24 February 2010

Lay On Their Arms

As the Union Army converged on the town of Gettysburg on 1 July 1863, among the troops was Battery “K” of the 5th US Artillery. Lead by Lieutenant David H Kinzie they got to with in a half mile of the town that night. They would be called into duty often over the next two days holding Culp’s Hill and protecting the Baltimore Pike.

Battery “K” of the 5th US Artillery was part of the 12th Corps. The unit was formed of men from Berks, Blair and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania. There were 86 men in the Battery within four 12 pound Napoleons. They marched hard on 1 July 1863 to reach with about a half mile of the town of Gettysburg, where the men, “lay on their arms all night.”

Battery “K” was lead by Lieutenant David Hunter Kinzie, an 1861 West Point graduate. Kinzie was born in Chicago Illinois 23 Jan 1841. On the morning of 2 Jul the Battery was ordered to move to a spot between the First and Twelfth Corps, and fill a gap. At about 5pm that evening one section was ordered to go to the top of Culp’s Hill to assist in silencing the Confederate Artillery firing from Benner’s Hill. After an hour they were sent back to the rest of the Battery at the foot of Power’s Hill.

Early in the morning of 3 Jul, Battery “K” was moved to the south side of the Baltimore Pike, just behind the center line of the 12th Corps. Firing their cannon from 4:30 am until 10 am they help to drive out the Confederates who had moved into the Culp’s Hill area during the night. They remained in this position through out the afternoon, finding them selves exposed to Confederate shelling that was over shooting Cemetery Hill. The Battery had 5 men wounded during the battle.

With thanks to the following sources
Peter C Vermilyea, "The Pipe Creek Effect; How Meade's Pipe Creek Circular Affected the Battle of Gettysburg," The Gettysburg Magazine, 42, January 2010, p 37
Edmund J Raus, Jr, "A Generation On The March; The Union Army at Gettysburg" [Gettysburg,PA, Thomas Pub., 1996], p 164 - 65.
The Historical Marker Database, Stone Sentinels for the photo.

18 February 2010

Lilly's Flag

On Culp’s Hill you will find a monument to the 149th New York Infantry. They were formed in Onondaga County, NY and were part of the 12th Corps. The monument is located on Slocum Ave. On it you will see a Relief, picturing a Color Bearer repairing the Regiment flag while under fire. This Color Bearer is William C Lilly.

William C Lilly was a 33 year old switchman from Syracuse NY when he enlisted 21 Aug 1862. Just before Gettysburg Lilly was promoted from Corporal to Sergeant. As part of General George Sears Greene’s Brigade the 149th held Culp’s Hill through the night on 2 Jul 1863 and the morning of the 3rd. It was on the morning of the 3Jul1863 while under attack from Major General Edward Johnson’s Division that the flag of the 149th received over 80 hits, including two which broke the staff. As the battle raged around him Lilly retrieved the flag and mended the staff of the flag using a splint made from a cracker box and the leather straps off a knapsack.

The flag is now located in the County Clerk’s Office in Onondaga County NY. The 147 year old fix still holding [I have been unable to confirm this]. Sergeant William Lilly died of wounds received at Wauhatchie TN 1Nov1863. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross by the State of New York 2May 1999.

My thanks to the following sources

Raus, Edmund J Jr, “A Generation On The March; The Union Army at Gettysburg”, [Gettysburg, PA, Thomas Pub, 1996], pg 86-7

The 149th New York State Volunteer Infantry

The 149th New York Infantry Monument

Historical Sketch of the 149th Infantry Regiment

Also thanks for the photos used

Civil War Contributions of Syracuse's Jewish Community

A Photographic Tour of Gettysburg Cemetery Hill, Culp's Hill Area

Culp’s Hill Part 4