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Sculpted by Gary Casteel


1863 Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Monument Replicas

 

On July 1, 1863, the regiment marched from Emmitsburg, Maryland, into Pennsylvania, detaching fifty men to make a reconnaissance toward Sabillasville, Maryland.  The remainder of the regiment arrived on Cemetery Hill in Gettysburg that afternoon as a battle raged to the north and northwest of the town. In mid-afternoon, the 154th and its brigade—now commanded by Colonel Charles R. Coster—was ordered to the front to cover the retreat of the 11th Corps from its position north of Gettysburg. The small brigade rushed down through town, dropped off a regiment at the railroad station, and sent the rest up Stratton Street across Stevens Run to John Kuhn’s brickyard on the northeastern outskirts of town. Coster’s men took position behind the post-and-rail fence marking the northern boundary of the brickyard, the 134th New York on the right, the 154th New York in the center, and the 27th Pennsylvania on the left.

 

Soon after Coster’s small force took position, the Confederate attack commenced.  Two brigades—three North Carolina regiments led by Colonel Isaac Avery and five Louisiana regiments commanded by Brigadier General Harry Hays—swept into view, cresting the rise to the 154th New York’s front and advancing through a wheat field toward the brickyard.  The Confederates outnumbered Coster’s force more than two to one and their lines outflanked the Union force on both ends.  On the 154th’s right, the 134th was badly bloodied and forced to retreat.  As they did so, Colonel Allen ordered the 154th to fall back the way it had come, to the left and back onto Stratton Street.  There they found the 27th Pennsylvania had fled and the enemy was in control of the path of escape. In the ensuing melee, most of the regiment was captured.  As Corporal George J. Mason of Company K summed up, “The few that did get away were the best runners and the most exposed to danger.”

 

The 154th took 265 officers and men into the brickyard fight at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863.  Of them, 205 became casualties, most of them captured, a 77 percent casualty rate. (Two other soldiers became casualties in the subsequent two days of fighting.)  That evening only three officers and fifteen enlisted men rallied on Cemetery Hill.  The subsequent return of some forty stragglers and Major Lewis D. Warner’s detached fifty boosted the regiment’s number to roughly 100.

 

One of the men of the 154th New York who fought a rearguard action in the brickyard on July 1, 1863, was Sergeant Amos Humiston.  He died that day, the only clue to his identity an ambrotype of three children clutched in his hand.  He was identified that November, when his widow read a story about the unknown soldier and his photograph.  Interest spurred by the story led to the founding of Gettysburg’s National Soldiers’ Orphan Homestead in 1866.

 

The monument is located on Coster Avenue and was dedicated in 1890.

154th New York Volunteer Infantry

SKU: 1018
$210.00Price
  • Size: 4” x 4” x 12”
    Weight: 2lbs

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