Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War
USA Flag

83rd Pennsylvania
Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Fifth Corps HQ Flag

Attached to the
3rd Brigade, 1st Division,
Fifth Army Corps

First Division, Fifth Corps Flag

 

The monument to the 83rd Pennsylvania is south of Gettysburg on the south side of Little Round Top near Sykes Avenue. (39.789957 N, 77.236969 W; map) It was dedicated in 1899 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

The 83rd Pennsylvania was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Captain Orpheus S. Woodward while its colonel, Strong Vincent, was in command of the brigade.

 

On July 2nd Vincent's brigade was intercepted by a staff officer desperately seeking men to cover the vital position of Little Round Top. On his own responsibility Vincent diverted the brigade to hold the hill. When part of the 16th Michigan began to fall back under heavy pressure Vincent mounted a boulder to rally them, shouting, "Don't give an inch!" The line held but Vincent fell, badly wounded. He was moved to a nearby farm where he died five days later.

 

Pennsylvania governing board rules prohibited placing the likeness of commanders on regimental monuments, so the statue atop the monument is not identified and, officially, could be any heroic officer of the regiment. But it looks very much like Strong Vincent.

 

The statue is not an entirely accurate representation of Vincent on Little Round Top. He was not holding a sword but a riding crop, a memento from his pregnant wife, who was an accomplished horsewoman. After his death she gave birth to a daughter who died within the year and is buried next to her father.

 

A marker commemorating Colonel VIncent is nearby at the location where he was mortally wounded.

 

 

From the front of the monument:

 

The Brigade was hurried to
Little Round Top about 5 p.m.
of July 2d. This Regiment taking
position in front of this monument
and repulsing several desperate charges
of the enemy after which this Regiment
assisted in driving the enemy beyond,
and in taking possession of Big Round Top.
On the morning of the 3rd, rejoined the
Brigade on the left centre.

Present at Gettysburg 308 officers and men.
Killed 1 officer and 9 men.
Wounded 3 officers and 42 men.

83rd Penna Infantry
3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Corps

 

From the right side:

 

Total Enrollment
2270
Killed and died
of wounds
11 officers, 267 men
Died of disease, etc.
2 officers, 150 men
Wounded 29 officers, 485 men
Total 944.

From the left side:

 

Recruited in
the Counties of
Erie, Crawford,
and Forest.
Mustered in
September 13th. 1861.
Re-enlisted
December 27th. 1863.
Mustered out
June 28th. 1865.

Fromt the rear:

 

Yorktown, Hanover Court House,
Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill,
Malvern Cliffs, Malvern Hill,
2d Bull Run, Antietam,
Shepherdstown Ford, Fredericksburg,
Chancellorsville, Middleburg,
Gettysburg, Jones' Cross Roads,
Wapping Heights, Rappahannock Station,
Mine Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania,
North Anna, Totopotomoy,
Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor,
Petersburg, Weldon Railroad,
Peebles' Farm, Hatcher's Run,
Dabney's Mill, Boyoton Road, Five Forks,
Appomattox.

 

Arrow
83rd Pennsylvania Infantry monument at Gettysburg Closeup of Strong Vincent on 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry monument at Gettysburg
(above) Statue of Strong Vincent
from the 83rd Pennsylvania monument

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About the Author • ©2007-2014 Steve A. Hawks