149th New York Infantry

The 149th New York Infantry Regiment served as members of Greene’s Brigade in Geary’s Division of the Twelfth Corps, Army of the Potomac.

Monument to the 149th New York Infantry on Culp's Hill. Gettysburg December 2011

Dedicated: Relief was executed 1891. Dedicated 1892.

Location: Culp’s Hill, east side of Slocum Avenue, north of Williams Avenue. It indicates the position held by the 149th New York Infantry from July 2, 1863 under fire during attacks of Johnson’s Division.

Description: Shaft and plinth with an embellished Gothic cap contains a battle scene relief and State Seal tondo in the front and the 12th Corps star emblem on two sides. Monument is a three-part finished granite shaft with a curved cap and set on a 5.4×4.5 foot rough cut base. The shaft contains excised polished letters and a bronze bas-relief on the front, a bronze tablet on the rear, and a bronze medallion on the top front. Overall height is 11.8 feet. Sculptured by Ralph Cook. Flanking marker on the left is one foot square. The relief by Ralph Cook is after a drawing by Edwin Forbes. Entitled “Mending the Flag under Fire” it depicts the regimental Color Sergent, William Lilly (a switchman from Syracuse prior to the War), picking up the pieces of the broken staff of the flag. Lilly repaired the staff and replaced the flag. The flag had over eighty bullet holes in it by the time the battle had ended — a testament to the hard fighting done by this regiment. The idea to honor Lilly’s act was also driven by another motivating forces. Lilly was mortally wounded at the battle of Wauhatchie, Tennessee. Although he was lying mortally wounded, Lilly had shared his blanket with a shivering enemy. The regiment wished to honor Lilly because of this compassionate act. Rock behind the monument has inscription of “1888 Western New York, J. F. Thompson.”

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