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The Battle of Gettysburg Through a 13-Year-Old’s Eyes
http://www.historic-restorations.com ^ | March 6, 2013

Posted on 04/23/2013 5:44:26 PM PDT by NKP_Vet

My children have long been urging me to give them in a short story my experience in the Battle of Gettysburg. I was then a girl of thirteen, living on the Seminary Ridge which today is known to every child who studies the history of the Civil War.

I shall never forget the June afternoon when I stood on the Seminary steps with my parents and other persons to see a Confederate host marching in the Chambersburg Pike. It seemed as if Pandemonium had broken loose. A more ragged and unkempt set of men would be hard to find. Many wore parts of Union soldiers’ suits which, I suppose, had been picked up on the field of battle, or had been discarded by our men. A squad from the main body was sent over to the Seminary to find out whether any Yankee soldiers were concealed there. After the investigators were informed that the building was a theological school edifice, a guard, was placed around it, and we felt perfectly safe. I do not think any property was destroyed at that time, excepting a few cars containing government supplies, which were burned and also the railroad bridge, a short distance from the town. Early the following morning our unwelcome guests took their departure for the purpose, they said, of capturing Baltimore and Washington. Shortly after the enemy left our place, we were made glad by seeing regiment after regiment of our own men come and encamp around us. We gave them a royal welcome.

(Excerpt) Read more at historic-restorations.com ...


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KEYWORDS: 4scoreand7; civilwar; dixie; gettysburg; godsgravesglyphs; greatestpresident; sourcetitlenoturl
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A first person recollection of her experience before and after the Battle Of Gettysburg. Very moving. Worth taking the time to read.
1 posted on 04/23/2013 5:44:26 PM PDT by NKP_Vet
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To: NKP_Vet
More the human angle than a military study, but interesting nonetheless.

An endlessly fascinating subject for me ...

2 posted on 04/23/2013 5:53:54 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: NKP_Vet

thank you and if you ever see more like this could you please ping me.


3 posted on 04/23/2013 5:55:11 PM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: IronJack

Shelby Foote would have loved this.


4 posted on 04/23/2013 6:02:16 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: IronJack

I have always sympathized with both sides; the soldiers I mean. But the Union generals who used a scorched earth policy on the South, which included murdering innocent women and children, I have no sympathy or time for. Hopefully their maker dealt with them in a just way when they left this world.

NKP_Vet
GG Grandson of Duncan Black, 15 NC Infantry, 1844-1921
GG Nephew of Daniel Black, 15 NC Infantry, 1846-1863, KIA
G Nephew of Travis Porter, 3rd NC Infantry, Captured
Jul 3, 1863, Gettysburg, Died Point Lookout POW Camp,
Dec 1863


5 posted on 04/23/2013 6:03:24 PM PDT by NKP_Vet
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To: NKP_Vet

Have you heard of this 15 year old boy who has had some books published on the civil war?


6 posted on 04/23/2013 6:15:01 PM PDT by merry10
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To: NKP_Vet

impressive are you in the SCV, here we are. camp 1316.

Lets not forget the women and girls raped by those soldiers, bummers and ex slaves as well as robbed , land taken, not allowed to vote etc


7 posted on 04/23/2013 6:16:19 PM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: NKP_Vet

BFL


8 posted on 04/23/2013 6:19:44 PM PDT by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
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To: NKP_Vet
All war sucks. Sometimes it has to be fought, as in WWII, but it's always horrible.

/johnny

9 posted on 04/23/2013 6:22:49 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: merry10

no , do you have an info


10 posted on 04/23/2013 6:31:36 PM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: NKP_Vet; Joe 6-pack
Nothing is better than Gettysburg Rock Song!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMb9Uoi0d2M


11 posted on 04/23/2013 6:41:59 PM PDT by KC_Lion (Build the America you want to live in at your address, and keep looking up.-Sarah Palin)
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To: NKP_Vet

The site is bookmarked.

Thanks for sharing.

I was fortunate enough to spend an extended weekend at Gettysburg with our Boy Scouts and a re-enactor (and friend) who was our guide.

It was something I will always remember...


12 posted on 04/23/2013 7:01:29 PM PDT by FatherFig1o155 (Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason.)
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To: NKP_Vet

Thanks for the post. I had three great-grandfathers in the war, on both sides, but none of them fought at Gettysburg.


13 posted on 04/23/2013 7:09:00 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (NRA)
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To: NKP_Vet
But the Union generals who used a scorched earth policy on the South, which included murdering innocent women and children,

Really? Have any such general orders been found?

14 posted on 04/23/2013 7:16:47 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: NKP_Vet
So many pathetic scenes took place during those days. I remember going into the yard, late in the afternoon, about a week after the battle, and finding there an old man supporting the head of a sweet faced old lady on his shoulder. I walked up to this couple and asked if I could be of any assistance, for I saw the old lady looked faint and weary.

After listening to the pitiful story told us of losing four sons in the war, and knowing their last son had been in the battle of Gettysburg, and walking all of the twenty-one miles over the mountains from Chambersburg, since there was no other mode of travel for them, and carrying all this distance a satchel filled with dainties such as Charlie was fond of, we attempted to help them. And their son Charlie was found lying in one of the rooms of the third floor of the Seminary building in a dying condition. The cries of that mother as she bent over the body of her boy were heartbreaking. For a short time consciousness returned to Charlie, and he knew his parents, who shortly after had at least some measure of comfort in taking his dead body home for burial. The answer came from the trembling lips of the old gentleman: “Mother’s most tuckered out, but if we can find our boy Charlie, I guess she will be all right.”

That's about as heartbreaking as it gets.
15 posted on 04/23/2013 7:19:00 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Moonman62

http://www.pelicanpub.com/proddetail.php?prod=9781589804661#.UXdC58qfOMc

“Women and children, black and white, were robbed, brutalized, and left homeless in Sherman’s infamous raid through Georgia. Torture and rape were not uncommon. In South Carolina, homes, farms, churches, and whole towns disappeared in flames. Civilians received no mercy at the hands of the Union invaders. Earrings were ripped from bleeding ears, graves were robbed, and towns were pillaged. Wherever Federal troops encountered Southern Blacks, whether free or slave, they were robbed, brutalized, belittled, kidnapped, threatened, tortured, and sometimes raped or killed by their blue-clad “liberators.”


16 posted on 04/23/2013 7:28:56 PM PDT by NKP_Vet
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To: NKP_Vet

So where are the orders, or do you only have the word of a Lost Causer?


17 posted on 04/23/2013 7:34:55 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: NKP_Vet

Yep. THAT’s an unbiased source!


18 posted on 04/23/2013 7:37:35 PM PDT by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: manc; NKP_Vet
Found this unsigned letter in a Rochester, NY newspaper via microfilm many years ago:

Rochester Union and Advertiser, July 13, 1863.

A Visit to the Gettysburg Battle Field.

Gettysburg, Pa., July 7th, 1863

Editors Union: Presuming an account direct from the field of the late dreadful and sanguinary struggle at this place, may prove of interest to the friends of our brave Rochester boys who participated in its glorious results, I pen you a few observations of my experience during the past twenty-four hours.

Through the persistent efforts of an influential citizen, I obtained a pass from Gen. Schenck to leave Baltimore and proceed to the battlefield, and left with a party of friends in a carriage on the eve of the fifth, it being impossible for any civilian to go by railroad. On arriving at Westminister we met Sedwick's baggage trains, and were obliged to remain over night, though we could find no food for man or beast, as all the towns, and most of the residents on the Gettysburg "Pike" were completely cleared out last week by the rebels.

We proceeded early in the morning, and ere long we had plenty of indications of the late struggle, in the ambulance wagons filled with wounded, and others on foot, plodding wearily along, most all of the men exhibiting wounds of some kind. When within six miles of Gettysburg the signs of desolation were striking, in the destruction of all fences and crops within sight. As we approached nearer, dead horses in the road and adjoining fields became plentiful, causing a stench quite sickening. We finally left the road and turned into the cemetery, and soon found ourselves on the now celebrated "Cemetery Hill" for a time, during the most critical period of the engagement, the headquarters of General Meade. At this elevated point we had a fine and comprehensive view of the field, it being the centre itself. The sight here was appalling indeed, the beautiful repose of the dead being one mass of ruins-the imposing arched entrance gate being sadly disfigured by shot and shell-the fences, the ornamental iron railings being felled and scattered in all directions, the chaste and beautiful marble shafts, monuments and tablets lay broken and dismantled, the ground strewn with soldiers' accoutrements, muskets and dead horses, whilst cannon balls, fragments of shell, grape, cannister and cartridges lay thickly strewn about; also some few champagne bottles which I noticed on the graves near where Meade's headquarters were. Off to the right and left could be seen thousands of new made graves, with their pine head boards. On an elevation, alone among the graves stood a wounded horse.

We left this heart sickening scene to pursue our observations on the left, reading many of the inscriptions on the graves, eager to see if any belonged to the Rochester regiments. We pursued, in the course of the tide of devastation, our way some two miles through the thick made graves and dead horses, which latter were now as plenty as stumps in a new settlement. Some you could observe no wounds upon, while others were mangled horribly, and some, from their position, holding their heads up, you could not believe were dead until you approached closely. The ground, all the way, was literally covered with muskets, broken artillery, wagons and wheels, caps, coats, blankets, haversacks, accoutrements of all kinds, playing cards, letters, books, &c., &c., for miles. Whole boxes of ammunition, now broken, were also seen. By most of the solitary graves lay the occupant's out-fit complete, and the food he had with him at the time.

We now proceeded through the first woods on the left, northwest of the cemetery. The trees were completely riddled by shot and shell, while missiles of all kinds were as thick as berries. After passing on through the woods into the fields beyond we first saw the dead rebels who had not, as yet, been interred. This sight was disgusting in the extreme. They lay in all positions, the faces being black from decomposition. The frequency of the sight seemed, however, to harden us to it; so after cutting a few buttons off of them, we left them with a requiescat in pace.

We now cut off to a neat looking farm house, with large barns attached which we thought outside of the line of battle, but on a nearer approach we saw that the premises were within the devastating fire which had swept by it as with the besom of destruction. But all was lonely and silent now, the doors were open, the plates and some food on the table, the house ransacked from cellar to garret, everything broken and strewn about as if by malice. A carnival of demons would not have left a blacker picture of ruin and riot. A shell had entered one side of the house and burst among the bed clothes, where we found fragments of it; the clock ticked solemnly on, and was within three minutes of my watch. In the front yard were four new graves, while within a stones throw were from twenty to thirty dead horses. On going to the barn, which was riddled with bullets, we found a dead horse in a stall.

We put our horse in the barn and pushed on further to the left, and to the first range of hills or mountains went of the village. Here were evidences of a dreadful conflict and carnage, and the rebels lay thick on the ground, and were also buried by hundreds in large pits; some containing as many as five hundred bodies. The stench here was so intolerable that we were obliged to hold large bunches of pennyroyal to our noses, and breathe through the herbs. On going up the steep and rocky mountain side, we came to an impromptu stone wall fortification, which , on entering, what was my surprise to see a torn and dirty copy of the "Union and Advertiser," also a scrap of "Moore's Rural New Yorker." I knew well then that some of our boys had occupied the very spot, and the post of danger was well defended, for within a hundred yards of that stone wall I saw a hundred rebels laying stiff in their gore. Horrible and ghastly indeed was the tale thus told.

I finally came across three privates of the 140th Reg't, who said that their regiment had occupied the place, and had lost their brave Colonel. They were doing hospital duty to the wounded left a few miles further on. One of them named Campbell, who lived at Lyell Bridge, said their loss was 131, killed, wounded and missing. They showed me some fresh made graves from which I copied the following names: S.O. Webb, Co.. G; Chas. Speisberger, Co. D; Justice Eisenberger, Co. D; Ph. Bechner, Co. D; John Zubler, Co. B; Rob't Shields, Co. C; John Allen, Co. C; John Hindel, Co. C; Rob't Blair, Co. D; Corp.. John Evans, Co. D. I was told that Col. O'Rorke was temporarily interred at their camp hospital about 5 miles northwest of Gettysburg, as no one could be spared in the emergency to convey his remains home. Among the officers in the field hospital are Capt. Starks, wounded in hand, Capt. Speiss, badly, in breast and leg; Capt. Sibley, in thighs; Lieut. Klein, leg and side; McGraw, leg off; and Smith, the "Razor Strop man." wounded leg. All are in care of Brockport surgeon, who belongs to the 140th Reg't.

Every effort is being made to get the wounded into the regular hospitals, but there are thousands of them and it will take time. Thousands are flocking here to aid the sufferers, and here is the place for the Relief Associations to send their "aids and comforts." Meade's army is hard after the fleeing pillagers. From conversations I heard between Union and Rebel officers, they all agree, while mutually complimenting each other's bravery, that this was the most severe and desperately contested engagement of the war. From its track of desolation and ravages, anything worse is beyond imagination.

19 posted on 04/23/2013 7:42:53 PM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: mainepatsfan; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks NKP_Vet.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


20 posted on 04/23/2013 7:43:41 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Amazing how a 13 year old girl was thrust into the position of being a nurse, stenographer, and perhaps the last thing many of those men on both sides would see on this earth. I have twin girls, both aged 12, and I couldn’t picture them having to see the horrors of war the way this young lady did.


21 posted on 04/23/2013 7:57:48 PM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Nothing is more savage and brutal than justifiably angry Americans. DonÂ’t believe me? Ask the Germa)
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To: manc
This is another letter I found while doing research on the 1st N.Y. Artillery (Light). It was published in the Mohawk Valley Register, which was located in Ft. Plain, New York. The writer, Lt. Angell Matthewson (Battery D), had been editor of the newspaper prior to his enlistment. He wrote many letters home. This one is dated July 14, 1863.

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC

Letter #73
Headquarters, Artillery Brigade
1st Army Corps, Camp near Hagerstown, Md.
Tuesday, July 14, 1863
8 o’clock a.m.

To the Editor of the Mohawk Valley Register:

I have had not one moment’s time to write you since my letter from Emmittsburg, just before the great battles of Gettysburg. The intervening time has been fraught with the greatest events and battles in the history of the war. The battle of Gettysburg may be set down as the greatest ever fought on the American Continent. Of course you and your readers have long since had the main particulars of the battle and its results. Suffice to say, it was the most complete victory the Army of the Potomac has ever won, and the country owe the highest debt of gratitude to the noble army which has fought so bravely and suffered so much in its cause.

The first day (July 1st) the advance guard of our Corps met the enemy about a mile northwest of Gettysburg, and Major General John F. Reynolds, Commanding the Corps, was instantly killed by a Minie ball from the first volley of their skirmishers. His body was being borne from the field as Colonel Wainwright and myself were rushing to the front to post the batteries, and we bared our heads in sorrow and reverence for the brave and noble General who had fallen at the moment he was most needed. Our troops were hurried forward and thrown into line of battle, and the batteries came up at a trot and were thrown into position and the battle opened immediately. Very soon after the 11th Corps, commanded by Major General Howard, came up and immediately formed line on our right. The enemy then outnumbered us more than 5 to 1, and soon becoming aware of the really small force he was contending against, threw his forces upon our lines in masses. But time after time our troops gallantly repulsed him, and a Brigade of Brigadier General Wadsworth’s Division charged and took two entire regiments of the enemy prisoners. Our Artillery, commanded by Colonel Wainwright, and the Batteries of the 11 Corps, commanded by Major T.W. Osborn, were splendidly handled and did terrible execution. The line of battle run from northeast to southwest, in a semi-circle--the center resting on the hill near the Seminary, just outside the town. About 2 o’clock p.m., the enemy threw his forces in masses on our left and center, occupied by our Corps and after a most terrible and stubborn fight, our left was turned and compelled to give way, and the order was given to retire which was done in very good order, all circumstances considered.

Battery L, 1st New York Artillery, lost one gun in coming off the field, having all the horses on the off side shot down, and Battery B, 4th U.S. Artillery, lost one caisson and the body part to three more, but all the ammunition had been used out of them. While I was posting the 5th Maine Battery near the Seminary when the rebels charged our line, a Minie ball passed through the rim of my hat, and soon after when we were falling back a shell exploded over my head and a piece passed through my hat, just grazing my cheek--two close calls for one day.

Colonel Wainwright had a ball through his pantaloons near the ankle.

We fell back through the town to Cemetery Hill, where we immediately established a line of battle, under the direction of Major General Hancock, Commanding 2nd Corps. The enemy occupied the town and took our wounded prisoners, but did not feel disposed to renew the attack. The loss in our Corps was very heavy--the 3rd Division alone losing over 1700 in killed, wounded and missing. The Batteries of the Brigade lost 89 men and a 106 horses. Captain J. Reynolds, Commanding Battery L, 1st New York, was severely wounded in the head and it is thought will lose his left eye. Lieutenant Davison, Battery B, 4th U.S., was severely wounded in the ankle, and Lieutenant Hunt, 5th Maine Battery was severely wounded in the side by a ball in the thigh. Lieutenant Stewart (Stuart) of Battery B, 4th U.S., and Lieutenant Miller of Battery B, 1st Pennsylvania, were slightly wounded by pieces of shell.

During the evening and night of the 1st inst., the 2nd, 3rd and 12th Corps arrived and were immediately placed in position--the 12th Corps occupying the extreme right and the 3rd Corps the left.--Our line of battle was in the shape of a horseshoe, of which Cemetery Hill formed the toe and center. Our Batteries were posted on the right of the hill facing the town and to the right, and the 11th Corps Batteries on the Cemetery grounds, on the left of the hill, facing the town and to the left.

General Meade arrived at 2 o’clock on the morning of the 2nd, and assumed command.

About 3 o’clock p.m., July 2nd the enemy opened a terrible fire from over 100 pieces of Artillery, on our left and center, and soon after attacked our left, in force; but our men met and repulsed them handsomely in every charge and drove them completely from the field. They then attempted to take Cemetery Hill, and charged up the hill from the right of the town, in the face of 20 pieces of our Artillery pouring canister into their ranks. A few of them succeeded in getting up the hill and inside our works, when the cannoneers of “Battery I, “ 1st New York Artillery, seized rails and knocked them down and drove them back. Thus ended the second day’s battle. Our loss in General officers was very large.

The 3rd day (July 3rd) was the most terrible of all. At 4 o’clock in the morning, the enemy commenced the attack on the right, occupied by the 12th Corps, supported by one Division of the 1st and the 6th Corps. This fight was confined entirely to the infantry, in the woods, and continued until 11 o’clock a.m. without an instant’s cessation. The firing then ceased. About 1 o’clock p.m., the rebels opened an Artillery fire on Cemetery Hill from 150 pieces of Artillery, and we replied from about the same number--and for one hour and a half ensued one of the most terrible Artillery fights that has ever taken place in the world. The air was full of shrieking, bursting shells and shot. There was no place of safety or retreat. The tombstones and iron fences in the Cemetery were smashed and broken. Guns exploded, limber chests were blown up, and gun carriages knocked into fragments.--The very demons of the infernal regions seemed let loose. Horses and men lay dead, bleeding and wounded side by side. And then came the charge of 20,000 yelling, whooping rebels; but it was a sorry charge for them for they only rushed to certain death. Our Artillery turned all their fire on them, and the infantry met them with volley after volley from a line of works a mile in length. It was the last desperate struggle of the enemy to turn our left and gain a victory; but they were met by a veteran Corps (the 2nd and 3rd) supported by the 6th, the strongest Corps in the Army. They rushed on our riflepits and were met by men who had been through many a hard fought battle and learned no fear, and they were soon put to a quick rout, the Artillery mowing them down as they fled. About 3,000 of them were taken prisoners. The prisoners said that General Lee had addressed them that morning and told them they had nothing but militia to fight against and were assured a win.

We drove them two miles and occupied the field. Shout after shout rent the air from our victorious Army, and the band struck up “Hail Columbia.” Our victory was complete! But alas, the sad details! I immediately rode over the field, and God forbid I ever should see another such sight. In places I had to ride with the utmost care to keep from trampling on the dead and wounded. The shrieks and groans of the wounded were most appalling. The very air seemed filled with misery. Victor Hugo’s pen would utterly fail to describe the scene--it was beyond portrayal. In one place I counted 7 dead men piled one on the other. Our Sergeants exerted themselves in every possible manner, and the immense Ambulance train was busy night and day taking off the wounded; but still at a late hour on the evening of the 5th, there was still between two and three hundred of the rebel wounded uncared for on the field.

The male citizens of Gettysburg acted in the most cowardly, niggardly and miserly manner. Not a man offered to take up a musket in defense of their families and their homes; not one offered his services in caring for the wounded on the battlefield. They slunk into their cellars like whipped curs and never showed their dastard faces until the enemy were miles away. Bah! Such a patriotism!--They are not fit to carry hogs’ offal to bears! As soon as they found the enemy had retreated and they were safe, the miserable, sneaking scoundrels turned their houses into sutlers’ shops and charged our soldiers the most exorbitant prices ever dreamed of by the supreme god of extortion. They charged our soldiers a dollar a loaf for bread which can be bought for ten cents in any bake shop in New York; and I paid a “good Union man” fifty cents for six little, dirty, burnt biscuits.

The enemy were in full retreat and we left Gettysburg early on the morning of the 6th in pursuit. We marched to Emmitsburg, and encamped near the town for the night. Next morning, (7th) at 4 o’clock precisely, we took up our march for Middletown, Maryland, passing through Mechanicsville and Lewistown, and at the latter place turned to the right over the Kiltoctin Mountain, by way of Hamburg. It rained all day, the roads were very heavy, and the guns tugged hard over the rough mountain road. We arrived at Hamburg, just on the top of the mountain, at dark, wet and weary and the five Batteries were crowded into a little open space not large enough to park one Battery decently; but was the best we could do, as the rain was falling in torrents. The night was pitchy dark, and the horses were unable to go down the mountain.--And there we lay down on the wet ground and spent the night on the mountain.--The friends at home can hardly conceive the privations and hardships the soldier has to undergo in a campaign like this. You may think it strange, but I saw many a poor fellow struggling up the mountain that day, with his heavy knapsack, haversack, gun and canteen, and his bare feet exposed to the sharp, cutting rocks--having worn out his shoes on the long marches. And dozens of others I saw who had sunk down by the roadside by fatigue, unable to proceed another step. But all these hardships are forgotten by the soldier as soon as he gets into camp, and he scarcely remembers them as a dream.--One good night’s rest and he is ready and willing to go through with them again, if necessary.

At daylight on the morning of the 8th, the men were turned out, the rain still falling fast, and we again resumed the march for Middletown. The distance was only 6 miles and we arrived and went into camp between 9 and 10 o’clock a.m. We were happy in anticipation of a good night’s rest, and I was just about to sit down to a good dinner at a house where we had established headquarters when the order came to move immediately towards Boonsboro. I crowded down my dinner in a half masticated state and we resumed the march. As we neared South Mountain Gap, (the old battlefield) I heard the booming of Artillery and learned that our Cavalry under Kilpatrick and Buford were having a hard fight and were being driven back towards the Gap, on the other side of the mountain. The 1st and 11th Corps marched up the pike at quick-time, side by side, and we were very soon filing through the Gap.--A Division of the 11th Corps was immediately thrown forward, and the rebels struck a hasty retreat. We occupied the mountain gap until 6 o’clock on the morning of the 10th, when we commenced the march towards Hagerstown. We only marched 5 miles, to Little Beaver Creek, where our forces were thrown into line of battle on a range of hills on the north side of the stream. The Batteries were planted, earthworks thrown up in front of them, rifle pits dug along the entire line, and everything got in readiness to resist an attack, should one be made. The 1st, 6th and 11th Corps were here while the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 12th Corps took the Williamsport Pike. About noon, our Cavalry had another fight with the enemy and drove them some distance.

We lay here until 10 o’clock on the morning of Sunday the 12th inst., when we received information that the enemy had fallen back and that our Cavalry occupied Hagerstown.

The three Corps were immediately put in motion and about 3 p.m. we again formed line of battle between Funkstown and Hagerstown, and about 3/4’s of a mile from either place. The enemy’s line of battle was just the other side of Hagerstown. Again we fortified ourselves in case of an attack and passed a quiet night. During the afternoon of the 13th (yesterday) one of the enemy’s Batteries threw three shells into our skirmish line but we made no reply.

It is said that a council of war was held yesterday morning, and that Generals Meade and Sedgwick were the only two in favor of attacking the enemy in his present position.

Williamsport, Maryland, July 14, 1863.--11:15 p.m.

I take this opportunity of finishing this letter, which was interrupted by an order to move immediately. Our skirmishers advanced over a mile this morning and could see nothing of the enemy. The Cavalry was then sent out to find his whereabouts, and Lo! they went away down here to Williamsport, six miles and found that General Lee had crossed the Potomac with his entire army, while we were asleep, and “left us in the lurch”!--I have no comments to make. We immediately marched to this place and went into camp. But Mr. Lee cannot shake off the Army of the Potomac so easy.--We shall follow him up sharp and fast and now for the chase. At present it is--”all quiet on the Potomac.”

Yours truly,

A. Matthewson

22 posted on 04/23/2013 8:21:02 PM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: NKP_Vet

Thank you for posting this. It’s a shame that Lydia Catherine thought her story was already too long. I would have enjoyed reading much more about those trying times in Gettysburg.


23 posted on 04/23/2013 8:53:38 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: NKP_Vet; Moonman62

Don’t you know that unless events were acknowledged in official Union Army sources that they didn’t happen?

And if they were admitted to, then they weren’t war crimes; they were simply what the American people living in the South deserved for attempting to leave the loving embrace of their morally superior Northern invaders.


24 posted on 04/23/2013 9:17:15 PM PDT by Pelham (Without Deportation you have De Facto Amnesty.)
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To: Pelham

In other words, there were no orders to commit such atrocities.


25 posted on 04/23/2013 10:03:49 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Moonman62

“In other words, there were no orders to commit such atrocities”

‘In other words’ the Union army leadership tolerated war crimes.

You attempt the evade that fact by pretending that war crimes only existed if they were ordered.

Lets see you produce a record of the court martial of Union troops for committing arson and theft and rape to demonstrate that war crimes were not tolerated by the Union commanders.

But of course arson and attacking the civilian population was the well documented strategy of Sherman in particular, who at least had the excuse of being insane. His superiors who knew what he was doing bear a greater guilt.


26 posted on 04/23/2013 10:48:57 PM PDT by Pelham (Without Deportation you have De Facto Amnesty.)
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To: Puppage

I just finished his account of Gettysburg from his trilogy. That man’s passing was a true loss.


27 posted on 04/24/2013 5:03:54 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: NKP_Vet
"In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear; but spirits linger, to consecrate ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream; and lo! the shadow of a mighty presence shall wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision pass into their souls."

28 posted on 04/24/2013 5:22:36 AM PDT by Godebert (No Person Except a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN!)
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To: Pelham
I'm saying atrocities weren't the policy of the Union. No more so than the Confederates. Sherman nor any other officer gave such orders.

If there was a well documented strategy, then produce it.

29 posted on 04/24/2013 5:22:53 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: IronJack
I just finished his account of Gettysburg from his trilogy

Fabulous, wasn't it?

30 posted on 04/24/2013 5:41:31 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage

The detail he achieves is encylopedic. If there is a more definitive account, I don’t know what it would be.


31 posted on 04/24/2013 6:34:34 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: manc
Lets not forget the women and girls raped by those soldiers, bummers and ex slaves as well as robbed , land taken, not allowed to vote etc.

War is hell. I think I heard that somewhere.

32 posted on 04/24/2013 6:37:40 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: mass55th

Interesting account. It’s imagery brings the scene of the battle back to life. Thanks!


33 posted on 04/24/2013 6:47:33 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: mass55th

wow brilliant, thank you


34 posted on 04/24/2013 6:49:35 AM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: NKP_Vet; SLB

The 15th North Carolina was assigned to General Cobb’s brigade during the Battles of Crampton’s Gap and Sharpsburg before transferring to another brigade. Four of my ancestors served in the 16th Georgia which was also in that brigade for those battles.


35 posted on 04/24/2013 6:53:29 AM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (Molon Labe!)
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To: Moonman62
The Burning of Columbia - February 17,1865 The Last Confederate Soldier to Leave Columbia By Lieutenant Milford Overley 9th Kentucky Cavalry

I was one of Hampton's rear guard, and was probably the very last Confederate to leave the city, yet I saw no cotton burning in the streets of Columbia, nor did I hear any order from any one to fire the cotton, but I did hear one just the reverse. It was given to a detachment, three companies, from the 9th Kentucky Cavalry that was ordered back to Columbia as a provost guard after the Confederates had evacuated the place and before Sherman entered it.

I asked and obtained of Col. Breckinridge, the Brigade Commander, permission to accompany the detachment, and was present and heard this order given the officer commanding: "It is Gen. Hampton's order that you return to Columbia, bring out any straggling Confederates you may find, and see that no cotton is fired." Having no time to lose, the detachment immediately proceeded on its mission, passing down in front of Sherman's skirmish line, which was in plain view, and entering the city in advance of him.

In the suburbs we met Mayor Goodwyn and other municipal officers in carriages, with a white flag, going out to surrender the city. During the parley, which, however, was a brief one, we hastily visited different streets in search of straggling Confederate soldiers, but found none, neither did we find any cotton burning. Falling back as the Federals advanced along the street, the detachment passed out toward the east.

I remained in the city after the detachment had gone, just keeping out of the enemy's reach by falling back from street to street till pushed out by the advancing infantry (they had no mounted men in the city at that time), yet I saw no cotton burning in Columbia. Basing my conclusions on what I saw (the Federals, in possession of the city), on what I failed to see (any cotton burning in the street), and on what I heard (the order to see that no cotton was fired), I can safely say that the Confederates had no hand in the burning of Columbia, Gen. Sherman's official report to the contrary notwithstanding."

36 posted on 04/24/2013 7:07:07 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

Why were bales of cotton stacked in the streets of Columbia before Sherman got there?


37 posted on 04/24/2013 7:43:15 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: rockrr; manc

You’re very welcome. I’ve always enjoyed sharing the fruits of my research with other people.


38 posted on 04/24/2013 8:46:38 AM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: NKP_Vet

Bump


39 posted on 04/24/2013 9:50:32 AM PDT by lowbridge
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To: Moonman62

Bales were moved into the city for protection, not that it did any good.


40 posted on 04/24/2013 10:39:53 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: NKP_Vet

PFL


41 posted on 04/24/2013 10:47:54 AM PDT by Batman11 (We came for the chicken sandwiches and a Sweet Tea Party broke out!)
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To: central_va
Bales were moved into the city for protection, not that it did any good.

They didn't do any good because they weren't meant for protection.

Why did Sherman order the destruction of certain buildings if he was going to torch the entire city?

42 posted on 04/24/2013 10:50:15 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: 0.E.O

I’d have more respect for the ned-confederate cause except for two things.

They’re outraged by alleged mistreatment of southern women by Union soldiers, yet support a government created for the primary purpose of perpetuating an institution that gave 1/3 of the women in their “country” no practical legal protection at all against rape.

They may exist, but I’ve yet to see neo-confederates posting about their horror at American “war crimes” in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. By any standard you care to use, these vastly exceed the greatest atrocities claimed against Union soldiers.

Which makes it look very much like neo-confederates aren’t really against rape or killing of civilians as such. They just object to their own people being on the receiving end of such.

That’s a perfectly logical position, but it hardly stands out as morally or ethically consistent.


43 posted on 04/24/2013 11:27:19 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan
They may exist, but I’ve yet to see neo-confederates posting about their horror at American “war crimes” in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. By any standard you care to use, these vastly exceed the greatest atrocities claimed against Union soldiers.

They're usually too busy condemning the United States for actions ("atrocities"?) against indians (southern US troops appear curiously and conspicuously absent from these conflicts...must just be an oversight ;-)

44 posted on 04/24/2013 12:08:45 PM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Sherman Logan

is there any need to label neo confederates?
Neo this neo that, it’s all we ever hear form the left when talking about our side.


45 posted on 04/24/2013 12:39:59 PM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: central_va

very good read , thanks , how long will it be when the usual trolls come out getting their digs in and fight the war over again but behind the safety of their computers


46 posted on 04/24/2013 12:41:30 PM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: manc
...how long will it be when the usual trolls come out getting their digs in and fight the war over again...

Is there really a need to label people 'trolls'?

Troll this, troll that, it's all we ever hear from the left when defending the Union side of the Civil War.

47 posted on 04/24/2013 12:47:37 PM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: manc

Sorry, no intent to label.

What non-judgmental term do you prefer for CSA apologists? I will be glad to use it.

BTW, I am not anti-southern. I think the demonization of the southern heritage is destructive and much of it aimed indirectly at today’s America and American conservatives.

I honor the Confederate soldier, who fought as bravely as any man in history, against great odds. However, I agree with Grant that the cause for which he fought, whether he realized it or not, was among the worst in history.

I understand, with Lincoln, the trap the South was in in 1860 and the desperation it felt. I believe many if not most of the southern people and leaders were honest in their belief slavery was a good thing that should be preserved and that it was necessary to their way of life.

I believe they were wrong, but honestly mistaken.

The only southern group I consider despicable are the fire-eaters who intentionally, out of hatred, greed and ambition stoked the fires of sectional bitterness. Those who labored to convince their fellows that slavery was good and produce philosophical justification for it.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”


48 posted on 04/24/2013 12:48:15 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Moonman62
They didn't do any good because they weren't meant for protection.

The bales weren't for protection, they were moved there as to be protected, i.e. not burned. That is what Sherman's Torches were doing, burning everything.

49 posted on 04/24/2013 2:14:00 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Sherman Logan
What non-judgmental term do you prefer for CSA apologists?

Since there is NOTHING to apologize for, there is no proper term.

50 posted on 04/24/2013 2:17:43 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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