top of page

Sculpted by Gary Casteel


1863 Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Monument Replicas


On the morning of July 1, 1863, the famed Iron Brigade dashed across the fields west of Gettysburg and the Lutheran Theological Seminary, entering a woodlot where they met and surprised Brigadier General James Archer’s brigade and sent them retreating.  After moving partially up the slope of Herr’s Ridge in pursuit of the Confederates, the Iron Brigade’s commanders were sobered by the sight of a thousand more Southerners.  They broke off the chase to return to the woodlot in McPherson’s Woods and realigned themselves.  The 24th Michigan, the largest and newest regiment in the Iron Brigade, formed the center line.


Colonel Henry Morrow was ordered to place his 496 Wolverine troops on a slope of the woodlot, up the slope between the crest of the rise and Willoughby Run, with the order that this position be held at all hazards.  Shortly after 2 p.m., nearly 3600 Confederates advanced from Herr’s Ridge toward the Union line.  Splashing across Willoughby Run toward the Iron Brigade’s line were the 2600 men of Brigadier General James Pettigrew’s North Carolina brigade, who had joined the Army of North Virginia just before the Gettysburg Campaign began.  They were eager to test themselves against one of the toughest brigades in the Army of the Potomac and, in the words of Col. Morrow, “…they came on with rapid strides, yelling like demons.”


Directly in front of the 24th Michigan charged the 26th North Carolina regiment.  Like the Michiganders, the 26th North Carolina was the largest regiment in its brigade, bringing into combat over 800 men, larger than many veteran brigades at that time.  For the better part of two hours, the two sides blazed away at distances so close the men could almost feel the heat of the muzzle flash from the guns of the other side.  Eventually, the greater numbers of the Tarheels would win out and the Union line would be forced to fall back. 


One needs to look no further than the struggle between the 24th Michigan and the 26th North Carolina to find what was arguably the most brutal fight of the bloodiest battle of that terrible war.  Of the 843 men the 26th North Carolina took into McPherson’s Woods on July 1st, the regiment incurred 687 casualties, including its colonel and lieutenant colonel.  For the 24th Michigan, the numbers were much the same; 363 of the 496 men in the regiment fell that day, a staggering 73% casualty rate, a loss from which they, like the rest of the Iron Brigade, never fully recovered.  The 24th Michigan had lost their entire color guard, all officers above the rank of Captain had been wounded or killed. Colonel Morrow himself was taken captive but reclaimed on July 4.  Only 99 men, just under a fifth of their original strength, were able to hold post at Culp’s Hill.  These two units suffered more casualties than any other regiments in their respective armies.


Despite suffering enormous casualties on July 1st, both the 24th Michigan and 26th North Carolina would see even more combat later in the three day battle.  The 24th Michigan was moved to Culp's Hill - the Union's vulnerable right flank - to help shore up that critical position.  The 26th North Carolina, as part of Pettigrew's Brigade, participated in the fateful Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble charge against Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863.


The monument was dedicated on June 12, 1889 and is located on Meredith Avenue.

24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry

SKU: 1100
  • Size:  5 ¼” x 5 ¼” x 10 ½”

    Weight:  2.65lbs

Related Products