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.


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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At Gettysburg

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.

General Information

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.


Comments on this Post

3 Responses to “Father William Corby”

  1. A favorite of mine. Father Corby personified the Christian warrior and helped his flock of lambs – fight like lions. Thanks for including him Jen.

  2. The 100th anniversary of the dedication of this statue will take place on Friday, October 29,
    2010. The Father Corby Division, AOH, Fairfax, Virginia will host events, at 1 PM. For more
    information, contact me, Robert McLernon, at Rm69nyib@Cox.net.


    Robert McLernon

  3. JOHN MURPHY, ND'55 says:

    The Notre Dame Club of Gettysburg in cooperation with the ND Alumni Association and Notre Dame University will gather at the Corby statue in front of Corby Hall, Notre Dame Univ.at noon, Saturday, 16 April to commemorate the dedication of the Notre Dame Father Corby statue in 1911. All are welcome to join us. A time to reflect – as America begin’s its 150th Anniversary of the ordeal we know today as the American Civil War.

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