The 149th New York Infantry Monument on the southern slope of Culp’s Hill. This regiment was stationed near Little Round Top late in the afternoon of July 1, 1863, and arriving in this area approximately 4:00 AM on July 2, 1863. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 5:40 PM on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, the Star and Banner visited the lower, or southern, slope of Culp’s Hill to view the monument to the 149th New York Infantry regiment. The regiment was a member of George Sears Greene’s Brigade, or John White Geary’s Division of the 12th Army Corps. Its most distinctive feature is the bronze plaque on the front, or west, side of the monument depicting the color bearer repairing the flagstaff.
The bronze plaque on the west side of the monument depicts color sergeant William C. Lilly mending the flag staff. The flag itself received over eighty holes while it was planted on the earthworks, and one Confederate round shattered the staff. Lilly took time to mend the flag under fire by using slats from a cracker box and straps from his knapsack to stabilize the staff and place it back on the works. View from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:40 PM on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
The monument is made of Barre Granite. The cost was $1500. The sculptor for this monument was Ralph Cook, and the contractor was Francis and Company. Artist Edwin Forbes painted the scene “Mending the Flag Under Fire” of William C. Lilly upon which the bronze plaque is based. The height is 11′8″ and the base of the monument is 5′4″ from north to south, and 4′5″ from east to west. View from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 5:40 PM on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
At Gettysburg, the 149th New York arrived on Culp’s Hill early in the morning of July 2, 1863, and “a substantial breastwork of stones, logs, rails, and earth was hastily constructed.” The regiment was attacked around 6:45 PM on July 2nd, and the Confederates made “repeated and desperate charges upon our position.” The Confederates gained lower Culp’s Hill, or Spangler’s Hill shown in the right background of the monument, and unleashed upon the 149th “a most galling fire.” View is from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:40 PM on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
The bronze plaque on the east side of the monument, showing total casualties for the war, and other engagements in which the 149th participated. View from the east facing west at approximately 5:40 PM on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
“The 149th’s flag was shot down twice during the fighting. One time, “… a rebel first sergeant in a brave attempt to capture it, fell within two feet of the prostrate banner, pierced with five balls.” The Confederates attacked from right to left in this picture. View from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 5:40 PM on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
The shadow of the monument ends to the left on the remains of the earthworks. During the battle of Gettysburg, the 149th lost six men killed, 46 wounded, and three captured or missing for a total of 55. In his report of the battle, Colonel H.A. Barnum attributed the light casualties of the regiment to “the excellent management of its officers, the substantial character of our works, and the advantage of our position.” View from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 5:40 PM on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.