The One Hundred Twenty First Pennsylvania Infantry is honored by two monuments at Gettysburg, a main monument and a secondary monument.
About the Main Monument
When was it dedicated? July 4, 1888.
What is it made out of? Sculpture: granite with bronze elements; Base: stone.
What size is it? Sculpture: approx. 10 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft. 10 in. x 2 ft. 6 in.; Base: approx. W. 6 ft. 9 in. x D. 5 ft. 1 in.
Who made it? Bureau Brothers, founder. Heins and Bye, fabricator.
What does it depict? A rectangular monument containing bronze and granite reliefs stands on a low, sloped base. There is bed roll, cap and sword on the top and an American flag is draped over the top right side. There is a bronze rifle, pointing upward, on the left side and a set of small accouterments on the front, sloped part of the base. A bronze relief of the Pennsylvania Coat of Arms is affixed to the lower front of the monument. Monument’s most unique aspect is probably the exploding artillery shell. Flanking markers are apex topped, one foot square.
What does it honor? It marks the position the regiment held on the extreme flank of the first corps line on July 1, 1863, until outflanked and forced to fall back to Seminary Ridge.
How is it inscribed? 121st Penna. Infantry July 1st 1863 Occupied this position the extreme left of the Union line. July 2nd & 3rd on Cemetery Ridge. Present at Gettysburg 11 officers 286 men. Killed and died of wounds 20 men Wounded 5 officers 33 men Captured and missing 1 officer 60 men.
When was this photograph taken? December 11, 2011.
Where is it located? Located Gettysburg National Military Park, East side of Reynolds Avenue at the south end, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325.
Is this monument located along the NPS Auto Tour route? Yes.
Has this monument been moved or changed? This monument has not been moved or materially altered.
Secondary Monuments and Markers
Photographed: September 24, 2010.
Location: Hancock Avenue south of the copse of trees and the Angle. Located on the east side of Hancock Avenue south of the Copse of Trees. View Monument Location Map.
Description: Dedicated in 1886, it was originally located on Reynolds Avenue, approximately 1 1/2 miles northwest of its present location. It was moved in 1888 and replaced by the larger monument featured above. It indicates the position held by the regiment on July 2 & 3, 1863. Monument is a three-part granite shaft topped with a granite ball and set on a 3.6×5 foot square base. The lower part of the shaft has a polished face with incised letters. The middle part of the shaft has a polished face with incised inscriptions on all sides and the upper part contains a finished stone obelisk. Overall height is 11.3 feet.
Inscription: EXTREME LEFT/OF UNION LINE 1ST DAY/OCCUPIED CEMETERY RIDGE/JULY 2ND AND 3RD/ERECTED BY SURVIVORS OF THIS/REGIMENT IN MEMORY OF THEIR/FALLEN COMRADES
Commander: Maj. Alexander Biddle (1819-1899)
Number Engaged: 306
Casualties: 12 killed, 106 wounded, 61 missing
Officers Killed at Gettysburg:
- Captain J. Frank Sterling, Company C, mortally wounded on July 1
Soldiers Buried in the Pennsylvania Plot of the Gettysburg National Cemetery:
- Cpl. Henry A. Cornwell, Company A, B-36
- Sgt. Reginald H. Cowpland, Company I, A-5
- Pvt. Ebenezer H. James, Company A, G-10
- Pvt. William H. Kelley, Company A, F-31
After Action Report: After Action Report of Lieut. Col. Alexander Biddle (will open a pop up window).
Raised: Philadelphia and Venango County
Regimental History ~ Dyer’s Compendium of the War of the Rebellion:
Organized at Philadelphia August 22 to September 5, 1862. Moved to Washington, D.C., September. Camp at Arlington Heights, near Washington, until October 1. Moved to Frederick, Md., and Join Army of the Potomac. Attached to 1st Brigade. 3rd Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, 5th Army Corps, to June, 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division. 5th Army Corps, to September, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th Army Corps, to June, 1865.
SERVICE.–Duty at Sharpsburg, Md., until October 30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Burnside’s 2nd Campaign, “Mud March,” January 20-24, 1863. Duty at Belle Plains until April. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Fitzhugh’s Crossing April 29-30. Battle of Chancellorsville May 2-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Duty on line of the Rappahannock until October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Licking River Bridge November 30. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7, 1864. Duty near Culpeper until April, 1864. Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. Jericho Ford May 25. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Bethesda Church June 1-3. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864 (Reserve). Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Poplar Springs Church, Peeble’s Farm, September 29-October 2. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run, October 27-28. Warren’s Raid on Weldon Railroad December 7-12. Dabney’s Mills, Hatcher’s Run, February 5-7, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Lewis Farm, near Gravelly Run, March 29. White Oak Road March 30-31. Five Forks April 1. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. March to Washington, D.C., May 1-12. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out June 2, 1865. Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 104 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 64 Enlisted men by disease. Total 175.
Pennsylvania at Gettysburg
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