Sep 21
Eliakim Sherrill (1813-1863) was the Colonel of the 126th New York Infantry Regiment at Gettysburg. He took over the command of Willard’s Brigade after Willard was killed on July 2nd. Sherrill was mortally wounded during Pickett’s Charge on July 3rd near Ziegler’s Grove, and died on July 4th. According to Disaster, Struggle, Triumph: The Adventures of 1000 Boys in Blue, From August, 1862, to June, 1865 by Arabella Mary Willson, which is the source for this image, at Gettysburg, “Sherrill, while in command of his Brigade, and standing in the rear of the 39th New York Volunteers, fell, mortally wounded by a musket shot in the bowels, just when the battle was the hottest…” This image was produced circa the 1860s.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Dr. Rich Goedkoop is the host for a series on Union Counterattacks on Cemetery Ridge During July 2, 1863. He is a professor of Communication at LaSalle University. Rich began his professional career in education as a Graduate Assistant at Central Michigan University. He received his Masters there in 1977 and went on to Pennsylvania State University to receive his Doctorate in 1980. Rich joined La Salle that same year. Throughout his career, Rich has taken an active interest in news and public affairs television programming which inspired his book, Inside Local Television News (1988). His numerous reviews and articles have appeared in such publications as Journalism Quarterly, The Journal of Broadcasting, Feedback, and Critical Studies in Mass Communication.

Dr. Goedkoop was the host for our series on John F. Kennedy’s visit to Gettysburg.

Dr. Goedkoop was also the host for our series on The Iron Brigade.

Rich Goedkoop writes, “I wish to thank LBG and close friend Cliff Detweiler, for research assistance on this series. I would also like to thank Mr. Dale Gallon and Ms. Anne Gallon of Gallon Historical Art, Gettysburg, PA (Gallon.com) for the gracious use of two of Dale Gallon’s paintings for illustrations of key moments of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg.”

To contact Richard Goedkoop, click here to reveal his email address.

In the first Union Counterattacks’ post, Rich Goedkoop introduces us to the Union Counterattacks’ series, and explains how Major General Sickles’ forward move on July 2, 1863 necessitated the counterattacks.

In the second Union Counterattacks’ post, LBG Rich Goedkoop shows us the monuments to the 39th New York, the 111th New York, and the 125th New York on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

In today’s Union Counterattacks’ post, LBG Rich Goedkoop shows us the monument to the 126th New York and the markers for the positions of Willard’s Brigade and the site where Willard was killed.

This map shows the location of the videos for Union Counterattacks series. Videos #1-#6 were shown in our previous posts. Video #7 was taken at the monument to the 126th New York Infantry Regiment. Video #8 was taken at the marker to Willard’s Brigade. Video #9 was taken at the advance marker to Willard’s Brigade. Video #10 was taken at the marker showing the site of Willard’s death. This map was created facing north at approximately 7:00 PM on Saturday, September 17, 2011.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Rich Goedkoop is standing by the monument to the 126th New York Infantry Regiment. It was dedicated in 1888. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

In Video #7 (Videos #1-#6 were shown in our previous posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Rich Goedkoop is standing by the monument to the 126th New York Infantry Regiment. He provides some background on the regiment. This view was taken facing northeast to east at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

A closer view of the bas relief to Colonel Eliakim Sherrill of the 126th New York. This view was taken facing east at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Richard Goedkoop is standing on Cemetery Ridge by the marker to Willard’s Brigade. The Brian House/Bryan House is in the left background. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

In Video #8 Licensed Battlefield Guide Rich Goedkoop is standing by the Willard Brigade marker. He shows the direction of Willard’s counterattack on July 2, 1863. This view was taken facing east to southwest at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

A closer view of the Willard Brigade marker. This view was taken facing east at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.
This image from the book Disaster, Struggle, Triumph: The Adventures of 1000 Boys in Blue, From August, 1862, to June, 1865 by Arabella Mary Willsonis is titled “Charge of the 111th, 125th, and 126th N.Y. Vols. Gettysburg, July 2d, 1863.” This view was produced during the 1870s.

Richard Goedkoop is standing by the advance marker to Willard’s Brigade. The red barn in the left background is the Codori Barn. Cemetery Hill and part of the old Cyclorama building are above and to the right of the Codori Barn. In the center background is the obelisk monument to the U.S. Regulars on Cemetery Ridge. Just above the Willard advance marker, and to its left is visible the Vermont State Monument. In the right background is the Pennsylvania State Monument. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

In Video #9 Rich Goedkoop walks towards the are of the advance marker for Willard’s Brigade. He explains how they advanced to towards the Emmitsburg Road before Confederate artillery at the Peach Orchard drove them back to Plum Run. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

A closer view of the advance marker to Willard’s Brigade. This view was taken facing northeast to north to north west to north to northeast to south to southeast at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

Richard Goedkoop is standing on a horse trail behind the advance marker to Willard’s Brigade. On the other (west) side of the Willard Advance marker is Sickles Avenue. The Emmitsburg Road is marked by the wooden fence at the top of the ridge. The monument in the center background, and by the Emmitsburg Road is to the 16th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. This view was taken facing west at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

Richard Goedkoop is standing by the marker showing where Colonel George Willard was mortally wounded. Plum Run runs from right to left (north to south) approximately 20 yards behind the marker. The Klingel House and Barn are in the right background, along the Emmitsburg Road. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.

In Video #10 Rich Goedkoop is standing by the marker showing where Colonel George Willard was mortally wounded as his troops retreated from their advance position near the Emmitsburg Road. This view was taken facing east to north to northwest at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.
Colonel George Lamb Willard (May 15, 1827-July 2, 1863) was born in New York City and served in the Mexican War. He rose to the rank of captain prior to the Civil War. Willard became Colonel of the 125th New York Infantry Regiment and was part of a contingent of Union soldiers captured at Harper’s Ferry in 1862. They were paroled in 1863 and sent to the defenses of Washington, D.C. Willard and the 125th New York later joined the Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863. Willard became the commander of the 3rd Brigade in Alexander Hays’ 3rd Division, 2nd Corps of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock. George Willard was killed in action on July 2nd, 1863 as his men successfully counterattacked Confederate Brigadier General William Barksdale’s Missippians shouting “Remember Harper’s Ferry.” He was buried in Troy, New York. This view was taken circa 1862-1863.

The marker showing where Colonel George Willard was mortally wounded is not the easiest to find unless you know exactly where you are going. If you want some help, see our previous post on the Willard marker by clicking here. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.
The strengths and losses of the Union units that counterattacked the Confederates along Cemetery Ridge on July 2, 1863.
One of the best books regarding the action on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg is a book by a former Gettysburg National Park Service Historian, Harry Pfanz. It is titled, Gettysburg: The Second Day.


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