The 143rd Pennsylvania monument at Gettysburg National Military Park dodged the proverbial bullet over the weekend.
Gettysburg National Military Park posted images to their Facebook page this morning showing how close the monument came to being damaged or destroyed. The monument is dedicated to the men from Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wyoming and Lycoming Counties who fought in the battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War with the 143rd Pennsylvania.
The post states that the high winds over the weekend caused two trees that are near the monument to fall. From the images you can see how close it was.
The monument to the 143rd Pennsylvania depicts 21 year old Benjamin H. Crippin from Hyde Park (later to become part of Scranton when the city was incorporated years after the war).
Crippin, a member of the regiment, was killed on the first day of fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. Accounts from the time, said that as his regiment was retreating Crippin was holding the flag and turned to shake his fist at the Confederate soldiers. Crippin was shot and killed.
In an account from fellow soldier Private Avery Harris, found on the website KIlledatGettysburg.org, Harris had this to say about Crippin – “Crippin with the colors was loth to yield, and the Regiment … rallied upon him, and when he was forced to retire, he first shook his fist at the enemy, and defied them to take his colors, but brave boy as he was he goes down wrapped in the fold of his colors, and all but two of the Color guard were down, and one of the survivors wounded, when Owen Phillips the guard from our company picks up both flags, but nothing but the trumpets last call will raise brave young Crippin.”
The 143rd Monument is located along U.S. Route 30 also known as the Chambersburg Pike.
Update from Gettysburg National Military Park …
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 15 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast