91st PA at Gettysburg

Battle of Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Index


Brief description

The 91st PA was in the 3rd Brigade (Gen. Weed) of the Second Division (Gen. Ayres) of the Fifth Army Corps (Gen. Sykes), of the Army of the Potomac (Gen. Meade). They were camped near Frederick Maryland on the 28th of June. By midnight or 1 AM of the 2nd of July they had marched 55 miles in 3 days, and were near Gettysburg. The Union forces were arranged in a fishhook, with the hook in the north, and the shank going south along Cemetery Ridge. On July 2nd, the Second Division was in reserve, and was moved where the fighting was fiercest. By mid-afternoon they were in the southern part of the battlefield, where the Third Army Corps, under General Sickles, had advanced beyond their assigned position, and was under heavy attack. General Warren, the Army's Chief Engineer, noticed that Little Round Top was undefended, and realizing that its loss would allow the Confederate Army to control the Union Army, General Sykes agreed to send troops. General Warren sent Vincent's Brigade. General Sykes then ordered Weed's Third Brigade there, but General Sickles (commanding the Third Corps) intercepted them and ordered them to support his troops. General Warren managed to divert one regiment (the 140th New York), and when General Sykes learned what had happened, he immediately ordered the other three regiments of the Second Division back to the Little Round Top. Before they arrived, the 140th New York had driven back the Confederate attack. Little Round Top continued under attack from sharpshooters, but didn't again face fighting as heavy. Three enlisted men of the 91st were killed, and two officers and fourteen enlisted men were wounded. (20 officers and 205 enlisted men, excluding pioneers and musicians, were engaged in the battle.) Despite the lack of heavy fighting on the 3rd, fourteen of the seventeen casualties listed in Bates occurred on the 3rd, not the 2nd. The Confederates shelled Little Round Top before Pickett's Charge, and William S Reiff was held up returning with coffee because of the heavy firing.

The property of Jacob Bolin (who later served in company G) was damaged in the battle.

Sources


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revised 9 Jun 12
contact Harry Ide at hide1@unl.edu with comments or questions