July 1st 1863
On July 1st the 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers was in Westminster MD, a place noted for it's Catholic College.In camp at 8 P.M. they received news of the Battle going on at Gettysburg. They could hear the guns as they entered Maryland. The Sixth Corps was at once put in motion and headed toward Gettysburg. After marching two miles it was found that the guide had taken a wrong road. The Corps countermarched and finally reached the Baltimore Pike. During the march, the men of the 23rd heard a rumor that General McClelland was back in Command of the entire Army. As this rumor spread, the men began to celebrate, taking their minds off the tiresome march. After a while the rumor was found out to be untrue and that General George Meade was in command. General Shaler remarked that this march from Manchester, 36 miles in 17 hours was the most memorable of the War.
July 2nd 1863 4 P.M.
The 23rd PA arrived on the Battlefield of Gettysburg at 4 P.M. on July 2nd 1863. They were ordered to support the Fifth Corps who were enguaged hotly in checking the enemy who was forcing the Third Corps back from thier advancing position on the Emmitsburg Road. Forming en masse with cheers the Corps (6th) took position to the right of Little Round Top. This was taking place around the time that Little Round Top was being defended in the famous action of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the 20th Maine. They moved to the Northeast Slope of Little Round Top where they bivouacked for the night.
July 3rd 1863 1-3 A.M.
While on the way from Little Round Top at 1 AM, the 23rd crossed the Baltamore Pike at the Spangler House. As they passed on the left side of the house a shell hit the chimney of the house knocking out some of the bricks. Three countrymen, perhaps inhabitants of the house, were comenting on all the destruction of the battle that was raging, wanted to know why the troops could not keep on the roads to do their fighting and why crops had to be deystroyed. The boys of the 23rd were quite amused from their point of view. When the 23rd reached their position in Suppory of Geary’s Division, the second Division of the Twelfth Corps, they were cheered by the troops for reinforcements were much needed. The 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteers were ordered to the right , at Culp’s Hill, in support of Geary’s Division of the Twelfth Corps which were busy holding Ewells corp in check. They took a position in a rocky ravine to the left of Spanglers Springs. Not long after, an order was given to relive the troops in the front line.
July 3rd 9:20 A.M.
Lt. Col. John F Glenn, in the absence of Col. John Ely, detailed the right wing for his duty, leaving the left wing for Major Wallace. The right Wing moved into the slight breastworks. A portion of the Regiment crossed the breastworks and took a few prisioners. It was hotly engaged for awile. When the enemies fire subsided, Glenn ordered two men details from each Company to advance beyond the breastworks. They barely got 10 paces when the enemy opened a terrible fire forcing the men to lie down for protection. General Geary ordered the 23rd to be relieved and they were by an Ohio Regiment.
The right wing moved into the slight breastworks where they relieved a Maryland Regiment of Lockwood's Brigade, a portion of the regiment crossing the works and taking a few prisoners. For a while the 23rd PV was hotly engaged. When the fire subsided, the commanding officer issued a order detailing two men from each company to advance beyond the works as skirmishers.
They had not proceeded very far when they had come under fire. The men were compelled to lie down for protection. They stayed awhile and then General Geary ordered them back. The 23rd stayed engaged a short while longer until being relieved by an Ohio Regiment.
July 3rd 3 P.M.
At this time the enemy was fleeing off Culp’s Hill, uncessful in their attempt to rollup the fishhook of the Union Line. The Twelfth Corps Troops relieved the troops who had defended the hill. While here John Quinn of Company E was struck by a ball on the heel of his shoe. It glanced off striking Harry Dougherty on the breast. Harry was unharmed since the ball hit a daguerreotype of his girlfriend thus saving his life. After the war he married the girl. William Milford of Company H while lying in the breastworks at Culp’s Hill on the morning of the third, picked up a penny which someone had cutout to make a stickpin. Some months later while on Pickett, Lt Vodges of Company F , while talking over campaigns, told of a relic he had found at Gettysburg and Milford showed the stickpin to Vodges. “Why Milfors, your just the man I’m looking for.”, pulling out the ring of the penny. They placed the items together and they fit. They were placed in the monument in 1886.
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Shalers Brigade Marker
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Spangler House Spring
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Spangler House Chimney
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July 3rd 1 P.M.
The 23rd was ordered off the Hill. Crossing the fields under heavy artillery fire, the 23rd took a position to the left and rear center of Meade’s Headquarters, beyond the Taneytown road, just as the charge (Pickett’s Charge) was being repulsed and prisoners were coming over the slope. Between the hours of 3-5 P.M, the 23rd Pennsylvania stayed in this position. At 5 P.M., 1st Lt. Joshua S. Garsed of Company B was instantly killed when a shell from a whitworth gun made a direct hit, between he neck and shoulder, nearly tearing him to pieces. It was fired over 2 ½ miles away on Oak Ridge (The gun is just to the left of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial). He was carried from the field and buried in a shallow grave on the Farm of Michael Fry on the Taneytown Road. Under the pressing emergencies of the battle, Lt Garsed was encased and buried upon the farm of Mr Michael Frey who is one of the patients of Dr. Huber, the town physician.
July 4th "Victory"
The Twenty Third Pennsylvania Volunteers remained here until 6 A.M. on the 4th of July, 1863, when by order of General Meade, it rejoined the Division, where it remained until the morning of the 5th, when the Sixth Corps started the pursuit of Lee, the 23rd being one of the first pursuing units. Of the 31 wounded who could not follow Lee, they were sent to The Michael Trostle farmhouse which became the sixth Army Corps Hospital which was under the charge of Dr. Chamberlain (U.S. Volunteers) and Dr. L.W. Oakley (2nd NJ Infantry. The government marker on the site says that,” The Division Field Hospitals of the Sixth Corps were established on July 2nd 1863, near the Trostle House, east of Rock Creek and 200 yards southwest of this point. The Hospital cared for 315 wounded (31 of the 23rd PA).
Frederick Huber and William Schutretter
Two men of the 23rd are buried in Gettysburg, Frederick Huber, 1st Sgt of Co F and Pvt William Schutretter, a local, born in Philadelphia and moved to Adams County before the war, who returned here after the war to his hometown in Table Rock. Huber is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, killed at the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31st 1862. His last words were, “Tell my father I have died for my Country.” His stone was hit by shot and shell on July 2nd 1863, with the advance of the 11th Corps under Howard. Schutretter is buried in the national Cemetery after passing quietly away at his home on December 27th 1922 at the age of 84.
1 Officer Wounded
29 Enlisted men
The information to put this write-up together was taken from the following sources:
“Life of the 23rd Pennsylvania “Birney’s Zouaves” ,William J. Wray 1904, 1999,2004
"They Died at Gettysburg"
"The Gettysburg Campaign" ,Edward Coddington
Research and Studies of Frank P. Marrone Jr.
In 1993 Turner Pictures released a movie about the Battle of Gettysburg entitled "Gettysburg". It is 254 minutes long and availible on DVD and Video.
"Gettysburg" The Movie (Click for more info)
Printable Roster of those from the 23rd PA who fought at Gettysburg
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