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Monuments at Gettysburg – 27th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on August 20, 2014

027thPA-Inquirer-1889-09-11-001aThe 27th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg is located southeast of Gettysburg on East Cemetery Hill.  The monument was dedicated in 1889 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and was the second monument to the regiment that was placed at Gettysburg.  The above drawing appeared with an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on 11 September 1889 on the dedication and re-dedication of Gettysburg battlefield monuments.

For more information about this monument and the 27th Pennsylvania Infantry as well as a picture of the monument see Steve Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site.

A full description of the monument, its GPS coordinates, a picture, and some of the history of the 27th Pennsylvania Infantry can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.  There is also a photograph of the first monument, placed and dedicated in 1884.


The above-mentioned article from the Philadelphia Inquirer contained the following information about the 27th Pennsylvania Infantry:

A Monument for Gettysburg.

A committee of the Twenty-seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, commanded by the late Colonel Bushbeck, and which, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Cantador, participated with distinction in the memorable Battle of Gettysburg, 1, 2, 3 July, will unveil a monument… on the battlefield, on the spot where the regiment distinguished itself.  It consists of a white marble base topped by a shaft.  On the top of the latter there is an eagle resting on a cannon ball, and bearing in its beak a crescent, the badge or emblem of the Eleventh Army Corps….

The 27th, organized by Co. W. F. Sewall as part of the Washington Brigade, was recruited from Northern Liberties and Kensington districts of Philadelphia.  A number of both officers and men had seen service in this country and Europe.  Its part at Gettysburg began with preparations to defend the town by taking charge of the jail, church and school building and preventing entrance from that end of the town.  It went on into the fight against Early, taking a position near a brick kiln.  Part of the regiment under Colonel Vogelbach was ordered to fill a gap in the line to the right of the 154th New York.  Only fifty men reached the position, and these were cut off and captured, Colonel Vogelbach being shot down. 

The remainder of the regiment had fallen back to Cemetery Hill.  Here, as they were advanced upon by the rebels on the 2nd, a mounted man in the national uniform of a staff officer ordered the regiment to fall back.  The order was given and the greater part of the men refused to go.  The pretended officer then leaped the wall and galloped away to rejoin the rebels.  A desperate attack followed, but the rebels were driven back.  Lieutenant Briggs was killed in the act of cheering his men.  On the 3rd the regiment was exposed to the terrible artillery fire for three hours.  During the night this regiment was the first to reappear in the town, to the great joy of the inhabitants.  It had lost 2 officers and 22 men killed, 68 wounded and 45 missing.  The 27th will re-dedicate its monument dedicated last year.




Lorenz Cantador (1810-1883)

Lorenz Cantador was born in  Düsseldorf, Germany, 1 June 1883, to a family that originated in Northern Italy.  Because of his participation in the Revolution of 1848, he was eventually captured and jailed.  After release he fled through France to the United States where he offered his military services to Pennsylvania, receiving command of the 27th Pennsylvania Infantry as its Major on 7 September 1861 with promotion to Lieutenant Colonel on 2 October 1861.  After the Battle of Gettysburg, he continued to lead the 27th Pennsylvania Infantry until his discharge on 16 November 1863.  His Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card from the Pennsylvania Archives is shown below.  This was his only American Civil War service.


A pension application was submitted on 13 January 1883 from New York where he resided after the war, trying to make a living in various professions.  Although he received the pension, it was too late to reverse his fortune;  he died impoverished in New York City on 2 December 1883.  The Pension Index Card from Fold3 is shown below with his death date.  It is not known if he was ever married, but no one applied for widow’s benefits.


At this time it is not known where he was buried.  For addition information about Lieutenant Colonel Lorenz Cantador, see Gesellschaft Zur Ludwigsburg.


Around the base of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg are a series of plaques which, by regiment and company, note the names of every soldier who was present at the Battle of Gettysburg. Previously on this blog, the plaque for the 27th Pennsylvania Infantry was featured.  See:  27th Pennsylvania Infantry – Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg.


The news article containing the drawing of the monument and the text transcribed above was obtained through the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.


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