Mar 12



In Part 4 of our series on President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Gettysburg, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Richard Goedkoop presents the visit to New York’s Irish Brigade monument. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 12:10 PM on Saturday, February 14, 2009.

On March 31, 1963, President John F. Kennedy with some friends and members of his family drove from a church service at Camp David, Maryland to tour the Gettysburg Battlefield. Their guide was Jacob Melchior Sheads, a longtime Gettysburg High School History Teacher and seasonal historian with the National Park Service. Licensed Battlefield Guide Richard Goedkoop follows what we know of the route that the Kennedy party took around the battlefield.

In the first part of this series, Richard Goedkoop covered how the trip was planned and where President Kennedy picked up Colonel Sheads. In our second post, we discussed the Kennedy party in the area of the Angle/High Water Mark. In the third part, the Kennedy party visited Little Round Top.

In today’s post the tour goes to the Wheatfield/Stony Hill/Loop area to talk about the Irish Brigade.

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



This map shows the locations of the videos that we have shot during the Kennedy segments. Videos 1-3 were taken at Edgewood Bowling Lanes on the Emmitsburg Road, which is off the map. Videos 4, 9 and 10 were taken at the Stony Hill or “Loop” area. Videos 5-6 were taken at the High Water Mark/Angle Area. Videos 7-8 were taken on Little Round Top. This map was created facing north at approximately 6:45 PM on Tuesday, March 10, 2009.



After visiting Little Round Top, Colonel Sheads stated that the Kennedy party saw Devil’s Den. However they drove through the area and did not get out. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, March 10, 2009.



The group then drove by Rose’s Wheatfield through which the Irish Brigade charged on July 2, 1863… This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, March 10, 2009.



…towards the Stony Hill which the Irish temporarily occupied late in the afternoon of July 2, 1863. This view was taken facing west at approximately 4:30 PM on Tuesday, March 10, 2009.

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In video #9 (Videos 1-8 were shown in the first three Kennedy visit posts) Richard Goedkoop shows the New York Monument to the Irish Brigade. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:00 PM on Saturday, February 14, 2009.



New York’s Irish Brigade monument was dedicated on July 2, 1888 at a cost of $5000. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 4:00 PM on Sunday, February 15, 2009.



The monument to the 28th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment of the Irish Brigade is at the top of the Stony Hill/Loop area. As Under-Secretary of the Navy Paul Fay, stated, when the well-prepared Kennedy recalled the battle in areas involving Massachusetts regiments, “I kept expecting a Kelly or a Murphy to come charging up the gorge.” This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:00 PM on Sunday, February 15, 2009.



Colonel Sheads decided to use a phrase on this moment to test how much President Kennedy knew about the Irish language. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:00 PM on Saturday, February 14, 2009.

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In Video #10, Dr. Goedkoop explains how Colonel Sheads tested President Kennedy. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:00 PM on Saturday, February 14, 2009.

See our previous posts on Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides:

Gettysburg Guide Room: The Final Days on March 8, 2008.
Lights Out at the Electric Map on April 13, 2008.
New Guide Room at the New Visitor Center on April 19, 2008.
New Association of Licensed Battlefield Guide Office and Library Opens on August 25, 2008.
Evergreen Cemetery Headstone Damage with LBG Deb Novotny on October 20, 2008.
Camp Letterman with LBG Phil Lechak here.
Gettysburg Artillery with LBG George Newton here.
“Mammy’s Little Baby Loves Guided Tours” with LBG Charlie Fennell on November 23, 2008.
Bucktails on McPherson’s Ridge Part 1 with LBG Rich Kohr on November 26, 2008.
Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Exam 2008 on December 6, 2008.
Gettysburg Hawk Hunting with Licensed Battlefield Guide Dave Weaver on December 14, 2008.
Colonel Edward Ephraim Cross with LBG Rich Bellamy here.
Licensed Battlefield Guide Rich Kohr: William Wible’s Gettysburg Quarry on January 21, 2009.
The Gettysburg Electric Trolley with LBG Rich Kohr here
ACHS Battle of Gettysburg Civil War Research Room with LBG Tim Smith on February 10, 2009.
Lutheran Theological Seminary Cupola with LBG Tim Smith here
John F. Kennedy’s Gettysburg Visit with LBG Richard Goedkoop here.


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