27th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, Gettysburg

The 27th Connecticut Regiment is honored with a collection of monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield.

Perhaps the regiment’s most prominent monument marks the spot where the unit’s commander, Lt. Col Henry Merwin, was killed during heavy fighting in Rose’s Wheatfield.

The monument, a granite obelisk topped with an eagle, was dedicated in October of 1885. The monument’s front (north) face feature’s the regiment’s name, the Second Corps trefoil, the 1885 erection date, and the July 2, 1863 date of the Wheatfield fighting.

An inscription within a shield on the north face provides a detailed account of the unit’s actions on July 2, and highlights the death of Merwin and Capt. Jedidiah Chapman (the location of Chapman’s death is marked with a monument we’ll describe shortly).

The monument’s south face bears an inscribed Connecticut seal.

Late in the afternoon of July 2, the 27th participated in a charge westward across the Wheatfield toward Rose’s Woods and Stony Hill. The attack succeeded in repulsing Confederates, who would later counterattack and eventually recapture the Wheatfield (which changed hands several times on the second day of the battle).

The 27th is honored with a second monument on Brooke Avenue, not far from the spot of their western advance during their afternoon charge. The monument, which features the peaked-top design used by several other Connecticut monuments at Gettysburg, was dedicated on the same day in October 1885 as the Wheatfield monument in 1889.

The front (west) side of the monument lists the unit’s affiliations (4th Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Corps) and “advanced position of this regiment in the brigade charge, July 2nd, 1863.”

The west side also features a Connecticut seal as well as the Second Corps trefoil.

The monument’s south face displays crossed muskets.

The monument’s east side is inscribed with a dedication reading, “Erected by the Commonwealth of Connecticut as a memorial to the valor of her loyal sons.” The description of Connecticut  as a commonwealth is an unfortunate error since Connecticut is formally designated as a state (although there’s no practical difference).

A short distance east of the Brooke Avenue monument, a small marker on a boulder was dedicated in 1885 to designate the regiment’s advanced position within the woods.

Officer Memorials

The deaths of Col. Merwin and Capt. Chapman are honored with separate markers on the battlefield. The Merwin memorial is on the side Wheatfield Road, a short distance from the regiment’s Wheatfield monument.

Merwin, a Brookfield native, was active in New Haven business when the war broke out. He served with the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, a regiment that enlisted for three months, in 1861. When another call for volunteers was issued in 1862, Merwin enlisted again.

Chapman, a New Haven native, is honored with a small marker along de Trobriand Avenue. The marker was originally placed near the Merwin marker on Wheatfield Road because correct location was privately owned, but was moved after that land was purchased by the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association.

The 27th, recruited primarily from New Haven county, was formed in September 1862 for a nine-month enlistment. After fighting at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, the regiment mustered out near the end of July 1863.

At Gettysburg, the regiment engaged 160 and had 37 casualties (10 killed, 23 wounded and four missing).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Replies to “27th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, Gettysburg”

  1. You state that the monument on Brooke avenue and the monument in the Wheatfield were dedicated on the same day. This is incorrect. The regiment dedicated its monument in the Wheatfield in October of 1885, along with the advanced marker near Brooke Avenue.

    In October of 1889 the second monument was dedicated on Brooke Avenue, placed there because by that time the regiment had received a $1000 appropriation (provided to all Connecticut regiments) with which to erect a monument at Gettysburg.

    The monuments were dedicated four years apart.

  2. Being from the state of Connecticut i am honored to live in a state where men from that state died in battle to keep our country a whole, not just the 27th Connecticut infantry but to all Regiments of the state of Connecticut who faught and died for our country at the battle of Gettysburg.

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