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Civil War Blog

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Monuments at Gettysburg – 111th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on March 17, 2015

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The 111th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg is located southeast of the town of Gettysburg on Slocum Avenue.  It was dedicated in 1889 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The drawing of the monument pictured above is from a Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889.

A picture of the monument can be seen on Stephen Recker’s Virtual Gettysburg Web Site which has more information about the monument and the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the second monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.  There is also a picture and information about the first monument.

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A brief description of the activity of the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry as well as the rationale for not holding elaborate or lengthy battlefield ceremonies at the site of battle was given in the Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889:

General Kane’s Brave Men.

The 111th Pennsylvania Volunteers was recruited in Erie.  It was mustered on 24 January 1862 and re-enlisted 28 December 1863.  It was mustered out 19 July 1865.  The regiment engaged in 35 battles and the total losses were 651.  The effective force on 1 July 1863 at 20 officers and 239 men.  The loss there was 1 officer and 17 men.  The regiment represents the second Division of the Twelfth Corps, and was commanded by General John W. Geary at Gettysburg.

General Thomas L. Kane was in charge of the brigade, in which were also the 29th and 109th Regiments [29th Pennsylvania Infantry & 109th Pennsylvania Infantry].  General Kane was carried into the fight on a stretcher, and in that position gave directions and held the line.  It was in front of his headquarters at Spangler’s Spring that Charley Miller, of Company B, 111th Regiment, captured a rebel, who was forced to give away information that resulted in General Kane attacking the enemy an hour before they were ready and driving them out of their position.

The dedicatory programme has been made as brief as possible to give the comrades all possible time to look over the battlefield.  There will be no music or speech making.  After a brief prayer Rev. J. R. Boyle, of the New York Conference, formerly an officer in the regiment, will deliver the oration, after which the exercises will be combined with the 107th Pennsylvania Veterans Volunteers [107th Pennsylvania Infantry] , this regiment having been consolidated with the 111th in April 1865.

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Thomas McCormick Walker, who commanded the regiment at Gettysburg, joined the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry at the rank of Major on 23 December 1861 and served the duration of the war until the regiment was discharged on 19 July 1865.  He was wounded twice, first at the Battle of Antietam, 17 September 1862, and then at Wauhatchie, Tennessee, on 29 October 1863.  On 7 November 1862, Walker was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, the rank he held at the Battle of Gettysburg.  On the 23 April 1865, he was again promoted to Colonel of the regiment.  On 5 July 1865, he was breveted Brigadier General.  On 19 July 1865, he was honorably discharged with the regiment.

As with many other commanders, Colonel Thomas M. Walker was called upon to write letters of support for veterans and their widows who sought government pensions.  One such letter was found in the application file of the widow of William Kissel, who served in the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry and was captured in 1864 and probably died in a rebel prison.  Walker verified that Kissel never returned to the regiment.

On 30 January 1883, Walker applied for pension benefits, which he received and collected until his death in 1910. He is buried at Erie Cemetery, Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania.  As shown on the Pension Index Card (above from Fold3), his wife survived him and she applied for pension benefits, which she received until her death.

Additional information about Thomas M. Walker can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.  Also, the text of a letter he wrote to his mother during the Civil War as well as a photograph of that letter can be found at HistoryBroker.

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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 111th 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 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, but was not part of the regiment during its days at Gettysburg.  There could also be errors on the plaque.

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