20th Massachusetts Puddingstone Monument-Original Location

Gettysburg Greg

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Location
Decatur, Illinois
Looking at this ca. 1886 photo below taken near the High Water Mark, I noticed something did not appear right. Isn't that the 20th Mass. Monument seen at the wall near the Copse of Trees? How can that be? Today we see that same monument (puddingstone) 40 yards to the south where the regiment was positioned on July 3rd, 1863-see arrow on my modern photo on the bottom. After a little digging, I discovered the explanation. As many of you know the 20th Mass moved up to the Copse when the Confederates broke through at the climax of Pickett's Charge. Therefore, many veterans wanted their monument near the Copse to show their location at that critical moment and it was first placed where you see it in the photo. However, the GBMA decreed that regimental monuments were to be placed where the unit was first deployed, thus the monument was moved to it's correct location where we see it today.
Mass Monument MU.jpg
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
I must admit, I’m more interested in the Puddingstone, and where it was mined! Lol! Took quite a bit of geology for my major.
 

Johnny Shafto

Private
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Excellent observation. It's interesting. As I attempt to understand something, and as parts of the puzzle slowly begin to form a picture, it is this movement of men within the battle that I find so compelling. Veterans, historians, students of tactics, and contributors like Gettysburg Greg, have enabled a novice like myself to slowly gain an appreciation for what happened so many years before. Great appreciation here.
 
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W117Monte

Private
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Hamburg
This is very interesting. So they made them move the monument, but let them put up plaques in the same spot? Does anyone know the story behind that?
 

rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
May 18, 2011
Location
Carlisle, PA
This is very interesting. So they made them move the monument, but let them put up plaques in the same spot? Does anyone know the story behind that?

It must have moved when the military park was being reworked so that the monuments were being located where the unit had its battle line rather than another location (furthest advance, for example). The plaque on the monument reads in part:

This monument marks the position occupied by the Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry in line of battle July 2nd and 3rd 1863 until advanced to the front of the copse of treeson its immediate right to assist in repelling the charge of Longstreet's Corps.

I don't have a date for when this particular monument was relocated but many markers were moved in the late 19th-early 20th centuries to bring them in line (pun not intended) with the parameters set down by the monument commission.

Ryan
 
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