11th Pennsylvania Reserves Monument

Gettysburg Guide #154

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Although the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves (a/k/a 40th Pa. Infantry) was part of Fisher's Brigade, it advanced across the Plum Run Valley in the center of the front line of McCandless' Brigade about dusk on July 2 at Gettysburg. The regiment's commander was Col. Samuel M. Jackson (the maternal grandfather of actor Jimmy Stewart). In a thread earlier this month, the story told by Lt. Henry Minnigh of the 1st Pa. Reserves about a German artillery commander begging the Pennsylvania Reserves not to let the Confederates capture his guns was reported. It is Col. Jackson of the 11th Reserves who is often credited with the reply to the worried artillerist, "Stand by your guns Dutchy, and we will stand by you." [I was wondering if any of you have any opinions as to what battery was involved in that tale.]

The first two photos show the 11th Pa. Reserves Monument from front and rear.
11th Res Front.jpeg

11th Res Back.jpeg

And here is a photo looking back from fence they came, across the Plum Run Valley towards Little Round Top. You can see General Crawford's statue along the avenue named for him.
Plum Run Valley fr Wheatfield.jpeg
 

rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
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Carlisle, PA
Although the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves (a/k/a 40th Pa. Infantry) was part of Fisher's Brigade, it advanced across the Plum Run Valley in the center of the front line of McCandless' Brigade about dusk on July 2 at Gettysburg. The regiment's commander was Col. Samuel M. Jackson (the maternal grandfather of actor Jimmy Stewart). In a thread earlier this month, the story told by Lt. Henry Minnigh of the 1st Pa. Reserves about a German artillery commander begging the Pennsylvania Reserves not to let the Confederates capture his guns was reported. It is Col. Jackson of the 11th Reserves who is often credited with the reply to the worried artillerist, "Stand by your guns Dutchy, and we will stand by you." [I was wondering if any of you have any opinions as to what battery was involved in that tale.]

The first two photos show the 11th Pa. Reserves Monument from front and rear.
View attachment 382790
View attachment 382792
And here is a photo looking back from fence they came, across the Plum Run Valley towards Little Round Top. You can see General Crawford's statue along the avenue named for him.
View attachment 382794

No battery commanders are jumping out at me as being obviously German or having a German accent. I'm wondering if it was a section officer instead which may bring other possibilities. Or it's apocryphal and a good story.

Ryan
 

Gettysburg Guide #154

Sergeant
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
No battery commanders are jumping out at me as being obviously German or having a German accent. I'm wondering if it was a section officer instead which may bring other possibilities. Or it's apocryphal and a good story.

Ryan
I have thought about a section officer. Based on position, the most likely unit of artillery would be the left section of Gibbs Bty L, Ohio Lt. Art. That section was commanded by Lt. Herbert F. Guthrie. First of all, the surname would seem to be of Scottish origin, rather than German. Perhaps more importantly, Captain Augustus Martin, the Fifth Corps Artillery Brigade commander, singled out Guthrie in his report for " . . . the splendid manner in which the section was served." That doesn't sound to me like someone who was as panicky as described in the account by the Pennsylvania Reserves. Could it have been a sergeant of one of the guns, or perhaps one of Martin's staff officers? Perhaps it's just one of those stories that was embellished a bit over time.
 

ronzzo

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Another Gettysburg Guide who is familiar with the Reserves told me the statement was referring to Gibb’s Battery, Company L 1st Ohio Light Artillery whose position was immediately to the right of McCandless’ Brigade.
Here’s what I found:
An unidentified "Dutch Captain" who, according to Colonel Jackson, was an officer in Capt. Frank C. Gibbs' Company L, 1st Ohio Light Artillery, approached the colonel with a phrase that would become part of the lore of the Pennsylvania Reserves. Gibbs' battery held a position to the right of McCandless' line with two sections, while one section was higher up Little Round Top's north slope, just behind the right of the Bucktails. According to Capt. Henry N. Minnigh of the 1st Reserves, the "Dutch Captain...raved and swore, when it seemed as if his guns would be taken." "Dunder and blixen, don't let dem repels took mine batteries" shouted the officer to Colonel Jackson. Jackson told the man to "double-shot his guns, hold his position, and we would see to their safety." The men nearest to the artillery officer called out further comfort: "stand by your guns Dutchy, and we will stand by you."
 

Tom Elmore

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No battery commanders are jumping out at me as being obviously German or having a German accent. I'm wondering if it was a section officer instead which may bring other possibilities. Or it's apocryphal and a good story.

Ryan
Some guns of Battery C, 3rd Massachusetts were apparently brought back past the Reserves and I wonder if they had any German speaking section leaders.
 

Tom Elmore

2nd Lieutenant
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Nicknames were the norm in Company K of the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves, such as: Plankhead, Cutting-Box, Chaff, Tick, Rush, American Tadpole, Union Jim, Copperhead, Bad Bill, Long Agony, White Eye, Innocence, Earnest, Sea Horse, Paste Bob, Bald-Headed Carpenter, Bummer, Flying Dutchman and Japanese. (Three Years in the Bloody Eleventh, the Campaigns of a Pennsylvania Reserves Regiment, by Joseph Gibbs)
 

eBrowne

Corporal
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Jan 12, 2016
As we turned, Gibbs said, "James, you place the left on the side of that slope, I will place the right here and you take the center. Place them about fifty yards in the rear and do not fire a shot until we are all captured."
After showing Guthrie his location...
When Fisher passed my guns, he became a little excited for fear that the rebs would get our front guns before he arrived.... Guthrie yelled to him to charge or cease firing, so he advanced and drove the rebs out of their holes which ended the fight there.

A Magnificent Irishman from Appalachia - The Letters of Lt. James Gildea - First Ohio Light Artillery, Battery L, p. 64-5.
 

rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
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Carlisle, PA
Nicknames were the norm in Company K of the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves, such as: Plankhead, Cutting-Box, Chaff, Tick, Rush, American Tadpole, Union Jim, Copperhead, Bad Bill, Long Agony, White Eye, Innocence, Earnest, Sea Horse, Paste Bob, Bald-Headed Carpenter, Bummer, Flying Dutchman and Japanese. (Three Years in the Bloody Eleventh, the Campaigns of a Pennsylvania Reserves Regiment, by Joseph Gibbs)

Those are some weirdly specific nicknames. I love it.

Ryan
 

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