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Casualties of the Confederate Artillery

Discussion in 'Battle of Gettysburg' started by Gettysburg Greg, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Gettysburg Greg

    Gettysburg Greg Corporal

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    Lieutenant Frank Haskell was an aid to General Gibbon during the Gettysburg campaign and witnessed many of the historic events that occurred during those three days. His detail-filled essay/letter written just weeks after the battle chronicles what he witnessed during those dark days. He was eating lunch with several generals including General Meade and his staff near the Leister house when the Confederate bombardment that preceded Picket's Charge began. He describes the scene in the Leister farm yard where orderlies and curriers had their horses tied to many of the trees. During the cannonade, many of the Confederate shells aimed at Cemetery Ridge overshot their target and struck all around Meade's HQ on the Taneytown Road. Haskell then describes how many of the horses were killed still tied to the trees. A few days later, Alexander Gardner recorded the scene in his iconic photographs of Meade's HQ, the widow Leister's farm. In this detail from Gardner's photo, you can see the very horses described by Haskell, many still tied to the trees just as he said. I count as many as nine, maybe ten of the four-legged heroes lying dead under the trees. Haskell then accompanied General Gibbon up to Cemetery Ridge where he witnessed the effects of the bombardment followed by the grand charge. His flourishing detailed accounts are well worth reading.
    horse bu - Copy.jpg
     

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  3. Warren

    Warren Private

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    I remember reading an account that one of the first shells of that Confederate bombardment hit a mess orderly tending to the chicken lunch for Meade and the others present, and cut him in half. I'll bet THAT ruined the ambiance of the fine repast that day!
     
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  4. nitrofd

    nitrofd Major Forum Host

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    Haskell's book on Gettysburg is worth reading,it is available in paperback.
     
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  5. rpkennedy

    rpkennedy Major

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    Frank Haskell would go on to command the 36th Wisconsin and would be killed at Cold Harbor.

    Ryan
     
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  6. nitrofd

    nitrofd Major Forum Host

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    His book was published after his death.
     
  7. rpkennedy

    rpkennedy Major

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    It was. And is an excellent read.

    Ryan
     
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  8. Tom Elmore

    Tom Elmore First Sergeant

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    Sergeant Thomas W. Smith of Company I, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, who was assigned at Meade's headquarters wrote, "there were 21 horses killed outright in the garden at headquarters. We lost 11 horses out of our squadron; Captain Carpenter of Company E lost two horses. Nearly every horse at headquarters was wounded or scratched by pieces of flying shell, some of them so bad that they had to be killed afterwards."

    James Cornell Biddle, on Meade's staff, also lost two horses that were tied to the fence close to Meade's horse. (Meade's favorite mount, Old Baldy, was reportedly wounded on July 2 and so he rode "Blackey" on July 3.)

    I also recall a member of Meade's staff saying that someone put a bullet into his horse's head, thinking it had been badly wounded, when in fact the horse had escaped the bombardment unscathed.

    In addition, two pack mules belonging to Meade’s mess carried coffee and sugar; a round shot passed through both during the cannonade.
     
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  9. James_tiberous

    James_tiberous Corporal

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    Am I correct in assuming that the Confederate bombardment happened because the Rebs did not possess high ground they could use in supporting the attack? They basically had to fire blind or lob the shells at the Union lines and hope to hit something. While the Union had the high ground and could punish the Confederate assault as it came on. I'd think they could have commanded the Confederate lines on the other side as well.
     
  10. Wallyfish

    Wallyfish Corporal Trivia Game Winner

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    The Brown's Island munition explosion on March 13, 1863 forced fuse production to a Muntions factory in Charleston SC.

    Apparently no testing of those fuses occurred prior to Gettysburg and they were unaware that the Charlestown fuses burnt slower. I had read a great read on this on the internet but I can't find it now.

    Below is a recap of the Richmond munition explosion. Certainly some Confederate shells hit their mark, but not all. The Leister house is downhill of the crest of cemetery ridge by several hundred yards. So was in battle Smoke or longer burning fuses that caused the over shooting?

    But this Brown explosion impact at Gettysburg is another mystery.

    http://www.richmond.com/news/local/...cle_9683aac6-847f-11e2-b033-0019bb30f31a.html
     
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