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Civil War Blog

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Monuments at Gettysburg – 139th Pennsylvania Infantry

Posted By on April 2, 2015

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The 139th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument at Gettysburg is located north of Wheatfield Road, near the driveway to the John Weichert farm.  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 139th Pennsylvania Infantry.

A full description of the monument, its GPS Coordinates, additional photographs, and some of the history of the 139th Pennsylvania Infantry, can be found on the Stone Sentinels Web Site.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11 September 1889 included a brief history of the regiment at Gettysburg and an outline of the program for the monument dedication:

Services of the 139th.

The 139th Regiment was organized in the West, with Frederick H. Collier, Colonel; James D. Owens, Lieutenant Colonel; William H. Moody, Major.  At Gettysburg it met the enemy in the second day’s fight across the open ground to the right of Little Round Top and over the rugged, wooded knoll to the right of the road leading over to the Peach Orchard.  It was here, says Colonel Collier, that the good old Captain Jeremiah M. Sample was wounded mortally.

The dedicatory services at monument at 2 P.M. will include:  Introductory address, by the president, Adjutant D. L. Crawford; historical address, Captain William P. Herbert; address on behalf of the regiment, Judge Colonel F. H. Collier.

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Frederick H. Collier

The commander of the 139th Pennsylvania Infantry at Gettysburg was Colonel Frederick H. Collier, who was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 23 February 1826.  On 1 September 1862, he began service in the regiment, which he raised in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where he was working as an attorney.  On 3 September 1862, the 139th moved to the area of Bull Run where they were charged with burying the dead from the battle recently fought there. Then they fought at Antietam.  But it was at Gettysburg where Colonel Collier and the regiment distinguished themselves.  According to a biographical history of Allegheny County:

[They] marched thirty miles and on 2 July 1863… were led into relief of the Union left, which had all day been repelling Longstreet’s entire force in the celebrated Peach Orchard, defended by General Sickles, and Little Round Top, held by General Sykes.  At the head of his men Colonel Collier was accidentally wounded by himself [in the foot] at the close of the engagement.

Later, after fighting in many more battles, Colonel Collier was asked to preside over several important court-martial cases in Washington.  All of the decisions in these cases had to go to President Abraham Lincoln for final review, and without exception, none were overturned.

After the war, Frederick H. Collier became a judge in Allegheny County and served four, ten-year terms in that capacity.  He died in October 1906 and is buried in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.  More information about him can be found at his Findagrave Memorial.

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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 139th 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 139th 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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Comments

3 Responses to “Monuments at Gettysburg – 139th Pennsylvania Infantry”

  1. KAREN LYLE says:

    WHEN I WAS MUCH YOUNGER I REMEMBER SEEING A MONUMENT WITH THE LYLE NAME ON IT. ON THE GETTYSBURG BATTLE FIELD I THINK IT WAS THE PA. MONUMENT NOT SURE ABOUT THAT. NOW THAT I AM TRYING TO MAKE A FAMILY OF MY LYLE FAMILY, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR PLEASE SEND ME ANY INFO YOU MAY HAVE.
    THANK YOU K. LYLE

  2. KAREN LYLE says:

    THERE IS A MONUMENT AT THE GETTYSBURG BATTLE FIELD WITH THE NAME LYLE ON IT I THINK IT IS THE PA. MONUMENT. I WOULD LIKE MORE HISTORY ON THIS NAME AND WHERE THE MAN IS FROM. THANK YOU K. LYLE

  3. Alex Majchrowicz says:

    Peter Lyle was a Colonel with Union forces during the Civil War. He fought in numerous battles, including Gettysburg. I recently acquired numerous handwritten orders related to Colonel Lyle related to his service in the PA National Guard during the post-Civil War period until his death in 1879. It makes for interesting reading.

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