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18th Mississippi at Spotsylvania

Discussion in 'The Eastern Theater' started by lelliott19, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. lelliott19

    lelliott19 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    AMUSING INCIDENTS AT SPOTSYLVANIA, VA.
    by Wiley Gartivan Johnson for the Confederate Veteran 1893

    On the 12th of May, 1864, the hard, all day struggle, when brigade after brigade had been rushed in to regain the ground lost early in the morning, on the spot where dead and wounded men, horses, and disabled artillery told of the deadly strife, where a man, after trying it awhile, if not killed or wounded, looked anxiously for the next relief to come up, late in the evening our (Humphreys) brigade was rushed in to relieve another that had served its time. While passing along the line of low earthworks to take our allotted position, one of the men in front of us, who had been sorely pressed, and was thinking seriously of the rear, cried out, " Are you all fresh troops? " Alter repeating the question several times, getting louder and louder every time, Pat Burns*, a cool, brave Irishman of my company, yelled back at the fellow, "Yis, we niver was in a fight before."

    A few minutes later, when we were ordered to take our places in the shallow trenches, we found them occupied by dead and wounded, and among them a big six footer lying prone on his face, as still as a mouse, seemingly dead, and in the place that then belonged to Pat. The Irishman was nonplussed. He did not want to molest the dead or wounded. But soon the very position of the man aroused his suspicion, and, jumping astride of him and grabbing him by the shoulders, jerking him up and down, said, " Are you dead?" When the fellow rolled up the white of his eyes, showing he was. "possoming," Pat hauled him out and started him to the rear. It created a laugh, though in the midst of extreme danger.
    W. GART JOHNSON**
    http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ga/topic/news/CV/cv1893pg12.htm

    *Patrick Burns - b. 1835 Ireland. Pvt Co C 18th MS Infantry. Captured near Fredericksburg and exchanged; wounded at Gettysburg (GSW) returned to duty Aug 4, 1863; captured at Farmville (Sailor's Creek) April 6, 1865; paroled from Newport News.
    **Wiley Gartivan Johnson - b. 5/1/1836. Promoted to Captain Co C 18th MS Infantry 7/3/1863. Captured at Berryville, Va. 9/3/1864; released on Oath of Allegiance 6/14/1865 from Johnson's Island. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=14562187

    @18thmississippi @Pat Young
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017

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  3. TerryB

    TerryB Major

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    I guess you had to be there.
     
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  4. Stony

    Stony Captain Trivia Game Winner

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    Great story Laura. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  5. lelliott19

    lelliott19 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    The 18th Mississippi was originally organized June 7, 1861 and assigned to David R Jones brigade. They later served in Nathan G "Shanks" Evans' brigade and Richard Griffin's Mississippi brigade. In Aug 1862, Col William Barksdale (13th MS) was promoted to Brigadier General and assumed command of the brigade until he was killed at Gettysburg.

    By the time this incident occurred, the 18th Mississippi Infantry had participated in the Battles of Manassas, Ball's Bluff, Malvern Hill, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, the siege of Chattanooga, the ill-fated assault on Fort Sanders (Knoxville), and the Wilderness.

    So, knowing that, you see how funny it was when the guy asked if they were "fresh troops" and the Irishman replied "Yis, we niver was in a fight before." They had been in plenty of fights before.

    I thought it was really funny! But I have a kind of dry sense of humor. Other opinions may vary. :D
     
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  6. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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    In Gordon Rhea's book on Spotsylvania he says that, upon marching up in support, Humphreys' brigade (formerly Barksdale's) was positioned in the reserve line at the base of the Mule Shoe, but I wonder if they were sent into the front line, at least in part.

    The brigades that counter attacked the Federal breakthrough were from the 2nd and 3rd corps - the 1st Corps holding the Laurel Hill portion of the battlefield - but Wofford's, Humphreys', and Bratton's brigades were sent in to support the Mule Shoe front late in the day.
     
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  7. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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  8. TerryB

    TerryB Major

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    I was just havin' a wee bit o' fun, meself. I did get it :smile:.
     
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