th Pennslvania Infantry's Eagle monument at Gettysburg

Detail from the Eagle monument. At Gettysburg the 90th Pennsylvania was armed with smoothbore muskets that fired a large ball and three buckshot, deadly at close range. A sample ball is embedded in the monument.

From the rear of the monument:

Buck & Ball Calibre 69.

Location of the “Eagle monument” to the 90th Pennsylvania at Gettysburg

The “Eagle” monument to the 90th Pennsylvania is south of Gettysburg in Ziegler’s Grove on the east side of Hancock Avenue at its northern end 30 yards south of Cyclorama Drive. (39°49’00.0″N 77°14’04.0″W)

The Cemetery Ridge “boulder” monument

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania erected the monument in 1889 on Cemetery Ridge. It is on Hancock Avenue south of the State of Pennsylvania Monument. This was the position of the regiment during the fighting on July 2nd.

The monument is a large boulder with a bronze text tablet and a circular bronze medallion inset into the front. It shows the position the regiment was sent to during the Confederate attack on the after of July 2. The left side has a “buck and ball” – the ammunition used in the regiment’s smoothbore muskets at Gettysburg – embedded in the stone.

Monument to the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment on Hancock Avenue at Gettysburg

Monument to the 90th Pennsylvania on Hancock Avenue at Gettysburg

From the tablet on the “boulder” monument:

90th P.V.

90th Regiment Penn’a Vols. of Philadelphia
2nd Brig. 2nd Div. 1st Corps.
was heavily engaged July 1st 1863 on Oak Ridge and Mummasburg Road where the granite tree monument stands. Upon retirement of the Corps, it was formed in line of battle on Cemetery Hill, supporting a battery. On the evening of July 2nd, was ordered to this position and deployed as skirmishers, advancing beyond the Emmitsburg Road. The Confederate General Barksdale, who had fallen mortally wounded in the attack upon the 3rd Corps, was found upon the field and carried to the rear by men of this reg’t. After dark the reg’t returned to Cemetery Hill. On the 3rd it moved to the east or rear of Cemetery Hill, in support of the 12th Corps, engaged on Culp’s Hill, then to the support of batteries upon the brow of the hill, and soon after, at the time of assault upon the 2nd Corps, the reg’t changed position on the double quick and joined their line of battle at Zeigler’s Grove, as indicated the eagle monument there.

“Non-Siri-Sed-Patriae”
(Not for self, but for country)

Detail of "Buck and Ball" from the Monument to the 90th Pennsylvania on Hancock Avenue at Gettysburg

Detail of “Buck and Ball” from the Monument to the 90th Pennsylvania on Hancock Avenue at Gettysburg

Location of the “boulder monument” to the 90th Pennsylvania at Gettysburg

The “Boulder” monument to the 90th Pennsylvania is south of Gettysburg on the west side of Hancock Avenue. It is 50 yards south of the intersection with Humphreys Avenue. (39°48’22.3″N 77°14’05.7″W)

See more on the history of the 90th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War