The Lonely Mural

What if we told you there was a Gettysburg memorial worth a quarter of a million dollars–$250,000!–and that you’ve probably never seen it? Would you believe us? Well, it’s true! And unless you’re a diehard Gettysburg groupie, chances are that you haven’t even heard of it.



The Coster Avenue Mural in Gettysburg was designed by artist, historian, and Civil War descendant Mark H. Dunkelman, who painted it with the assistance of mural master Johan Bjurman. Dedicated on the 125th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the mural depicts the clash between Union Colonel Charles R. Coster’s forces (27th Pennsylvania, 134th & 154th New York Regiments) and the Confederates led by Brigadier General Harry Hays & Colonel Isaac Avery.

Coster’s Brigade made their stand behind a fence-line in Kuhn’s Brickyard, taking what little shelter they could from the wooden fence posts, but mostly exposed to enemy fire. The Confederates, who far outnumbered the Union soldiers, descended upon the fence so quickly that Coster’s men only had time to fire six to nine shots each before the fight broke into clusters of hand-to-hand combat. Confederate forces overwhelmed the smaller contingent of Union soldiers, taking many of them prisoner and pursuing others nearly to Cemetery Hill. All told, it was a brief, brutal assault that took the lives of 563 of Coster’s men, while the Confederates lost 200 of their own.

National Park personnel report that Coster Avenue, the site of this breathtaking mural and monument, is the least visited portion of the battlefield. Overlooked, unknown, and often alone, it’s a sad truth that this memorial to American soldiers is not often remembered.

Will you be the exception? Will you remember the forgotten soldiers, who fought and died in Gettysburg?

This entry was posted in Feature Stories, Monuments, The Civil War, Things To Do and See and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
  1. Estella Beard says:

    My husband and I visit this painting every time we make a stop in Gettysburg. We enjoy looking at it every time!

  2. Dee says:

    We visit this site regularly. My husband’s 2nd great grandfather, John Rohde, suffered a gun shot wound to the right shoulder on July 1, 1863. He was in the 134th NY, Co K. The mural is amazing.

  3. Pingback: 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg |

  4. Dennis Nix says:

    This mural was relatively easy to find and was well worth the effort. As one of the few remaining battle sites in the town itself, this was a gem to see. The mural was well done and seems to be standing up well to time and the elements.

  5. Cookie says:

    I have heard of the mural but have never been able to find it. I will be going back there in April and hope to find it this time.

    • bonnie says:

      It is on a side street. If you email me ( and let me know where you are staying I would be happy to give you
      directions on the location of the mural.

  6. Cookie Pieczonka says:

    I have not been able to find the mural on previous visits but hope to this time.

  7. Robin says:

    The mural is located on East Stevens Street and Coster Avenue (residential area/private property – NOT part of Gettysburg Battle Tour/AutoTour); it’s just North of Town.
    From Visitor Cntr at Gettysburg National Military Park: take 15 North, go straight thru traffic circle in town (Lincoln Square), sty on 15, and Three blocks after traffic circle, turn right on East Stevens St; go straight, past one STop sign, follow street to end. Mural can be seen clearly from there. Good Luck!

  8. Pingback: Hidden in Plain Sight: The Coster Avenue Mural | The Gettysburg Compiler

  9. Dave Morrison says:

    I finally believe I’ve found where my great grandfather’s brother fell on July 1st,1863, the battle of the brickyard. He was one of around 200 Confederates to die in this battle, serving under Avery. Now when I hopefully visit Gettysburg someday, I’ll know more closely where he fought and died. He died without children, so no one has ever really kept up with his story. But now I finally know! I’ve never been to PA, and it will be interesting.

  10. Ron jones says:

    Been here many times, great great grandfather, Stephan Welch fought here

    • bonnie says:

      So many have relatives that fought here.

  11. Trevor says:

    My ancestor fought here with Co. H 27th PA. I visit it every time. I usually try to leave a card, a note or something knowing that he’s not forgotten.

  12. Michadick's and Malones says:

    Found the mural this morning, we had never heard of it. Glad we visited!

    • bonnie says:

      Glad you were able to find it and enjoyed your visit.

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