Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Gettysburg: 45th New York monument dedication

On Oct. 10, 1888, 45th New York veterans gathered for the dedication of their monument just north of Gettysburg, where they were overwhelmed 25 years earlier. Many in the all-German regiment were captured on July 1, 1863 and sent to prisoner-of-war camps in the South, including the most notorious one of all at Andersonville, Ga. Among the speakers that fall day was Christian Boehm, who as a 40-year-old corporal in Company I at Gettysburg eluded the Rebels and survived the battle unscathed. He re-enlisted in 1864 and served until the end of the war. 

"May this magnificent monument forever demonstrate to future generations that sons of the German nation fell here as heros and good patriots," said Boehm, who gave his speech entirely in German, "and that those who are born in a foreign country are capable to fulfill their duty to their adopted fatherland, and when necessary, bravely lay down their lives."  ...

... upon close inspection of the William Tipton photograph, a crescent moon, the symbol of the XI Corps, and two rifles adorn the monument for the 45th New York, also known as the 5th German Rifles. The large building in the background is Stevens Hall, built in 1868 and today used as a dormitory at Gettysburg College. ...

... As this enlargement of Tipton's image shows, one of the requirements for a Civil War veteran evidently was facial hair ... 

... often lots and lots of facial hair. In fact, it took a close examination ... 

... of the left background to find these young men, probably sons of veterans, who didn't require a good shave. (For more Tipton images, view my Pinterest page.)


  1. My great grandfather, 1st Lt. Louis Hofferberth served with the 45th NY Volunteers.

  2. My great grandfather, Louis Hofferberth served with the 45th New York Volunteers.

    -Bill Wahl

  3. Thank you for posting these pictures. It is unlikely my ancestor who served with them, 1st Lt Ratzmann, is in the picture since it seems likely he died from a liver related illness in 1864, but it is nice to see the faces of those he served with from the start of the war until then.

  4. Have these soldiers been identified?

  5. my great-great grandfather, Nicolas Horne, was in this regiment. was there a list made of the men in the photo? I learned that he is buried in All Faith's cemetery in Queens (Formerly Lutheran) in a plot that was purchased for men in the unit.