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Sculpted by Gary Casteel

 

1863 Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Monument Replicas

 

The original “Bucktails” were the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves Regiment (42nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment).  Named for the regiment’s custom of wearing the tail of a deer on their hats, the Bucktails were said to be superior marksmen, and during the first year of the war they distinguished themselves as skirmishers and sharpshooters.

 

In July 1862, due to this excellent record, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton directed Roy Stone, a major in the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves, to enlist an additional brigade of Bucktails. Stone raised 20 companies of recruits by the end of August to send to Harrisburg for official organization into the 149th and 150th Pennsylvania regiments.  The troops comprising the 149th were from the counties of Potter, Tioga, Lycoming, Clearfield, Clarion, Lebanon, Allegheny, Luzerne, Mifflin, and Huntingdon.  The new volunteers, proudly adopted the distinctive badge of the earlier group, calling themselves the “Bucktails” or sometimes the “New Bucktails.”  The 143rd Pennsylvania would join the brigade in February of 1863.

 

At the beginning of the war, most of the brigade’s time was spent within the fortifications of Washington, D.C.  Not significantly engaged at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg was their first major battle, and their most vital contribution to the Battle of Gettysburg occurred on McPherson’s Ridge on July 1, 1863.  On the night before, the brigade had bivouacked four miles away, and as  soon as the noise of battle was heard, the column was put in motion for the relief of John Buford's hard-pressed troopers.  When the brigade arrived on the field at 11:00 a.m., General John Reynolds had already fallen, and General Abner Doubleday was in command.  Doubleday ordered the brigade posted “…on the first ridge beyond that on which the seminary stands, and parallel with it, the right resting on the Chambersburg Pike, and the left reaching nearly to the wood occupied by Meredith's Brigade, with a strong force of skirmishers thrown well down the next slope, and the pike held by a platoon of sharp-shooters.”  Bates, Samuel P. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg, 1868-1871.

 

" At about one and a half P. M.," says Colonel Stone in his official report, " the grand advance of the enemy's infantry began…. Though at the longest range of our pieces, we poured a most destructive fire upon their flanks, and with the fire upon their front, scattered them over the fields. A heavy force was then formed parallel to the Chambersburg Pike, and pressed forward to the attack of my position. Anticipating this, I had sent Colonel Dwight, with the [149th], forward to occupy a deep railroad cut, about one hundred yards from the pike, and when they came to a fence within pistol shot of his line, he gave them a staggering volley, re-loaded as they climbed the fence, and waiting until they came within short range, gave them another volley, and charged, driving them back over the fence in utter confusion. Returning to the cut, he found that the enemy had planted a battery which perfectly enfiladed it, and made it untenable. He accordingly fell back to the pike."

 

Soon afterwards, Colonel Stone fell, severely wounded, and the command devolved on Colonel Wister.  After being repulsed and driven back in an advance from the north, the Confederates pushed forward from the west, over the railroad cut and nearly to the Chambersburg Pike; but, a forceful bayonet charge pushed them back.  The brigade held, in the face of vastly superior numbers, until it determined that Meredith’s Brigade on their left had retired.   Realizing that the Confederates were coming in on their left flank and they were in danger of being surrounded, the brigade fell back gradually to Seminary Ridge, fighting as it went, and making an occasional stand.  The brigade held their position for a time; however, finding itself outflanked, it eventually fell back through the town and took a position on Cemetery Hill.

 

Near twilight on July 2nd, the brigade was ordered to assist Hancock’s Corps, but before reaching the position, the Confederates had retired.  The 149th and 150th were then sent out to rescue some guns which had been lost, and after a “spirited engagement” near the enemy’s battle line, they succeeded in retaking two pieces and remained on the field during the night.

 

On July 3rd, the regiment was fearfully exposed during the Confederate cannonade and was held in readiness to charge with the bayonet during Pickett’s Charge.  But, before it could be brought into action, the Confederates’ charge was repulsed.

 

During the 4th, the regiment remained in position on the field; on the following day it moved a few hundred yards to the rear, to “more pleasant camping grounds”; and on the 7th, it moved with the army in pursuit of Lee.  The regiment’s losses in the entire engagement were 34 killed, 171 wounded, and 131 missing.

 

This monument was dedicated on October 20, 1886 and is located on the east side of Hancock Avenue, about 200 yards north of Pleasonton Avenue.  It was moved from its original location on McPherson’s Ridge when the newer monument was erected.

149th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (Hancock Ave.)

SKU: 1136
$245.00Price
  • Size:  8” x 4” x 5”

    Weight:  3.2lbs

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