1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free! If you aren't ready for that, try posting your question or comment as a guest!

GRAPHIC Dead soldier Antietam photo possibly identified

Discussion in 'Civil War Photography' started by AUG351, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. AUG351

    AUG351 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Texas
    This is a photo of dead Confederate soldiers in the sunken road or "bloody lane" at Antietam. The man laying to the right, not the man sitting against the right side of the road, but the man laying on his back with a bald head a few feet behind the man sitting against the side of the road on the right could be Col. Charles C. Tew of the 2nd North Carolina. Click the photo to zoom in
    [​IMG]

    Col. Charles C. Tew was shot in the head while talking to Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon. John B. Gordon said in his memoirs "The first volley from the Union lines in my front sent a ball through the brain of the chivalric Colonel Tew, of North Carolina, to whom I was talking to."

    Capt. Matthew Manly of Company D, 2nd North Carolina wrote "During the battle in this bloody lane Colonel Charles Courtenay Tew was killed, his body falling into the hands of the enemy . . . . He was shot through the head and placed in the sunken road . . . Here he was found, apparently unconscious, the blood streaming from a wound in the head, with his sword held in both hands across his knees. A Federal soldier attempted to take the sword from him, but he drew it toward his body with his last remaining strength, and then his grasp relaxed and he fell forward, dead."

    Col. Charles C. Tew
    [​IMG]

    John B. Gordon was around the 6th Alabama during most of the fight when he was wounded 5 times. The 6th Alabama was right next to the 2nd North Carolina in the sunken road to the left.
    Heres a great site that shows where several photos could have been taken, one being this photo, which shows that it was around the exact postion the 6th Alabama and 2nd North Carolina were at. http://www.davevalvo.com/Landscapes...fields/10126743_DKrNvf#!i=696429130&k=JJ9W9fZ
    You can see their position in this map by Civil War Trust[​IMG]
    http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/antietam/maps/antietam-map-sunken-road.html

    Tew was born in Charleston, South Carolina to Henry Shade Tew and Caroline Courtenay. Tew's paternal ancestry was French Huguenot and his maternal grandfather was a native of Ireland.
    Tew was one of twenty cadets initially admitted to the new South Carolina Military Academy 1843, now known as The Citadel. Tew graduated first in his class in 1846, becoming both the first graduate of the school and the first honor graduate. Upon graduation, he took a position as a professor at the school. He left The Citadel in 1852, when he spent a year in Europe studying military tactics. When he returned from Europe he was made Commandant of Cadets at The Citadel. 1857 Tew was appointed superintendent of the Arsenal Academy in Columbia, SC. He founded his own successful military academy, at Hillsborough, North Carolina in 1859 called the Hillsborough Military Academy.

    When North Carolina seceded, the first two colonels appointed by Governor John Willis Elliswere Tew and D. H. Hill. Tew was commissioned to the 2nd North Carolina State Troops, which, during the Peninsula Campaign was attached to the brigade of Brig. Gen. George B. Andersonin the Army of Northern Virginia. Tew took part in the Peninsula Campaign, the Northern Virginia Campaign, and the Maryland Campaign. Tew was killed-in-action at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, while leading his regiment, the 2nd North Carolina State Troops.

    During the mid-day portion of the Battle of Antietam at the Sunken Road, Tew took command of Anderson's brigade after Anderson fell mortally wounded. Tew and Col. John B. Gordon were talking at the position of the 6th Alabama in the Sunken Road (the famed Bloody Lane) at the center of the Confederate line when both were struck down. Gordon later wrote -
    "The first volley from the Union lines in my front sent a ball through the brain of the chivalric Colonel Tew, of North Carolina, to whom I was talking, and another ball through the calf of my right leg. On the right and the left my men were falling under the death-dealing crossfire like trees in a hurricane...."​
    Capt. Matthew Manly of Company D, 2nd North Carolina wrote -​
    "During the battle in this bloody lane Colonel Charles Courtenay Tew was killed, his body falling into the hands of the enemy . . . . He was shot through the head and placed in the sunken road . . . Here he was found, apparently unconscious, the blood streaming from a wound in the head, with his sword held in both hands across his knees. A Federal soldier attempted to take the sword from him, but he drew it toward his body with his last remaining strength, and then his grasp relaxed and he fell forward, dead."​
    Tew was shot through both temples, but evidently did not die immediately. His body was ostensibly pulled down into the Sunken Road after he was struck. When the Confederates were forced to retreat from the Sunken Road, Tew's body was not recovered, and was never identified or returned.

    Many conflicting stories and rumors were spread concerning Tew's fate. A prominent one was that Tew was alive and a prisoner of war at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Torgugas. Tew's father went to Washington and received permission to visit the prison but he was unable to locate him. His place of burial remains unknown. In October 1874, a Union veteran, Capt. J. W. Bean, sent a silver cup, which had been taken from Tew's body, to Tew's father. Bean's letter also informed Tew's father that he had buried Tew on the field. Tew's sword (presented by the cadets of the South Carolina Military Academy and inscribed with his name) and his watch were never returned to his family.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_C._Tew
     

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. kholland

    kholland Brigadier General Moderator Trivia Game Winner Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,074
    Location:
    Howard County, Maryland
    Very interesting supposition. Thanks.
     
  4. AUG351

    AUG351 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Texas
    A book a got recently, Voices of the Civil War Antietam, one of the books from a series done by TimeLife, pointed it out saying it could possibly be Tew in the photograph, so I did a little more reseach. btw the Voices of the Civil War books by TimeLife are great. I have Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Second Manassas, the Atlanta Campaign, the Wilderness Campaign, and just now got Antietam. They have accounts from all sorts of sources, mostly soldier's diaries, letters, memoirs, battle reports, as well as a few accounts of civilians. They cover the whole battle from start to finish with accounts from different people usually organized by their regiment or brigade with small descriptions and pictures of the person who wrote the account.
    Heres the one on Antietam
    http://www.amazon.com/Antietam-Voices-Civil-Time-Life-Books/dp/0783547048
     
  5. Zuzah

    Zuzah Sergeant Major Forum Host

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    2,109
    Location:
    Denmark
    There's so much death and carnage in this photograph it's hard to even seperate the men in black/white.
     
  6. 101combatvet

    101combatvet 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,802
    Location:
    a happy farm in Maryland or a friendly Co-Op in NY
    The man on the right is an enlisted soldier and not an officer... at least not a field grade. What makes you think it is Tew?

    Relooked.... okay gotcha... maybe.
     
  7. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,198
    Location:
    grumbling in the rear rank
    the man in the left foreground looks headless.
     
  8. 101combatvet

    101combatvet 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,802
    Location:
    a happy farm in Maryland or a friendly Co-Op in NY
    I was trying to figure that out.... yes you are correct.
     
  9. AUG351

    AUG351 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah, not the guy on the bottom left sitting upright but the guy a few feet to his right with a bald head. The only thing is I don't see any blood or marks on his head but its hard to tell because hes too far off in the background to get a clear picture.
     
  10. AUG351

    AUG351 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Texas
    Possibly, or his head is leaning over to the left and his jacket is covering his head and neck. It would be nice but yet not so nice to see this photo in color, to see if thats blood on the ground or not or if thats an arm or a piece of wood, either way its a gruesome picture, maybe better off in black and white.
     
    Yankeedave likes this.
  11. Dbersh

    Dbersh Corporal Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Messages:
    417
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for info...Looks like more books to add to my list..already about 12 books in the waiting.
     
  12. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,198
    Location:
    grumbling in the rear rank
    He would have to have a stretchy neck. See his right shoulder? It's directly in line with the rest of his rigid body. If he was leaned over like that his shoulder would be leaned over.
     
  13. TinCan

    TinCan 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,417
    Location:
    Owensboro, Kentucky
    It sure looks like something took his head off. If you look close his jacket has been opened and from things in the bottom of the trench, looks like the men's pockets have been gone thru. If anyone thinks war is heroic they need to clean up something like that.
     
  14. AUG351

    AUG351 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Texas
    A few accounts in that Voices of the Civil War Antietam book mentioned that a number of bodies around the west woods were lying naked on the battlefield after Confederates of McLaw's Division overran Sedgwick's Division and looted many of the bodies. If that man did have his head taken off it was probably by shrapnel from a shell of Tompkin's Battery which was pouring fire in the sunken lane. I wouldn't be surprised if blood actually did run like a river in the bloody lane.
     
  15. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,275
    Location:
    Maryland
    I'm not surprised the Confederates were looting bodies. Supply was always an issue for them and I've read the during the Maryland Campaign Lee's army suffered a Logistical breakdown. It's probably why Hood's division hadn't eaten for two days prior to the battle. I'm sure Tompkin's caused a ton of damage to the Rebels in Bloody lane, but I'm pretty sure they were under fire from artillery east of Antietam Creek as well. If I remember correctly their where Federal batteries near the Pry House, I've always wondered what effect they had.
     
  16. JWheeler331

    JWheeler331 First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,221
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Interesting.
     
  17. east tennessee roots

    east tennessee roots Sergeant Major

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,494
    Location:
    Kingsport, Tennessee
     
    reading48 likes this.
  18. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    29,202
    Location:
    Smack dab in the heart of Texas
    At the 2008 Civil War Trust Teacher Institute, a speaker named Jim Beeghley did a session on using technology to teach the war, and he utilized this photo and analysis (much like Wilber does). He said the guy--whose bald head is unattached to the body in the officer's uniform, BTW, HAD been identified by the guy's family after the war. I can't find my notes; just the seminar book--but I believe he said it was an officer from Louisiana...although it certainly could have been Tew...his engraving is certainly a spitting image, from the hairline!

    And yes, it is headless. I've used this image in my classes and we blow it up on an entire wall (metaphorically, of course; unfortunately no artillery is allowed!) and analyze it all. 7th and 8th graders LOVE gruesome. They never forget this one.
     
  19. drof69

    drof69 Private

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Is this the same person listed among the dead at Shepherdstown in The Story of Camp Chase by William H. Knauss? If it is, I wonder why?

    Tew, O., C, 2nd N.C.
    Edit: No, it is not the same person. I answered my own question.
     
  20. JohnnnyReb

    JohnnnyReb Corporal

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Don Troiani Art at the sunken road with General Lee depicting a scene with John B. Gordon. Gordon was up on the upper left of the road not the right wing. Looks like the unit in the artwork is the 11th Alabama considering the flag he drew. I just wonder why Troiani decided to use that flag in this picture. Call me silly, but things like this perplex me. Ambiguity I guess.
    I found this one interesting because the flag in the picture looks to be the 11th Alabama flag that was captured by the 57th Penn, Brookes Brigade. The 11th, Wilcox brigade moved up to reinforce the right wing of the Sunken road. I don't think Lee would have been up there when they moved in the hot and heavy fighting. If not mistaken the sunken road was already falling when they moved up there, they were listed as only having 3 dead, 26 wounded so sounds like they went up and fell back rather fast.
    p-troiani025.jpg


    Here is the 11th Alabama Flag from civil war trust that was captured. There is also another one that is listed as 11th alabama that doesn't have the seven pines on it. Both are listed as being 11th alabama captured by 57th Inf. So, were they using two flags?
    11th-alabama-battle-flag.jpg the-11th-alabama-flag.jpg
    Here is a drawing of the 11th alabama taking on an artillery unit at Glendale. The flag has the seven pines on it.
    Southern_Cross.jpg
     
    AUG351 likes this.
  21. Monitor

    Monitor Corporal

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Ballina, NSW, Australia
    What happened to Lee's right arm?
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page