6th Pennsylvania Reserves Monument

Gettysburg Guide #154

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In an effort to balance last Saturday's visit to the 20th Maine, there was also a visit to the much less visited monument showing the position on the night of July 2 of the 6th Pennsylvania Reserves (a/k/a 35th Pennsylvania Infantry). Though not often visited, it is not hard to find. It is at the end of a footpath on the north side of Wheatfield Road just opposite Ayres Avenue. The 6th Pa. Res. was on the right flank of the brigade line. Assuming that they took advantage of the stone wall in the area, their line would have been on a slight angle with that of the 11th Pennsylvania Reserves to their immediate left, but on an angle that bent forward (i.e. to the northwest), rather than bending back as one would expect if the line was refused.
6th PA Reserves.jpeg


Here are two photos of the right flank marker, one from a distance and one close up.
6th PA Reserves R flank.jpeg
6th Pa Reserve R flank close up.jpeg

Looking to the right of the regiment's position (i.e. northeast) one can see the Trostle farm in the distance. Lt. Col. Wellington Ent, commanding the regiment, would likely have sent out skirmishers in this direction to guard the brigade's flank.
Trostle Farm fr 6th Pa Reserve.jpeg

As one would expect, the left flank marker of the 6th Pa. Res. is next to the right flank marker for the 11th Pa. Res. It is interesting that the 11th Pa. Res. is in position with McCandless Brigade, as they are actually part of Fisher's Brigade. Nevertheless, on July 2 the 11th moved across Plum Run in the center of the front ranks of the McCandless's line and fought with that brigade for the remainder of the battle.
6th PA REserves L flank.jpeg

Looking westward from that location, one can see the J. Weikert Farm, near which one finds the monuments for Nevin's Brigade, which supported McCandless's Brigade on its right. Six members of the 6th Pa. Res. were awarded Medals of Honor for rushing a house of Confederates and capturing them. Although contemporary evidence is scanty, it was probably the old J. Weikert house. The current house was constructed after the war, but appears to be on the same foundation as the original.

J Weikert Nevin Brig fr 6th Pa Res.jpeg


Looking back in the opposite direction from the J. Weikert Farm, one can see both the 6th Pa. Res. Monument.

6th PA Reserve fr J. Weikert Farm Nevin Brig.jpeg
 

Tom Elmore

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Tillie Pierce was observing from the Weikert house: "Suddenly I heard the sound of fife and drum coming from the other side of the barn. Then some of our soldiers shouted!: 'There come the Pennsylvania Reserves!' And sure enough there they were, coming on a double-quick between the barn and Round Top, firing as they ran. The Confederates faced toward them, fired, halted, and began to retreat. I saw them falling as they were climbing over a stone wall and as they were shot in the open space. The fighting lasted but a short time, when the Confederates were driven back ..."

The 6th Pennsylvania Reserves were the closest regiment to Tillie, and a sketch ("Charge of the Pennsylvania Reserves") in her book, At Gettysburg, or What a Girl Saw and Heard of the Battle, actually depicts them charging past directly in front of her vantage point, about 7:22 p.m. on July 2 by my reckoning.

 

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Tom Elmore

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From which Weikert farm was Pierce watching the action?

Ryan
Based on her above description and the sketch, it would have to be John T. Weikert. I've seen mention of her being at the Jacob Weikert place on the Taneytown road due east of Round Top, but that would not afford her the view of which she writes. What's your take on the topic?
 

rpkennedy

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Based on her above description and the sketch, it would have to be John T. Weikert. I've seen mention of her being at the Jacob Weikert place on the Taneytown road due east of Round Top, but that would not afford her the view of which she writes. What's your take on the topic?

I tend to agree with John T. Weikert since she said that she saw the advance of the Reserves against the Confederates. But I have seen claims of the Jacob Jr. house as well which, to my mind, is an outside but unlikely possibility. I was just hoping someone might have had a more definitive answer than my "maybe". :D

Ryan
 

Tom Elmore

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I just saw (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17035426/john-thomas-weikert) that John Thomas Weikert (son of George Weikert) was probably serving with the 138th Pennsylvania at the time of the battle, so the Jacob Jr. house would indeed be the likely candidate. Although the Pennsylvania Reserves marched by a little further to the north, Tillie could not have seen them charge from there. (As an aside, and interesting by itself, that makes me wonder if she was watching Confederates of Company A of the 15th Alabama, who were detached off the right flank of that regiment near the Taneytown road, and who may have eventually been driven off by Company B of the 20th Maine along with some U.S. Sharpshooters.) The sketch in her book, however, better fits with the John Thomas Weikert place given the placement of Big Round Top in the near distance and the Federals charging (westward) over the intervening open space.
 

rpkennedy

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I just saw (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17035426/john-thomas-weikert) that John Thomas Weikert (son of George Weikert) was probably serving with the 138th Pennsylvania at the time of the battle, so the Jacob Jr. house would indeed be the likely candidate. Although the Pennsylvania Reserves marched by a little further to the north, Tillie could not have seen them charge from there. (As an aside, and interesting by itself, that makes me wonder if she was watching Confederates of Company A of the 15th Alabama, who were detached off the right flank of that regiment near the Taneytown road, and who may have eventually been driven off by Company B of the 20th Maine along with some U.S. Sharpshooters.) The sketch in her book, however, better fits with the John Thomas Weikert place given the placement of Big Round Top in the near distance and the Federals charging (westward) over the intervening open space.
Companies B & G were both raised in Adams County and had a number of soldiers with names that are associated with the Gettysburg area.

Adjutant Jacob W. Cress

Company B
Captain John F. McCreary
Sergeant John F. Biesecker
Corporal Peter Thorn
Corporal John Orr
Corporal Amos S. Snyder
William B. and Jacob H. Biesecker
David E. Cress
Stephen Currens
Keller B. Culp
Ephraim Herr
L. Hummelbaugh
John Staub
John D. Slyder
John T. Weikert

Company G
William A. Pitzer
Edward C. Blocher
Benjamin F.K. Jacobs
Henry Ziegler

There were also several names that were likely family of my wife's ancestors who were living on the Adams and York County line in the Hanover, PA area.

Ryan
 

rpkennedy

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As an aside, the 138th Pennsylvania missed the battle of Gettysburg because it was serving at Harper's Ferry but joined in the pursuit with the force that Major General William H. French brought to the army. They would be transferred to the Sixth Corps in the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac and continued to serve in the corps until the end of the war.

Ryan
 

Gettysburg Guide #154

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Here is something to consider as to where Tillie Pierce was during the battle. The Pierce's lived on the west side of Baltimore Street at the SW corner of Breckenridge Street. The next home to the south was that of George and Hettie Shriver. George was off serving with the cavalry elsewhere, so Hettie was alone with their two young girls. On July 1, Hettie decided to get herself and her children out of harm's way by going to the home of her parents, Jacob and Sarah Weikert, located a few miles to the south along Taneytown Road. She asked the Pierce's if their teenage daughter, Tillie, could accompany her. Perhaps the idea was that Tillie could help look after the younger children. It seems that the Pierce's readily agreed.

It makes all the sense in the world that Hettie Shriver would seek refuge at the home of her parents. If Tillie was with her, then Tillie must have been at the Jacob Weikert house on the east side of Little Round Top. If we bear in mind that Tillie Pierce wrote her memoir many years latter, it is possible the stories that she had heard over the years conflated with what she saw and merged into her writing. My interpretation of the available evidence remains that Tillie Pierce was at the Jacob Weikert home, where I do believe that she visited with the mortally wounded General Stephen Weed.
 

ronzzo

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Here is something to consider as to where Tillie Pierce was during the battle. The Pierce's lived on the west side of Baltimore Street at the SW corner of Breckenridge Street. The next home to the south was that of George and Hettie Shriver. George was off serving with the cavalry elsewhere, so Hettie was alone with their two young girls. On July 1, Hettie decided to get herself and her children out of harm's way by going to the home of her parents, Jacob and Sarah Weikert, located a few miles to the south along Taneytown Road. She asked the Pierce's if their teenage daughter, Tillie, could accompany her. Perhaps the idea was that Tillie could help look after the younger children. It seems that the Pierce's readily agreed.

It makes all the sense in the world that Hettie Shriver would seek refuge at the home of her parents. If Tillie was with her, then Tillie must have been at the Jacob Weikert house on the east side of Little Round Top. If we bear in mind that Tillie Pierce wrote her memoir many years latter, it is possible the stories that she had heard over the years conflated with what she saw and merged into her writing. My interpretation of the available evidence remains that Tillie Pierce was at the Jacob Weikert home, where I do believe that she visited with the mortally wounded General Stephen Weed.
I agree with this assessment in accordance to her writings. However, I don’t know how she was able to observe the Reserves countercharge unless she left the confines of the Jacob Weikert home.
 

rpkennedy

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Yesterday, thanks to @Gettysburg Guide #154, I finally found all those markers. I updated my flank marker locator map to show them:
View attachment 384381

For reference, the monument for Battery C, New York Light Artillery is posted on what is known as Munchower's Knoll. This is about where General Sickles' left flank was supposed to be before he moved forward on the afternoon of July 2.

Ryan
 

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