Jump to content

69th Penna. Corps Badge — Picketts Charge


Recommended Posts

      Known as the “Irish Volunteers” their most famous battle was Gettysburg on the third day , 157 years ago today. Capt. McHugh was in command of Co.A . The Company’s line was on the right behind a low stone wall , in front of a “ Copse of Trees “ . On the right of their line , that wall did a 90 degree turn . This turn was known ever after as “The Angle”.  This position was defended by 258 Irishmen from Philadelphia , that lost in two days at Gettysburg 141 men . That little group of trees was the point of concentration for Gen.Picketts charge and would be known as the “High Water Mark of the Confederacy “ .

     The stand these brave soldiers made in the face of overwhelming numbers has seldom been matched . I’ll let Frank Haskell on Gen.Gibbons staff  and the unit history describe some of those events.

   After a long (some say 2 hour ) artillery barrage Frank Haskell recorded the advance of enemy .

 
     “To say that men grew pale and held their breath at what we and they there saw, would not be true . Might not six thousand men be brave and without shade of fear , and yet , before a hostile eighteen thousand , armed , and not five minutes’ march away , turn ashy white ? — None on that crest need now be told that the enemy is advancing. Every eye could see his legions , an overwhelming resistless tide , an ocean of armed men sweeping upon us.  ——  More than half a mile their line extends . The red flags wave , their horsemen gallop up and down  the arms of eighteen thousand men, barrel and bayonet , gleam in the sun , a sloping forest of flashing steel. Right on they move as with one soul. All was orderly and still upon our crest ; no noise and no confusion “.

    At this point Cushing (Battery A 4th U.S.) runs his two remaining guns forward to the wall , coming in on Co. A’ flank .
   From the 69ths unit history .  “ After Picketts lines crossed the Emmitsburg Pike , their direction was changed , marching obliquely to the left until they overlapped our line and “the angle “  . When within  20 or 30  paces of the wall the direct line of march was resumed and shortly after this our regiment recieved the command to fire. The fight now became desperate and destructive. For some reason the troops on the right of this regiment and between it and the angle  abandoned their position . The rebel General Armistead precieving this passed through the ranks of his men and ran the gauntlet of fire of Co.A and I , he stepped over the wall and pushed  towards  the crest of the ridge he was followed in front of the abandoned part of the wall (Cushing destroyed guns) by his men imperiling our right and rear.  The first three companies  I , A , and F were ordered to change front and face these flankers. Co A and I did so , the commander of Co F being killed they failed to execute.  This left a space on the left of Co A which the enemy poured thru taking many prisoners (16) “.

   The fight then became general . The position was secured when Gen. Webb brought the remainder of the Philadelphia Brigade into the hand to hand struggle. The 69th was one of a few units that remained at their position , not falling back to the crest of cemetery ridge during Picketts assault.  
  John McHugh was commissioned  Capt. on 5/1/1863 and captured  on 6/22/1864 , he was mustered out on 7/1/1865 .
   Attached photos are the badge , flank marker at Gettysburg with the badge and officers at Gettysburg possibly McHugh wearing the badge. 
FD92F591-CF65-4D84-B278-C62B91D67577.jpeg.300f0c05dffcfff5a8b09adaee6e396a.jpegDB64FB95-03C2-49B1-86F6-5898C6E609ED.jpeg.e2f388aeec34bc425308c62393f592ee.jpegCC9850F5-9CFF-4FD1-AF14-9D2D0097AF34.png.af226c3d160a5d7bc32f7a575d3cfc40.png

donation2014.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew, Frank and Mike thanks for commenting. I was very presently surprised when I got this badge . I’ve always been fascinated by Gettysburg and this badge was probably there at the climax of the battle.    Thanks again guys.   Fraternally Yours Mike

donation2014.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike! I was away when you posted this incredible and most beautiful 2nd Corps badge. Your collection astounds me! The 69th was just a little further down from the 12th NJV, my great grandfather's unit. Thanks for sharing the pieces, and more importantly, their history with us.

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Paul. This is is certainly the most historic piece I have. Several pieces in my collection the owners were witness to or participants in great events. This piece because of the number of officers in the Gettysburg photo that are wearing corps badges ( 7 ) .And his service record combined with the written record that places him at the battle. ( He’s named on the Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg. See below. ) These things convince me that this badge was being worn by Capt.McHugh at the time of this battle. I know I always say this but  , “ This badge is one of my favorites “. To Paul and all who commented thank you very much.  Fraternally Yours Mike


 

6AC6829C-1575-47DB-90EE-69E30C1E6AAD.jpeg.be51fb6848553af312b6e3c5948f18e7.jpeg

 

donation2014.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the opposite side of the fight, Pvt. Chattin of the 38th Virginia, Armistead's Brigade, Pickett's Division, was wounded pushing the 69th's right flank when Armistead was wounded. 

20200413_164134.png

Mark K.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a fantastic photograph Marktk36thIL It’s so nice to see the history from the confederate side also.  These two men could have seen each other there at the Copse of Trees.  Do you know if he was taken prisoner ?  Some of Picketts men were photographed at hospitals in Gettysburg by Alexander Gardner. They are in the library of Congress collection.   Thank you very much for posting the photo and commenting.    Fraternally yours Mike

donation2014.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to records, Chatten suffered a gunshot wound to the arm (left IIRC). He was captured on the 4th, most likely during the retreat. But I'm not terribly familiar with the CS retreat route and time. He was imprisoned at Ft. Delaware and died about two-months later.

Mark K.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Marktk36thIL said:

According to records, Chatten suffered a gunshot wound to the arm (left IIRC). He was captured on the 4th, most likely during the retreat. But I'm not terribly familiar with the CS retreat route and time. He was imprisoned at Ft. Delaware and died about two-months later.


‘That’s a hard ending to a brave soldier. Not very many men made it to that stone wall.  Thanks for posting his history .  Mike

donation2014.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.