The monument to the 61st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment is south of Gettysburg in The Wheatfield. (Ayers Avenue – Wheatfield tour map)
About the monument to the 61st New York Infantry
The rough-hewn granite monument stands 9′ tall and roughly 6′ square. The front and back have inset panels with a polished finish inscribed with the regiment’s information. A bronze trefoil symbol of the Second Corps is on the front and rear cap, and a round bronze Seal of the State of New York is on the front face. The monument was dedicated on July 1, 1889 by the State of New York.
The 61st New York at Gettysburg
The 61st New York was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Lieutenant Colonel Knut Oscar Broady, a Swedish veteran who was a student in the United States at the start of the war. It brought “only 90 muskets” to the field, according to Lieutenant Colonel Broady’s official report..
On July 2nd the regiment attacked with Colonel Cross’ First Brigade south from the Trostle Woods, across Wheatfield Road and into the Wheatfield. The brigade was halfway across the Wheatfield and had paused to steady the battle line when Colonel Cross was shot down and the attack stalled out.
The 61st New York was in an exposed position on the right flank of the line in the middle of the field and was taking heavy casualties from Anderson’s Georgia Brigade. After losing over half its strength in a few minutes, the 61st was ordered back to the shelter of the woods.
That evening it was assigned to take a large number of Confederate prisoners two miles to the rear. Leaving a detachment to guard the prisoners, the tiny band of survivors rejoined the brigade in the morning, surviving the artillery barrage before Pickett’s Charge without further loss.
|See Lieutenant Colonel Broady’s Official Report for the 61st New York at Gettysburg|
From the front of the monument:
61st Regt. N.Y. Infy.
1st Brig. 1st Div.
Organized September 1861.
Mustered out July 14th 1865.
From the rear of the monument:
This position held by the 61st Regt. N.Y. infy.
on the afternoon of July 2, 1863.
Casualties, killed 6 wounded 56
Total loss 62
Location of the monument
The monument to the 61st New York is south of Gettysburg in The Wheatfield, 120 yards southwest of Wheatfield Road and 100 yards northwest of Ayers Avenue. (39°47’49.2″N 77°14’31.0″W)