Father William Corby
Posted to the Project on 29 Jan 08
Father William Corby was the chaplain of the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg.
About the Main Monument
When was it dedicated? Oct. 29, 1910.
What is it made out of? Sculpture: bronze; Base: granite boulder.
What size is it? Sculpture: approx. H. 7 ft. 8 in.; Base: approx. Diam. 9 ft. 2 in.
Who made it? Murray, Samuel, 1870-1941, sculptor.
What does it depict? A standing portrait of Father Corby with his proper left hand on his chest and his proper right hand raised in a blessing. His hat and gloves rest on the ground near his proper left foot. The sculpture is installed on top of a stone boulder. The monument was erected using funds raised by Maj. St. Clair Mullholland (commander of the 116th Pennsylvania at Gettysburg), mainly from the Catholic community. Tradition states that the statue is placed upon the actual boulder on which Corby performed the Absolution. An identical copy of this statue is located at Notre Dame. It was dedicated in 1911.
What does it honor? The memorial marks the spot where Father Corby granted absolution to soldiers of the Union II Corps prior to their entering battle in the Wheatfield.
How is it inscribed? TO THE MEMORY/OF/REV. FATHER WILLIAM CORBY, C.S.C./CHAPLAIN 88TH REGIMENT NEW YORK INFANTRY/2ND BRIGADE 1ST DIVISION 2ND CORPS/THE IRISH BRIGADE/JULY 2ND 1863
When was this photograph taken? September 29, 2011. Monument faces west.
Where is it located? Located Gettysburg National Military Park, South Hancock Avenue, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325. Located on east side of South Hancock Avenue, South of the New York Auxiliary Monument.
Is this monument located along the NPS Auto Tour route? Yes.
Has this monument been moved or changed? This monument has not been changed or materially altered.
Monument Details, Alternative Views, and Contextual Views
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Commanded: Corby was the chaplain of the 88th Pennsylvania. A Catholic priest, Corby requested he be allowed to speak to the men of the Brigade before they entered battle in the Wheatfield. Corby climbed atop a boulder and requested that God grant them courage. He then pronounced a general absolution.
Brief Biography: Rev. William Corby, CSC (October 2, 1833 – December 28, 1897) was a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Fr. Corby served twice as President of the University of Notre Dame. The school’s Corby Hall is named for him, and a statue of him similar to that at Gettysburg stands outside this building on the Notre Dame campus.
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