** Please check out my tribute page to two of my Civil War relatives who never made it home **

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 04, 2013

The 74th Pennsylvania Infantry didn’t have it easy. The men of the Eleventh Corps weren’t well-equipped to deal with the heat of battle, and when things got hot they tended to, well, act in a less-than-sterling manner. Veteran soldiers scoffed at the German troops and used colorful language to describe their track record. Maybe the bad luck that the 74th Pennsylvania’s stone memorial has experienced in Gettysburg is somehow a manifestation of that. 
Photo taken in late 2003

It started in late 2003 when a vehicle veered off the road at the Eleventh Corps Line tour and slammed into the 74th. On a subsequent trip I saw the damage and took the 2003 photo. It was a very sad thing, lying in pieces, injured and seemingly beyond help like the men who fell in battle so many years before. It made people wonder how things like this could happen and what we could do to prevent such tragedies. Strangely, in 2010, that same monument was apparently struck again.

 Luckily for the 74th, there were some very talented hands available, and after awhile the monument was restored to its former glory. There are some cracks that may present themselves to the trained eye, but nothing more. The cracks are a good reminder. Civil War history is painful, deeply emotional, and full of holes --- full of ugly memories --- but in and around those cracks is a valorous, sweeping story too vast and too important to ignore.

Photo taken in 2013


Co. D, 69th Pennsylvania Infantry

Born 1836 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 27

Sgt. McCabe had already suffered a war wound by the time Gettysburg rolled around, but as soon as he was able to be up and about, he delved right back into the action. His last stand would be at Cemetery Ridge during the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge. Sgt. McCabe was later buried at Old Cathedral Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

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