116th Pennsylvania Monument
Sickles Avenue at the Loop
Gettysburg National Military Park
Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore
To many visitors, the monument of the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry is the most poignant on the battlefield. The idea for the monument came from Major St. Clair Mulholland from a scene he witnessed during the fighting of July 2n of a young soldier, shot through the head, lying with a faint smile on his upturned face. Major Mulholland never forgot this scene which later was used as the inspiration for the 116th’s monument. Most of the monuments on the battlefield show themes of bravery, courage and loyalty. This one, however, shows the real cost of war. The 116th was one of five regiments which made up the highly acclaimed Irish Brigade, part of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock’s II Corps. By July 1,1863, the regiment had been consolidated into only 4 companies with a battle strength of 66. It suffered 37 casualties in the fighting of July 2, a casualty rate of 56%.