Friday, May 16, 2014

Gettysburg: Tipton image of 12th N.J.monument dedication

June 30, 1888: 12th New Jersey monument dedication at Hancock Avenue in Gettysburg.

Private William Hewitt, 12th New Jersey
(Author's collection)
Gettysburg-based photographer William Tipton, who also shot images of veterans at Antietam, photographed the 12th New Jersey monument dedication at Gettysburg shown above on June 30, 1888. An enlargement of the image (see below) reveals the words"12th Regt. N.J.V. Buck and Ball" on the sign on the tree in the background. The regiment was supplied with .69-caliber smoothbore muskets that fired a bullet and buckshot, devastating weapons at close range but poor weapons with which to hit a "Johnny" at long range. The "Buck and Ball" boys used those weapons to flush Rebels from the Bliss Farm on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg.

Perhaps 12th New Jersey private William Hewitt, shown in the ambrotype at right, attended the Gettysburg event in 1888, although he may have received grief from his former comrades if he did. According to Hewitt's claim for a pension in 1876, he "was ruptured across the bowels" from carrying a heavy load to Gettysburg while on the march about July 1, 1863.. And in an amended claim in 1885, it was stated that Hewitt suffered from chronic diarrhea and piles that were contracted in July 1863, "the consequence of fatigue and overmarching" to Gettysburg. Hewitt missed the fighting.  He died at age 62 of a heart ailment on Aug. 24, 1894, in Clayton, N.J. and was buried in Park View Cemetery in Medford, N.J.

Veterans brought their wives and other family members to the dedication on June 30, 1888.

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