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.
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.
SGT. JAMES MCCABE
Co. D, 69th Pennsylvania Infantry
Born 1836 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 27
(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray