Friday, December 19, 2008

In detail: the 111th New York - Gettysburg

The 111th New York Infantry monument in front of the Brian house on Cemetery Ridge marks only one spot the regiment occupied during its few days at Gettysburg. It helped stop the Confederate attacks on the second day of battle, south of its final position at the stonewall. And before helping repel Pickett's Charge at the little farmhouse members of the 111th performed the duties of skirmishing between the Cemetery and Seminary Ridge lines. "Line fighting is barbarous, but skirmishing is savage - nay, devilish," a captain of the 111th determined. "To juke and hide and skulk for men and deliberately aim at and murder them one by one is far too bloodthirsty business for Christian men." The Rebels exacted a toll in exchange. The 111th sent 390 men into the battle, 249 became casualties, 58 killed. (Click image for larger view).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

111th NY at the Brian Farm - Gettysburg

The 111th New York Infantry monument stands on Cemetery Ridge in front of the Brian House at Gettysburg, behind the stone wall the men used as shelter first from the cannonade preceding Pickett's Charge, then during the infantry assault. The 111th NY and its neighboring units had the better of the action on the north end of the charge, punishing its attackers. "As the effect of each volley could be seen, the cheers and the confusion were wild," reported the 111th's colonel. (Click image for larger view).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Brian Farmhouse - Gettysburg

The simple farmhouse of Abraham Brian sits on Cemetery Ridge, right on what became the main Union line on the second and third days of fighting at Gettysburg. Brian's family lived here from 1857 to 1869, when he sold the house and took up a job in the town. The house had significant post-war additions before being renovated and returned to its appearance during the battle. (Click image for larger view).

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Brian Farm - Gettysburg

The 111th New York monument stands next to the Brian farm barn on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. The barn was part of a farm owned by Abraham Brian, a free black man who fled as Confederates neared. His 12 acre farm would provide the setting for a large part of Pickett's Charge. After returning to Gettysburg and finding graves in his devestated farm fields and his modest house damaged and ransacked, Brian filed claims for $1028 in damages. He received $15. (Click image for larger view).