Civil War Blog

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Monuments at Gettysburg – 75th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on December 15, 2014


The 75th Pennsylvania Infantry first Monument at Gettysburg is located southeast of the town of Gettysburg in the cemetery.  It was dedicated in 1876 by the survivors of the regiment   A second monument is located on Howard Avenue and was dedicated in 1888 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The drawing of the monument (above) 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 75th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the first monument, its GPS coordinates, a photograph, and some of the history of the 75th Pennsylvania Infantry can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.  There is also a picture of the other monument with similar information.


On 11 September 1889, the Philadelphia Inquirer included the following information on the 75th Pennsylvania Infantry in its article on the monument dedications:

Where the 75th  Held Fast.

The 75th was composed almost exclusively of Philadelphia Germans, most of which had fought in Europe. It was organized in August 1881 art Camp Worth, West Philadelphia, electing Colonel Henry Bohlen; Lieutenant Colonel Francis Mahler; Major Alvin VonMatzdorff.  Brigadier General Henry Bohlen was killed at Freeman’s Ford.  The regiment reached Gettysburg by the Taneytown Road, 1 July, under Colonel Mahler, and lost on the Carlisle Road twenty-six men and two officers killed, six officers and ninety four men wounded.  It fell back to Cemetery Hill, where it held on throughout the conflict.  Colonel Mahler was wounded in the leg and fell under his dead horse.  Lieutenant William J. Sill was also shot in the leg.  In 1864 the regiment was re-mustered as veterans.

The 75th had already dedicated its two monuments in the National Cemetery and on Howard Avenue.  The exercises of the 75th will be limited to a visit to the monuments and an  address delivered in the German language by Hermann Nachtigals.


Francis Mahler (1826-1863)

Francis Mahler, following his escape and sentencing to death, fled from Germany after participating in the Revolutions of 1848.  He settled in Philadelphia in a community of German expatriates and, when the Civil War erupted, he offered his military services to the Union.

Colonel Mahler was in command of the 75th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg.  As shown by his Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card (below) from the Pennsylvania Archives, he joined the regiment on 27 August 1861 as Lieutenant Colonel.

His personal information included an age of 34, a height of 5 foot 11 inches, brown hair, a fair complexion and brown eyes.   By profession, he was an engineer.

On 30 July 1862, he was promoted to Colonel, the rank he held at the time of the battle.  On the first day, 1 July 1863, he was mortally wounded, succumbing to his wounds three days later on 4 July.


Colonel Mahler is buried at Mount Peace Cemetery in Philadelphia.  For further information about Francis Mahler, see his FindagraveMemorial.  On Fold3, the complete widow’s pension application file is now available (37 pages).



Augustus Ledig took over command of the regiment after Colonel Mahler was taken from the field.  Major Ledig had joined the regiment on 6 September 1861 as Captain of Company E and was later promoted to Major on 30 July 1862.

At the time of his enrollment, he was 43 years old, stood 5 foot 9 inches, had auburn hair, a healthy complexion, and blue eyes.  He was a machinist and resided in Philadelphia.

His Findagrave Memorial has not been found.


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 75th 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 75th 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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