Civil War Blog

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Monuments at Gettysburg – 71st Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on December 1, 2014

The 71st Pennsylvania InfantryMonument at Gettysburg is located south of the town of Gettysburg at The Angle.  It was dedicated in 1887 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  No drawing of the monument was available in the Philadelphia Inquirer article describing the regimental histories and ceremonies that took place in 1889.  For a picture of the monument, see Steven Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry .

A full description of the monument, its GPS coordinates, a photograph, and some of the history of the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.  Information is also available about Private John E. Clopp from this regiment who received the Medal of Honor for his heroics on the 3rd day of the battle.


On 11 September 1889, the Philadelphia Inquirer included the following information on the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry  in its article on the monument dedications:


They Turned the Gun Upon Them.

Colonel R. Penn Smith led the 71st on the second day , when a body of rebels advanced upon the left of Cemetery Hill under the protection of a clump of tree and seized a brass piece from which the cannoneers had been driven.  He charged the rebels, captured the gun with 100 of the enemy, and as their broken ranks were falling back turned the cannon upon them.  On the 3rd this regiment occupied a position in the line which was swept away by an artillery fire rarely exceeded in the world’s battles.  Men, horses and limbers were hurled together in confusion, and in the following grand infantry charge this regiment maintained its most critical position in the line.


Information is sought on Colonel Richard Penn Smith who commanded the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg.


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.  The plaque for the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry is pictured below.  By clicking on the plaque it should enlarge so the names can be more clearly read.  If a name does not appear, it could be that the soldier did serve in the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry, but was not part of the regiment during its days in Gettysburg.  There could also be errors on the plaque.



The news clippings are from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.


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