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Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

First Brigade

Second Division - Eleventh Corps

 

—Army of the Potomac —

 
First Brigade Tablet image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
1. First Brigade Tablet
Note the crescent moon, the symbol used to designate the XI Corps.
Inscription.
Army of the Potomac
Eleventh Corps - Second Division
First Brigade

Col. Charles R. Coster
134th. 154th. New York
27th. 73d. Pennsylvania Infantry

July 1 Arrived about 2 p.m. and went into position on Cemetery Hill supporting Battery I 1st New York. Skirmishers occupying a church and near by house. Advanced about 3.30 p.m. through the town and faced to the right and intercepted the advance of Brig. Gen. Hays's and Brig. Gen Hoke's Brigades, Major Gen. Early's Divsion they moving toward town in rear of First Division Eleventh Corps and held them from the line of retreat of that Division to Cemetery Hill. Retired to East Cemetery Hill about 4.30 p.m. and resumed former position on the right of Second Brigade with Third Division on the right.

July 2 In same position during the day under fire of Artillery and sharpshooters. At 8 p.m. Brig. Gen. Hays's Brigade charged the position and was repulsed with heavy loss The 27th Penna. bore a conspicuous part in repelling this attack. Battery I 1st New York was temporarily captured but was immediately recovered.

July 3 Not actively engaged.

Casualties.
Monuments and Tablets in front of the Mural image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
2. Monuments and Tablets in front of the Mural
Directly in front of the Coster Street Mural are the Coster's Brigade tablet and the 154th New York Monument.
Killed 3 officers 53 men. Wounded 8 Officers 220 men. Captured or missing 12 officers 301 men. Total 597
 
Erected 1912 by Gettysburg National Military Park Commission.
 
Location. 39° 50.108′ N, 77° 13.668′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Coster Avenue and North Stratton Street, on the right when traveling east on Coster Avenue. Touch for map. Located on an extension off Victor Street, locally named Coster Avenue in Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Coster Avenue Mural (here, next to this marker); 27th Pennsylvania Volunteers (a few steps from this marker); 154th New York Infantry (a few steps from this marker); 134th Regiment New York Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Stevens Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Office of a President
The Coster Avenue Mural image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
3. The Coster Avenue Mural
The mural depicts a scene from the July 1 fighting which took place along a fence line which stood very near the property line along Coster Avenue. Three regiments of Coster's Brigade - 134th New York, 154th New York and 27th Pennsylvania - stood along the fence line and defended against the combined attacks of two Confederate brigades.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Dwight D. Eisenhower (approx. 0.2 miles away); Eddie Plank (1875-1926) (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
Also see . . .  Coster Avenue. A virtual tour stop from the National Park Service. (Submitted on September 3, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Text of the Informational Sign
The Coster Avenue Mural depicts the fight between the Union brigde of Col. Charles R. Coster and the Confederate brigades of Brig. Gen. Harry T. Hays and Col. Isaac E. Avery on the afternoon of July 1, 1863. Coster's three small regiments (the 134th New York, 154th New York, and 27th Pennsylvania) were rushed to this position from Cemetery Hill to cover the retreat of the Eleventh Corps. They took position behind fences in John Kuhn's brickyard, and were immediately attacked by Hays's (the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Louisiana.) and Avery's (the 6th, 21st, and 57th
The Coster Avenue Mural Information Sign image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
4. The Coster Avenue Mural Information Sign
Not considered a "marker" due to its temporary nature.
North Carolina) regiments. Outnumbered approximately three to one and outflanked on the both ends of their line (see map at the right), Coster's men were driven from the brickyard with great loss, after a brave but brief struggle. One of Avery's regimental commanders reported attacking the brickyard fence with "the enemy stubbornly holding their position until we climbed over into their midst." It is this climatic moment of the battle that the mural depicts.

The Coster Avenue Mural was conceived, researched, designed, and funded by author and artist mark H. Dunkelman (pictured top left), historian of the 154th New York. The final mural was painted by Rhode Island artist Johan Bjurman (top right), who also supervised its construction and installation, and Dunkelman. The mural was dedicated on July 1, 1988, the 125th anniversary of the battle it portrays, in honor of the memory of the men Coster, Hays, and Avery.

After more than a decade of exposure to the elements, the mural was in deed of restoration. Financing the work was generously provided by the "Bearss Brigade" and other friends of the painting. The "Bearss Brigade" consists of friends and followers of Edwin C.
Another View of the Mural image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
5. Another View of the Mural
Bearss (pictured at bottom), Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, widely published author, and the most legendary battlefield guide in the United States. Each year the "Bearss Brigade" makes a substantial contribution to the Civil War preservation effort of Ed's choice, and in 2001 he picked the Coster Avenue Mural as the beneficiary of their generosity. The restoration work was done by Johan Bjurman and Mark Dunkelman that autumn. Many thanks to Ed Bearss and his followers (and other friends) for enabling the restoration of the mural.

For more information about the mural and its historical background consult the 1989 booklet The Coster Avenue Mural in Gettysburg by Mark H. Dunkelman, on sale at the Gettysburg National Military Park Bookstore. Booklet proceeds go to the mural's upkeep.
    — Submitted September 3, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Detail View of the Mural image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
6. Detail View of the Mural
Confederate Charge and Federal Defense image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 28, 2008
7. Confederate Charge and Federal Defense
First Brigade Marker - Amos Humiston image. Click for full size.
By Jacob McCandles, October 8, 2011
8. First Brigade Marker - Amos Humiston
The bearded man in the center, facing out, is Amos Humiston. His unidentified body was found after the battle, clutching a picture of his three children.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,291 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on September 3, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   8. submitted on July 18, 2012.
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