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Sculpted by Gary Casteel

 

1863 Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Monument Replicas

 

The 14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry arrived at Gettysburg late in the day on July 1, 1863, as part of the 2nd Corps’ march from Virginia into Pennsylvania.  The 14th had been decimated by hard fighting at Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville and the regiment had not been replenished with fresh recruits since it was organized in August 1862, leaving only 160 men to report for duty at Gettysburg.  After being organized into battle lines that night, the regiment was kept in reserve on the second day of battle.

 

On the morning of July 3rd, the 14th Connecticut captured the brick barn and dwelling-house of William Bliss, which had been sheltering Confederate sharpshooters.  Undaunted by the failure of previous attempts, General Alexander Hays sent four companies – about 60 men – of the 14th Connecticut to capture the farm buildings and house, ordering them to occupy the Bliss buildings “to stay.”

 

On their way to the farmhouse, the 14th traded shots with the Confederates, who were once again running for the orchard beyond the barn.  The Connecticut men entered the house by the double front doors and discovered that it offered little shelter.  With “bullets piercing the thin siding and windows,” some of the men took their chances outside or ran for the barn. Confederate artillery pounded the Bliss buildings from Seminary Ridge, only 500 yards away.

 

It was barely mid-morning on July 3, and the Bliss buildings had already changed hands three times.  As the last companies of the 14th Connecticut left Cemetery Ridge, a lieutenant asked Colonel Smyth: “If … the Rebs make it so hot we can’t hold [the house and barn], shall we fire them?” Smyth replied, “We don’t know the word can’t!” On second thought, the colonel added, “If they make it too hot for you, burn the buildings and return to the line.” Unfortunately, that lieutenant was shot in the leg as the company crossed the fields, and he lay helpless as the detachment sped on.

 

In just over 24 hours, the struggle to control the no man’s land at Bliss Farm had involved more than ten Union and Confederate regiments, and it had changed hands many times. Recognizing that his men were in a desperate situation, General Hays sent Sergeant Charles Hitchcock with orders to burn the buildings, which they did.

 

During the afternoon of July 3rd, the 14th valiantly defended the stone wall during Pickett’s charge.  Some in the 14th Connecticut, one of the few infantry regiments armed with the Sharps breech-loading rifle, were firing their Sharps breech loaders so fast that they had to pour water “from their canteens . . . upon the overworked guns.”  Yet as the North Carolinians charged toward them, the 14th held their position and captured five Confederate battle flags and two hundred prisoners.

 

This monument was dedicated on July 3, 1884 and is located on Hancock Avenue just north of The Angle.

14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry

SKU: 1088
$225.00Price
  • Size:  5 ½” x 5 ½” x 10”

    Weight:  4.25lbs

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