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A collection of bedtime stories - or sharpshooter tales

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by 4v50 Gary, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a couple of articles coming out next year. Two will appear in Muzzle Blasts and two in Muzzle Loader. Only two articles (one each) will concern blackpowder riflemen in battle. But enough chest beating. You guys are here because Bedtime Stories is about blackpowder riflemen who make terrific shots under battlefield conditions.

    Marine Sniper Carlos Hathcock became aware that it was dangerous to develop a pattern. If the enemy learns your pattern, he can select the time and place to his advantage. Roger's Rangers Major Robert Rogers didn't go so far but he cautioned against following the same route back from whence one came. He figured he avoided ambushes that way. In this following tale, we learn how one old Sybil Wa-oh sharpshooter paid for his pattern.

    "There is now, immediately in the open field in front of us, a rifle pit, wherein sits an old gray hair Berdan sharp shooters, who has been detailed to locate the spot in the chimneys whence, at long intervals, comes the unnerving shot that has done so much damage to our people. Although the old man has been two days on this duty he has of yet to find the man who so safely conceals himself... Patience & persistence paid off for the old Berdan sharpshooter. Our story continues: "Well, he actually succeeded in killing the rifleman hidden there - his body, which proved to be that of a nigro, was found in the fireplace just as it had fallen." (Gary's note: spelling is that of the letter writer's). The old Berdan man, however, lost his life also, for as was often his custom, upon staying out all night in the pit for the avowed purpose of 'catching the early bird,' he was found the next morning, still in his pit, but with his throat cut and his rifle gone. Someone was bold as he had stolen in upon him during the night and murdered the poor old fellow."

    And that's the Bedtime Story for this week.

    BTW, if you haven't done so, go to Rambling Anecdotes for some stories (not sharpshooters) from the days when blackpowder provided the only *bang* around.
     
  2. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Most soldiers during the American Revolution carried smoothbore muskets or fowlers (the latter being a sporting piece that did not take a bayonet). While muskets and fowlers did not enjoy the accuracy of a rifle, this was partially compensated for by loading it with three buckshot in addition to the ball. The smaller buckshot may not readily kill or maime like the large ball, but it was sufficient to render hors d' combat to those unlucky to receive the contents of the gonne's discharge. Furthermore, since aiming took time and lowered the rate of fire, soldiers weren't suppose to aim at their assailant and merely presented the piece. For the most part, the muskets were "ill-bored" and accuracy was not its strength. The higher rate of fire and so it was the mainstay of virtually all modern armies of the period.

    Evem after the musket was superceded by the minie-gun, it played a predominant role at the beginning of the War of the Rebellion (American Civil War). But today's Bedtime Story isn't about that war. We turn to an earlier American War - the American Revolution.

    "...here I saw a piece of American workmanship that was, as I thought, rather remarkable. Going one evening upon a picket guard... we had to march... close up the bank of the river. There was a small party of British upon the island in the river. One of the soldiers, hoverever, thinking perhaps to do more mischief by killing some of us, had posted himself on a point of rocks at the southern extremeity of the island and kept firing at us as we passed along the bank. Several of his shots passed between our files, but we took little notice of him, thinking he was so far off that he could do us but a little hurt and that we could do him none at all, until one of the guard asked the officer if he might discharge his piece at him... the officer gave his consent. He rested his old six-feet barrel across a fence and sent a further notice of it but passed on. In the morning upon our return, we saw the brick-colored coat still lying in the same position we had left it in the evening before. It was a long distant to hit a single man with a musket; it was certainly over half a mile."
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2005
  3. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Another Afro-Confederate sharpshooter bites the dust

    I've already mentioned how Afro-Confederates were not suppose to be combatants and that it wasn't until very late in the war that the Confederates decided to arm and train some. Two companies were seen drilling in the streets of Richmond and they accompanied Lee on his Retreat to Appomattox. They did fight briefly but it was too little too late.

    Much earlier in the war some Afro-Confederates took up arms, presumably with the permission of their masters. None of it was official though and there was no recognition or mention in the Confederate Roll of Honor for their deeds. It was not a topic to acknowledge as it was a "white man's war" and it was beneath the dignity of Southerners to acknowledge that they had some slaves who were pretty good shots. Well, the Union felt a bit differently and so here's another Bedtime Story involving an Afro-Confederate:

    "One of our men in Company G, named Brown, has a small telescopic rifle, weighing only 32 1/2 pounds. He and I were detailed for special duty, the said duty being to kill a rebel sharpshooter - a big negro - who had been picking off our men. We waited a long time for a sight at him but he did not show himself. It was getting towards night, when a puff of smoke was seen to rise from a tree near the fort, and a bullet came whistling past our heads. We now arranged our plans. By the aid of a glass I could see his black 'mug' peeping from behind a tree. I elevated my sight and fired. It must have come close, for he sprang out. As he did so Brown fired, and 'my joker' fell, with a bullet through him. Brown had his sights elevated for fifteen hundred yards! What do you think of that, for long range shooting?"

    Well, I'm pretty impressed myself. Several lessons learned. Of course, trees as hides are horrible in the days of blackpowder. White puffs of smoke tend to reveal your position. Second, kinda nice to have a spotter to work with whereas the Afro-Confederate was working solo. Three, kinda nice to know the range too so you can plug your target first time around. Fourth, never use the same hide twice.
     
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Sharpshooting's transition to sniping

    Here's my Xmas gift to the readers of this thread. It's a choice tidbit that I found penned over a century ago in the blackpowder era. Think there's any difference? Nope. It's all the same and the writer's words apply as much today as when he first penned them.

    "Of all known kinds of hunting, that of man by man is certainly the most exciting. It is superior to all others, in being a strife between intelligences of the same nature, with equal arms and equal dangers. Thus the powers of both of mind and body are put in play, and are developed with an ardor curious to study."
     
  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    And the best training is actual practice. Basic skills are taught and practiced in under safe conditions. They're later honed in combat. One officer made this observation and shares it with us:

    "This kind of drill in firing, whose usefulness I have heard discussed often, has incontestable advantages. Better than any other, it perfects the soldier in the use of arms of precision; it familiarizes him readily and without effort to danger, and finally gives a tone to his character by the habitual application of his individual faculties to the common work: that is, to do the greatest possible amount of damage to the enemy, with the least sacrifice to ourselves."

    This was written immediately after the Civil War. It applies today.
     
  6. sm

    sm member

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    Gary-
    I've been enjoying these, thank you!

    Ya know - ya outta write a book. ;)

    Yeah I know...
     
  7. Bart Noir

    Bart Noir Member

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    Radio in the US Civil War?????

    My scepticism meter pegged on this remark. This was decades before Marconi's experiments and he is rightly called the "Father of Radio". What more can you tell me about this?

    Bart Noir
     
  8. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    Best guess that I have would be a Heligraph (sp). Used a system of mirrors to flash morse code messages from hill top to hill top.

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  9. goon

    goon Member

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    Just wanted to keep this thread up here. It is definitely one of my favorites and if we get any new guys coming along I want them to see it right away too.
    ;)
     
  10. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Opps. :eek: My bad. It's not telegraph but the novelty of the device I was thinking of is that it doesn't require knowledge of Morse Code. You turned the dial and the dial machine on the receiving end turned with it. The operator jotted down the message as it came out.

    National Park Service Historian Donald Pfanz at Fredericksburg National Battlefield Site corrected me and I'm grateful for his assistance. Here's a link he provided me.Beardslee Telegraph

    O.K. War brings out the grim nature of man and macabre scenes that would turn the stomach are given little thought by men who are under the strain of combat. Normal societal conventions are set aside as men concern themselves with one thing: survival. In this following story we see the macabre aspect of man being applied.

    "Our boys could see a Rebel over beyond the gun standing beside a tree. They fired at him for a long time and he in return sent a bullet as often as one might reload. A puff of smoke told our men that he still lived and was doing business at the same stand. Why all the shots our boys sent him did not silence him or even disturb him was to them a mystery. At that time I was using a telescope breechloading rifle that weighed thirty pounds and someone came to us and wanted me to try my rifle on the man they could not hit or silence. I went and as soon as I brought my rifle's telescope to bear on the mystery, I saw that it was the body of a dead rebel lashed up ot a tree and a live rebel Sharpshooter was bheind the tree doing his best to pick off the Yankees that were sending bullets into his dead comrade hung up beside the tree that covered him."

    While the author does not comment any further on the clever Rebel, there is little doubt that he fired at the live one and ended the threat from that quarter. And that's our Bedtime Story for this week.
     
  11. sm

    sm member

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    Gary - Keep 'em coming! :)
     
  12. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    In July, 1861, the Union Army marched towards Fairfax (near Alexandria, Virginia). Scouting ahead of the infantry was a cavalry column. They halted when the Fairfax Court House came into view. Defending it were two artillery pieces. Our story starts:

    "The column... passed through a narrow belt of woods and reached a hill from which Fairfax Court House was in full view. There were two pieces of Rebel artillery in a field, a dozen wagons in park, squads of soldiers in sight, horsemen galloping in all directions. nearer, in a meadow, was a squadron of cavalry on picket. I stood beside the captain... commanding all the skirmishers.

    'Let me take your Sharps's rifle,' said he to a soldier. He rested it on the fence, ran his eye along the barrel, and fired. The nearest Rebel horseman, half a mile's distant, slipped from his horse in an instant and fell upon the ground... The other troopers put spurs to their horses and fled towards Fairfax, where a sudden commotion was visible."


    I'd like to extend a welcome to all NMLRA members who dropped in because of WebBlasts. Updates are about once a week. :)
     
  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Sieges. What can I say? Well, for one thing, sieges are a means of capturing a fortress or city with miminal exposure of harm to the besieging forces. Generally, one digs a parallel around the outline of the fort and then artillery emplacements to silent the defending artillery. Zig zags are then dug so that a closer parallel is dug around the fort. It's slow, tedious and labor intensive but compared to storming a fort and the high loss of life involved, may be better.

    Several memorable sieges came out of the American War of the Rebellion. One of them was Vicksburg and the fall of that City after a forty-five day siege gave the Union control of the Mississippi. While the Confederates could still get supplies (food) over to their armies in the east, it required that they evade patrolling Union gunboats.

    Summarizing the siege is one Confederate: "One day is like another in a besieged city - all you can hear is the rattle of the Enemy's guns, with the sharp crack of the rifles of their sharp-shooters going from early dawn to dark, and then at night the roaring of the terrible mortars is kept up sometimes all the time." Food ran low, tempers ran high, yet the Confederates held on until they were exhausted. They capitulated on July 4, 1863 - one day after Gettysburg.

    Sieges are covered in greater detail in my own work. In fact, one chapter is devoted entirely to one siege. It took over two months to write and from my readers I've been told it reads very smoothly.
     
  14. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

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    Poor eyesight gets discharge

    A few years ago an elderly aunt of my first wife passed away and the retirement home room mate found and sent my wife a letter the Aunt had saved from 1862 or three that contained the discharge papers from the Union Army for poor eyesight and grandfather of some degree was a successful methodist minister starting generations of methodist ministers including my wife's father. I was disappointed that the letter had no postal stamp but the government then did not need one.

    Great stories Gary! Thanks for mentioning them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2005
  15. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Irish Pluck

    We've all heard of the fighting Irish. It's no legend.

    "Private Twomey, was a good representative of the Irish race. Brave to rashness, he never looked for consequences, but 'went for the cursed ribbels' whenever there was a chance. During the battle of Stone's River, there was a point in our lines opposite which the enemy's works were formed at almost right angles. One day a rebel officer was seen riding along the line, and advancing beyond the intersection of their lines. Twomey and a comrade noticed it, and concluded to 'go for him.' One was to fire at the man and the other at the horse. Both fired. Horse and rider fell.

    Twomey started like a deer for the officer. His comrade's courage failed. Over the four hundred yards in front Twomey ran with great speed. The rebels were puzzled by the strange movement. Reaching the horse, Twomey fell flat alongside, pulled a waterproof overcoat from the dead officer, took a watch from his pocked, and a flask of whiskey from his saddle bags.

    Springing up suddenly, he ran swiftly towards the Union lines, reaching them without a wound, although a heavy volley was fired at him..."


    If I had to go through that much trouble for a drink, I'd give up drinking.
     
  16. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Excerpts from my chapter on the Revolutionary War were submitted in Feb. of last year and have finally been published in Feb. 2005 Muzzle Blasts Magazine. It's about battles/fights where Americans riflemen don't render honors of combat (they missed) to and still win. Check it out.
     
  17. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Corn-fed perspective

    Well, we've heard quite a bit from dem Yankees and so now it's time to give the perspective of a Corn-fed soljah. This writer is a commissioned officer with some real schooling behind him.

    "Did you ever see any of those globe or telescopic-sighted rifles, exclusively used by Berdan's battalions of sharpshooters in the Federal Army? They are a very accurate weapon, but expensive, I am told; yet the Federals have not done much mischief with them. The men are trained to climb trees, lie on their back, crawl rapidly through the grass, have grass-green pantaloons to prevent detection, etc.; but with all the usual systematic boasting regarding them, our Texans and others are more than a match for them. We have picked off a greater number of them than we have ourselves lost by their wonderful shooting; but as our men do not waste much time in skirmishing, but hasten to 'close quarters,' I have not heard much of them for some time, although a few months ago since nothing was talked of, North, but the extraordinary achievements of 'Berdan's Sharpshooters.' To believe their reports, nearly every general in our army has fallen under their 'unerring aim.' The best sharpshootesr with us are to be found among the Missourians, Texans, Arkansans, Mississippians, and Alabamians - men accustomed to the woods and swamp and to Indian warfare."


    Admittedly the newspapers, then and now, generously applied their talents at creative writing and many soldiers would laugh at what they read. :D
     
  18. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Sharpshooter's Duel

    "Lieutenant G. was in command of the sharpshooters... They formed an independent organization, going where they can most injure the enemy. We had been fighting for several days in the most advanced trenches admidst persistent firing from both sides, which, however, did little damage, except to prevent all rest and sleep. Finally both armies saw the folly of such warfare and desisted. Towards noon yesterday, weary, I suppose, of the inacation, a Confederate sharpshooter mounted his earthwork and challenged any one of our sharpshooters to single combat. Lieutenant G., a fine fellow, standing at least six feet two in his stockings, accepted the challenge, and they commenced what to them was sport. Life is cheap in this campaign! Both fired, and the Confederate dropped. G's great size was so unusual that his opponent had the advantage, and our men tried to make him give way to a smaller man. But, no! He would not listen, became very excited as his success multiplied, and when darkenss stopped the duelling he remained unscathed, while every opponent had fallen victim to his unerring aim.

    "The Lieutenant was so exhilarated that he claimed with much bluster a charmed life; said nothing would kill him; that he could stand any amount of duelling, and this he would prove in the morning..."


    ...to be continued.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2005
  19. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    And now the conclusion of Sharpshooter Duel

    We pick up where we left off. The lieutenant had survived the first day of dueling unscathed and brought down all of his challengers. He was jubilant and contemplating repeating his performance the next day.

    "But the man seemed crazed with the faith in his charmed life. He would not yield his determination, and when we left him he was simply waiting, as best he could, for daylight, to begin the dueling again.

    "As we all foretold, he was finally killed, but his death was due to treachery. In the morning, true to his mistaken conviction, he stood upon the works again and challenged an opponent. Instantly one appeared, and as both were taking aim, a man from another part of the Confederate line fired and shot G., through the mouth, the ball lodging in the spinal vertebrae, completely paralyzing him below the head. We dragged the poor deluded fellow to his tent, where, after uttering inarticulately, 'I hit him anyway, Doctor,' he died.

    "We then heard a tremendous uproar outside, and found that our men were claiming the murderer of their lieutenant; but the Confederates shouted that they had already shot him for a cowardly villian; and then came praises across the line for Lieutenant G's pluck and skill."
     
  20. sm

    sm member

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    :)

    Thank You Again Kind Sir.
     
  21. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I was reading my old copy of the Army manual FM23-10 Sniper Training. 4-12b(1) discusses digging a pit for a hide. It reads: All excavated dirt is removed (placed in sandbags, taken away on a poncho, and so forth) and hidden (plowed fields, under a log, or away from the hide site). Good advice. Just like placing a handkerchief beneath the muzzle to reduce the distrubance of dust that would reveal your position.

    One Union soldier went to the rear to draw rations. Before he left though, a man was shot through the loophole he was watching. He retrieved the rations and upon returning, found his spot occupied by another man. So, he went along the trench line to find himself another spot. Walking along a new section of trench, "I went along down the new ditch a short distance then I stepped up close to the bank, raised and looked over to the north where I could see the Rebel work. I had hardly got straightened up when a ball came right down the ditch and just missed my back. I had thought that ball was just a stray one so I went back there again and looked over, and another ball came and twenty paces out I saw a pile of fresh dirt. I knew well what that meant. He had crept out there last night in the darkness from the Rebel works and dug him out a pit and now he was one of their sharpshooters."

    Our hero returns to his comrades and points out the pile of fresh dirt to them. He instructs them to aim their guns at that point while he lured out the sharpshooter. Creeping back to where he was shot at before, he placed his cap on his gun and raised it very slowly over the ditch. Bang! The Confederate fired at the cap. A volley rang out from the Union side, forever silencing the pesky Confederate.

    Lesson: like the Army manual says, hide the dirt excavated from your hide. You'll live longer. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2005
  22. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Cavalry can shoot too.

    The Confederate infantry was use to handling the Union cavalry. Besides, who ever saw a dead cavalryman anyway? ;) Here's an account where one infantryman placed too much faith in God and was bested.

    "Soon dismounted cavalry made their appearance, and they displayed more knowledge of war than the average infantryman. We judge they were Western men and did not come from behind a counter.

    (Note: As many New Englanders and New Yorkers came from factories or stores, they had little knowledge of firearms. These were to proverbial ten Yankees who could be whupped by one Southernor. Not that some Yankees weren't marksmen and many were as Berdan's Sharpshooters were recruited largely from New England & New York State. The Midwesterners proved to be of different mettle than the scorned shopkeeper. We continue our story).

    One fellow in particular gave us a lot of trouble. He hid in a drain behind an apple tree. Fultz was the man opposite him. They exchanged shots, and, as Fultz for all his bravery was not much of a shot, it became evident that he was no match for the Yank. The Captain ordered him to go back and lie down and let men that could shoot handle the sharpshooter.

    "But Fultz had his dander up and would not obey the captain. The boys were always joking him about his shooting. They would say, 'Fultz you can't shoot,' and he would get excited and answer, 'Py tan, my gun goes off yust like hell, and de pullet mus' go sompe phaeres. Phere he goes is de pisness of de Almighty. My pisness is to bull de drigger.' He was an everlastingly good soldier and a sporty old numbskull that knew more about a yardstick than he did about a gun.

    "He stood up to shoot. Many men yelled at him and the captain ordered him down. He shot, but instantly fell over with a bullet through the center of his forehead. Word was passed up the left wing, 'Don't let that fellow live.' We got a glimpse of the Yank at our end of the line and soon saw him roll over into the drain."
     
  23. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    The Postal Clerk (with apologies to the USPS)

    No, we're not talking about someone going "postal" and shooting up the workplace.

    While Grant was closing his grip around Petersburg, Virginia, Lee decided to draw some of Grant's men away and thereby relieve the pressure on his army. He sent Jubal Early into the Shenandoah Valley with a small army. Much like Jackson had done before, Early was to threaten Washington and cause Grant to weaken his own army to protect the Capital.

    Well, it worked and Early's vanguard arrived on July 11th. Defending Washington were some cavalry troopers, displaced soldiers returning to their units and even the Invalid Corps (soldiers who were disabled but wanted to serve in non-combat positions) and other hastily scraped together forces (read Civil Service Employees) who were thrown in to man the breastworks surrounding the Capital. Early's sharpshooters drove in the pickets but seeing how so much of his army had straggled, he decided to attack the next morning.

    During the night the remainder of the VI Corps as well as the XIX Corps arrived and manned the defenses. When Early and his army awoke, they faced a veteran army. Still his sharpshooters went to work to harass the "post office clerks" at Fort Stevens. Bullets whizzed by one particularly tall clerk. This prompted the colonel in charge of the artillery to approach the clerk and gently remonstrated him. The clerk complied. The Colonel was "gentle" because the clerk was President Abraham Lincoln.

    Early retreated that evening under pressure from the VI Corps. Abe Lincoln would not fall to a sharpshooter's bullet.
     
  24. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Southern Marksmanship

    One of the great myths at the outbreak of the Late Great Unpleasantry between kinfolk or the Mother of American Feuds (War of the Rebellion 1861-65) is that one Southerner could whip Ten Yankees. Well, from past posts we saw it was certainly a myth as the Union troops from the Midwest could hold their own. Some New Englanders were also excellent and many of Berdan's Sharp Shooters were recruited from the New England states. Here's an example of one skirmish where the Southerners could whup ten Yankees:

    "Along in the afternoon, I suppose about 4 o'clock, a white flag was raised by a Yank officer who boldy stepped out in front of the skirmish line and waved it. An order came down our line from the left for Leutenant Bryan to take a guard of three men and go out and see what was wanted. Lt. Bryan appeared out of one of our rifle pits with a white pocket handkerchief in his hand and called B. West, B. Compton and myself. We accompanied him to where the Yankee captain awaited. We were all unarmed as was the Yank. He had no guard.
    "The two officers saluted, and Lieutenant Bryan said, 'Captain, what do you want?'
    'We want a truce for two hours to bury our dead,' replied the Captain.
    'It will be granted,' said Lieutenant Bryan, 'if we have the same privilege.'
    'Certainly,' replied the captain, waving his hand.
    'Instantly a crowd of litter bearers and other unarmed men swarmed over the breastworks and commenced their gruesome job.
    'Lieutenant,' asked the captain, 'how many men have you lost today on the skrimish line?'
    "We have lost one officer killed and two men slightly wounded,' Lieutenant Bryan replied. 'How many have you lost, Captain?'
    Tears came into the eyes of the captain and his chin quivered when he said, 'I came out this morning with a company of ninety-two men and four officers. Now I am the only officer left and there are but six men fit for duty.'"
     
  25. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    For three years, the Union had been trying to vanquish the Confederacy. While substantial victories had been won, notably the capture of New Orleans, Fort Donelson, Vicksburg and Gettysburg, the South would not concede defeat. Hiram U. Grant (nicknamed Samuel while he was attending West Point and thus U. S. Grant) was appointed General-in-Chief of the Armies. Grant decided that the Union war effort were fragmented, or in his words, mule teams pulling independently of one another. He decided that 1864 would be different and that there would be mutliple simultaneous attacks against the Confederacy. Nathaniel Banks would capture Mobile and hook up with Sherman who would threaten Atlanta. Sigel would march down the Shenandoah Valley and from there threaten Richmond from the west. Butler would land his Army of the James south of the James River and threaten both Petersburg and Richmond. Grant would accompany Meade's Army of the Potomac and cross the Rappahannock and challenge Marsh Roberts (Robert E. Lee) and his Army of Northern Virginia.

    Well, Lee and Grant fought at the Wilderness and Grant was stalemated there. He then tried to slip around Lee's right flank and moved southwards. Lee anticipated it and entrenched at Spotsylvania Court House first. In fortifying himself, his engineers created a salient which was vulnerable. Dubbed the "mule shoe," it had been attacked earlier by Col. Emory Upton who led 4,000 men into it. They captured 1k prisoners but had to relinquish their gains the end of the day. This convinced Grant that a larger, corps scale attack would be more successful. Grant called upon Hancock's II Corps to make the effort.

    They moved into position at night and at dawn, attacked. They quickly overran the forward position and began rolling up the Confederate flanks. Several thousands of Confederates were captured including two generals.
    Lee desperately launched uncoordinated attacks. We have a first hand account that is quite exciting:

    "[We] advanced until we came to a small bottom and going through that, reached the rise and plainly saw the Yankees about one hundred and fifty yards from us. They were in those pens made by our regiment, they were standing up in those pens as thick as herrings in a barrel, and as far back behind them as the smoke would allow us to see, - such a mass of men I never saw! We found one Confederate soldier, an Alabamian, who was standing behind a large pine tree, loading and firing wiht as much deliberation as if he were firing at a target. He was keeping the whole of Hancock's force back at this point. He said he was a sharpshooter, and his line was on either side of him! There certainly was no other Confederate in front of our regimental line, nor could we see one on either the right or left... About the coolest thing I saw during the war was under that terrifc fire from the Yankees who were in our breastworks. It should be remembered that when we took our position in their front, we found one lone Confederate who was keeping up a steady fire on them!"

    This battle is discussed more fully in the book.
     

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