Only nineteen at the time of his enlistment, Thomas Seymour seemed ill-prepared for military life. He was used to hard labor and factory discipline, but no prior experiences would have adequately prepared him for his military service. Hailing from a family with both Northern and Southern roots and originally residing in Philadelphia and Baltimore, for whatever reason, he cast his lot with the state of Delaware when he enlisted in the army. At the age of twenty, Thomas received his “baptism of fire” at Antietam as a private. By the time the 1st Delaware fought in the Battle of Gettysburg two years later, Thomas and his fellow soldiers were veterans of combat. Thomas proudly carried the regimental flag into Gettysburg as a color sergeant; a role which marked him as a prime target on the battlefield. He gallantly upheld this duty until he met a brutal end during the Pickett-Pettigrew Assault, when a cannonball hit him directly in the chest as he guarded the 1st Delaware regimental flag.
Born into a prominent family with a long and distinguished, military history, Philip John Kearny received a captain’s commission in the 11th NJ Volunteer Infantry in early 1861. His early struggles as a junior officer were not dissimilar from those of other young officers, and the challenges the 11th faced on the battlefields of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville further tested Kearny’s martial prowess. However, on July 2, 1863, Kearny would receive a mortal wound while leading his men in some of the most vicious fighting that afternoon—fighting which would earn both the 11th and Major Kearny an enduring place of honor on the fields of Gettysburg.