19th Indiana

19th Indiana

General Discussion by GDG Members

Esteemed member Rotbaron@aol.com contributes: Can anyone offer any insight into this? Did Brockenbrough engage the 19th Indiana on July 1?

Bob, I couldn’t find any specifics on actions of the 19th Ind flagbearers or references to direct encounters between 19th Ind and Brockenbrough’s men. Clearly the 24th Michigan was initially deployed on the Union left flank and the 19th Indiana was on Michiganders' right. Later the 24th Michigan was shifted to the right of the 19th Indiana , thus positioning the Indianans on the Iron Brigade left flank.

In Gettysburg Magazine Issue #5 ("The Deadly Embrace"), R.Lee Hadden notes that Cutler's brigade deployed to right of Chambersburg Pike then “on their left came the 2nd Wisconsin, then the 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, and the 24th Michigan”. This was the Iron Brigade's formation as they encountered and drove back Archer's brigade after 9:00 AM. When Doubleday replaced Reynolds, one of his first orders was to realign the troops. The 24th Michigan “was pulled back from its advanced line, and took a second position between the Seventh Wisconsin and the Nineteenth Indiana on the left.

In Gettysburg July 1, Dave Martin states “When Meredith reformed his line in Herbst Woods, he had the 19th Indiana and 24th Michigan exchange places; the reason for this is not understood today.

In Gettysburg Magazine Issue #1 (“The Defense Of McPherson's Ridge”), D. Scott Hartwig notes that Biddle's brigade (including 151st PA) approached the field along Fairfield Road and were posted along thecrest of Eastern McPherson Ridge. “Biddle's regiments remained in position but a few minutes before they were ordered to pass over the ridge and take position along Willoughby Run, on the flank of Meredith's Brigade”. During Pettigrew's assault, the “11th North Carolina gradually worked its way around the 19th Indiana's left. The fire of th 11th almost annihilated the regiment..” “Colonel Williams was wounded and eight color bearers in succession went down”. The 19th Indiana slowly retired to the eastern edge of Herbst's Woods, exposing “the 24th Michigan to the full fury of th Confederate attack”. With the left collapsing, Colonel McFarland led his 151st PA “forward to the edge of the woodlot. The 19th Indiana observing McFarland's fresh line approaching assumed it was their relief and they withdrew to the depression between Seminary and East McPherson's Redges.”. The 151st PA took 70% casualties in this fight and then also withdrew to the depression.

During the fight in Herbst's Woods, it appears the 19th Indiana were engaged with Pettigrew's brigade along the Iron Brigades's right flank. Brockenbrough's assault began after 2:00 PM and apparently hit the 2nd and 6th Wisconsin plus Stone's 150th PA. After retiring to the depression, the Iron Brigade was compelled to fall back to the barricades along Seminary Ridge. Later, the 19th Indiana was the first regiment of Meredith's brigade to fall back from this final position.

For more reading on the 19th Indiana, I'd also recommend Gettysburg Magazine Issue #2, “Here Was Made Our Last and Hopeless Stand” by Alan D. Gaff.