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Sculpted by Gary Casteel

 

1863 Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Monument Replicas

 

After several days of hard marching, the 140th New York reached Gettysburg in the early morning of July 2nd, 1863, and took position behind the Union line at Power’s Hill, off the Baltimore Pike.  In the afternoon orders arrived after General Daniel Sickles, commander of the 3rd Corps, advanced his 10,000 men forward of the Union line established by General George Meade.  Because of the length of the new line, Sickles’ Corps was thinned out in many places and had failed to connect with the main Union force.  As a result, a possible “back door” to Meade’s Army of the Potomac had been opened at Little Round Top.  Meade ordered his reserve units to the left front to fill in the line and protect the “back door”.

 

The 140th was marching across the north slope of Little Round Top to the support of Sickle’s 3rd  Corps when it was intercepted by General Gouverneur Warren, Meade’s Chief Engineer who was desperately improvising a defense of the vital hill.  Warren, who had commanded the brigade in the past, was well known to Colonel Patrick “Paddy” O’Rorke, and he ordered the 140th to Little Round Top.  At first O’Rorke declined Warren’s orders because he was to follow his brigade (Weed’s Brigade) to the Wheatfield.  Warren replied, “never mind that, Paddy.  Bring them up on the double-quick and don’t stop for aligning.  I’ll take the responsibility.”

 

Warren then escorted O’Rorke’s men, along with Lieutenant Charles Hazlett’s Battery D, 5th U.S. Artillery, up the slope.  Because of the rugged and steep nature of the hill, the men had to lift and push the cannons up the slope, and even General Warren helped drag the guns to their placements.  O’Rorke then moved his men over the north slope of Little Round Top.  As he reached the summit of the hill, he saw the 4th and 5th Texas outflanking the right of the 16th Michigan Infantry Regiment.  O’Rorke drew his sword and yelled, “Down this way, boys!” as he ran down the slope towards the enemy.  As the men began to form a line and he shouted, “Here they are men, commence firing!” a Confederate about forty feet away shot their colonel in the neck.  O’Rorke went down, but so did the Confederate; after the fight, seventeen bullet wounds were counted in his body.  As his men passed by, they looked quickly at their fallen leader but continued on into the path of fire and smoke that he had ordered them.

 

The addition of 500 men to the Union line was decisive and the Confederate assault fell back. O’Rorke’s men suffered heavy casualties, losing over 180 killed or wounded, but they pushed the Confederates back and secured the line. The regiment’s adjunct later estimated that they had come within sixty seconds of losing the crest of the hill.

 

Although the flank held by the 20th Maine was still in danger, the center of the Union line on Little Round Top was secured.  Later, when it was related to the men the loss of their Colonel, one commented, “The announcement, fell like a weight on our men, and many a tear was shed for the young hero.  He was the idol of our Regiment, and the pride of our Brigade.”

 

The monument was dedicated in 1889 and is located on the summit of Little Round Top just north of the 44th New York Monument.

140th New York Volunteer Infantry

SKU: 1118
$290.00Price
  • Size:  7 ¼” x 5 ½” x 8 ½”

    Weight:  6.1lbs

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