Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The return of the 121st Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment

The 121st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment was raised in September of 1862, probably in response to the Confederate’s Maryland campaign.  Consisting mainly of Philadelphia men, it also included troops from Venango County.  At Gettysburg, the 121st was in Colonel Chapman Biddle’s 1st Brigade, in Brigadier General Thomas Rowley’s Third Division of the First Corps, Army of the Potomac.  On the march of July 1st, following Willoughby Run north to the Fairfield Road [then called Hagerstown Road] they entered the field turning east from the stream to take up position on Middle Ridge, just west of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, connecting their right with the left of the rest of the First Brigade.  The 121st was then the left flank of the First Corps. 

Several years ago while taking a walk on a nice summer afternoon, we witnessed the return of the 121st Pennsylvania as they were advancing west to crest Middle Ridge on their way into Herbst’s Woods, and their assault on Herr’s Ridge. 

You can clearly see their line of battle, with the skirmishers in front and the officers color guard in front of the regiment.  Note the right flank marker of the 121st in the foreground.

 Here is their skirmish line advancing up the west slope of Middle Ridge:

 Here the Skirmishers near the crest of Middle Ridge:

 The 121st Pennsylvania Regimental Line of Battle:

Who says there are no ghosts at Gettysburg!?


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