Lieutenant Willam Henry Pohlman, 59th N.Y., " Not While I Have My Sword Arm Left " July 2, 1863

JPK Huson 1863

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#1
sneden 59th ny.jpg

Snip from one of several Sneden Gettysburg maps, no idea if the 59th New York's position is included but cannot be very far out of frame. So many regiments, so many stories. Easy enough to miss them. ( edited now to include the position of the 59th, thanks very much Ernie Mac )

Lieutenant Polman's death of wounds received July 2nd, 1863 wasn't singular or even notable. Nurses reported empty beds or unfamiliar faces on pillows where an hour previously they'd dressed wounds for another soldier. His story was probably much the same ' gallant ' death as more men than we can fathom.

sword arm 4 poem.jpg

From William's obituary. " Speak his name proudly! ", gets to you, doesn't it?

The public was hungry for stories from the battle. From civilians John Burns to Mary Virginia Wade to Carrie Sheads, on to Greene's audacious battle, the struggle for the other end of Round Top, ' Longstreet's Charge ', Buford's resolute stand and Reynold's shocking death. Too many- may have been why Polman's story didn't break the top 100. Should have, both young man and story tailor made for a public trying to wrap our heads around what in blazes happened in Adams County, Pennsylvania.

Last letter home- there's always one.
sword arm 3.JPG


William Henry was the son of minister Rev. William J. Pohlman a missionary to China. William Jr., a Rutger's student also headed for the Methodist ministry. The 59th NY came to Gettysburg that July with a battle flag through which passed the bullets of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville . From their position next to Halls' line on Cemetery Ridge, fighting was as intense July 2nd and 3rd as anywhere on the field. Battle flag of 48th Georgia captured, Lieutenant Col. Thoman lost, the 59th NY was still there for Pickett/Trimble/Pettigrew, July 3rd.

sword arm 4a.jpg

More of his last letter home.

It's this story that flattens you, of a 21 year old who wouldn't get to 22 or back to Rutger's. Stuff legends contain, determined not to turn his back on his men- or the enemy.

sword arm 2.JPG

Speak his name proudly. " Not while I have my sword arm left ".
 
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#2
This regiment is also credited with capturing the battle flag of the 18th Virgina Infantry at the stone
wall on July 3rd at Gettysburg when it was carried to the stone wall by Colonel Henry Carrington
after its color guard was shot down. William Pohlam apparently was just one example of the men
who filled the ranks of what was a hard fighting regiment of New Yorkers.
 

ErnieMac

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The 59th New York one of five regiments in the 3rd Brigade (Colonel Norman Hall) of the Second Division (BG John Gibbon) of the Second Corps (MG Winfield Scott Hancock). They were placed in opposition to Wright's Georgia Brigade along Cemetery Ridge on July 2. The attached map shows Hall to the east of the Codori Farm between the Emmittsburg and Taneytown Roads not too far from the Copse of Trees. Since they are credited with the captured of the 48th Georgia's battleflag it would seem the 59th was to the right / center of Hall's brigade.


1024px-Gettysburg_Day2_Cemetery_Ridge.png
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#5
The 59th New York one of five regiments in the 3rd Brigade (Colonel Norman Hall) of the Second Division (BG John Gibbon) of the Second Corps (MG Winfield Scott Hancock). They were placed in opposition to Wright's Georgia Brigade along Cemetery Ridge on July 2. The attached map shows Hall to the east of the Codori Farm between the Emmittsburg and Taneytown Roads not too far from the Copse of Trees. Since they are credited with the captured of the 48th Georgia's battleflag it would seem the 59th was to the right / center of Hall's brigade.

Thanks very much! Edited Sneden's map to include Hall's position. May have a few snips.... once had a shot at figuring out why a company from the 126th NY was sent all the way ' up ' to the Bliss farm to clear out snipers. Still clueless, company B was JPK's- he was the only man from B killed making that attempt. Got me as familiar as a beginner with this stuff can be, which isn't terrific.
 
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#6
The 59th New York was the rightmost regiment in Hall's Brigade on July 2. The 7th Michigan was to the left of the 59th New York with the 20th Massachusetts immediately to their rear as support. The 42nd New York and 19th Massachusetts had been sent to the left in support of Andrew Humphreys' retreating division south of the Codori house.

The 48th Georgia's flag was left behind when the color guard was annihilated and the regiment was nearly routed when they were struck in the left flank by the 106th Pennsylvania. There just wasn't anyone left to carry the flag back.

Ryan
 



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