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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 04, 2013

For the past thirteen decades or so, the 99TH Pennsylvania Infantry monument on Houck’s Ridge has kept a watch over the 4TH Maine at Devil’s Den. This photo was taken at sunset. The tree at left might be the Devil’s Den witness tree but I’m not sure. Devil’s Den is to the left of the photo. Except for the monuments (and assuming that is indeed the witness tree) the scene would have looked exactly the same in 1863. That statement holds true for much of the battlefield . . . unless you take the modern roads into consideration.

For a little history: The 4TH’s monument dates from late 1888 and was placed atop a prehistoric boulder. At one point a sort of “groove” was built underneath it so rainwater could drain freely without ruining the granite. The 99TH’s monument, standing tall above Devil’s Den, dates from 1889. If you choose to climb the narrow dirt path to this monument, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful memorial and views of Devil’s Den, Big Round Top, the Slaughter Pen, the Valley of Death, and Little Round Top.


Co. C, 150TH Pennsylvania Infantry

Born July 13, 1819 --- Died July 1863 (some sources say September) at age 43

John Coyle’s enlistment brought much complication to his large Pennsylvania family. August of 1862 witnessed his farewell to wife Rachel and six children. The two oldest sons would have been of age to join their father in the military but I’m not sure if they did so. Otis was twenty, William was eighteen, Miranda was sixteen, Henry was thirteen, John Jerome was six, James Francis was three, and Lawrence Loren was just one. A daughter, Ester Ann, had been born in 1852 and died in 1859. Pvt. Coyle was wounded near the McPherson barn during the battle of Gettysburg. Some sources say he died on the first of July, some say on the third, and some say he died on September 25, probably at Camp Letterman. He was buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery but is also remembered at Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Mageetown, PA. A (very small) photo can be found here.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

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