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Confederate Sharpshooter-Death of a General

Discussion in 'The Eastern Theater' started by whitworth, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. whitworth

    whitworth 2nd Lieutenant

    Jun 18, 2005
    The Death of General John Sedgwick
    by Martin T. McMahon, Brevet Major-General, U.S.V.;
    chief-of-staff,Sixth Corps.

    On May 8th, 1864, the Sixth Corps made a rapid march to the support of Warren, near Spotsylvania Court House.

    ..."General, do you see that section of artillery? Well, you are not to go near it today. He answered good-naturedly, "McMahon, I would like to know who commands this corps, you or I? I said, playfully,"Well, General, sometimes I am in doubt myself"; but added,
    "Seriously, General, I beg of you not to go to that angle; every officer who has shown himself there has been hit, both yesterday and to-day."

    ..., "a man who had been separated from his regiment passed directly in front of the general, and at the same moment a sharp-shooter's bullet passed with a long shrill whistle very close, and the soldier, who was then just in front of the general, dodged to the ground. The general touched him gently with his foot, and said, "Why, my man, I am ashamed of you, dodging that way," and repeated the remark, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." The man rose and saluted, and said good-naturedly, "General, I dodged a shell once, and if I hadn't, it would have taken my head off. I believe in dodging." the general laughed and replied, "All right, my man; go to your place."

    "For a third time the same shrill whistle, closing with a dull, heavy stroke, interrupted our talk, when, as I was about to resume, the general's face turned slowly to me, the blood spurting from his left cheek under the eye in a steady stream."

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  3. mt155

    mt155 First Sergeant Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner

    Feb 24, 2007
    Clear Lake, Texas
    One of the most ironic things of the war, "they could not hit an elephant" Pow!

    Mike T.
  4. kholland

    kholland Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner Retired Moderator

    Feb 13, 2011
    Howard County, Maryland
    I swear there was a "Wonderful World of Disney" show regarding this incident. I Googled it and got the episode list but no luck. I thought it was called "The Longest Shot" or something like that. Johnny Shiloh and John Singleton Mosby were there but not him.
  5. badger roy

    badger roy Cadet

    Feb 7, 2011
    Madison WI
    Major General John Sedgewick had a brother,George,who served in Company K,7th Wisconsin Infantry.Corporal George Sedgewick was wounded at Antietam and died two days later.According to Amos Rood, a comrade in Company K, two members of the Sedgewick family(a brother and a sister of George) came to Sharpsburg and offered a substantial reward for the recovery of George's body. George is officially listed as died of wounds September 19,1862 at Boonsboro MD.General Sedgewick was also wounded at Antietam.There is no evidence to indicate that the Sedgewick brothers met anytime during the Maryland Campaign but hey it could have happened!
    (Sources:DESCRIPTIVE ROLL,7TH REGIMENT INFANTRY,Wisconsin Historical Society;AMOS ROOD MEMOIRS,Wisconsin Historical Society;THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN OF SEPTEMBER 1862,Ezra Carman;speculation by badger roy)
    Best regards,
    badger roy
  6. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    May 12, 2010
    There was a show on TV about a sharpshooter shooting a Confederate General. It was based on the fiction by Charles Sawyers of a Union Sharpshooter by name of John T. Metcalf who shot a Union General. It was suppose to happen during the Red River Campaign in 1864. He supposedly shot a General Lainhardt. Bill Edwards in his "Civil War Guns" (Stackpole, 1962) proved that Metcalf didn't receive a medal as sharpshooter and that there was no General Lainhardt in Union Army. I believe there is early thread on Sharpshooters on Civil War Talk that mentions Metcalf. It is before I became member. However, it didn't mention the episode on TV.

    Anyways the show was "Mile Long Shot to Kill". It was 1962 episode on the TV series General Electric True. It was directed by William Conrad and starred James Griffith, Russell Johnson and Les Tremayne.

    G.E. True ( General Electric True) was an American anthology series sponsored by General Electric on CBS. The series presented stories previously published in "True" magazine. Articles from the magazine were adapted to TV by writers , including Gene Roddenberry. Jack Webb of Dragnet fame, produced and hosted the 33 episodes during his stint as head of Warner Brothers. GE True ran from Sept. 30, 1962 to May 26, 1963 with repeats through Sept. 1963.

    "Mile Long Shot To Kill" was originally aired November 25, 1962.
  7. RobertP

    RobertP Major

    Nov 11, 2009
    on the long winding road
    One of my favorite movies is Quigley Down Under with Tom Selleck. Was dead on with his Sharps Buffalo Rifle at about 1000 yds.
  8. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

    Oct 3, 2005
    The Sharps figures in "True Grit" as well.
  9. prroh

    prroh Captain Honored Fallen Comrade

    Oct 1, 2009
    A Burt Lancaster movie, Valdez is Coming, also featured a Sharps and 1000+ yard hits.
  10. WalterBrennan

    WalterBrennan Cadet

    Mar 14, 2011
    Southeastern Michigan
    It's hard to imaging a long range shot of this kind during the Civil War. Although there were definitely marksmen during this time, today's more sophisticated weaponry would give modern shooters a decided advantage when compared to snipers of this era. The general's statement reminded me somewhat of Robert Duvall in Apocalypse now as "Wild Bill" never ducked or dodged incoming fire as if he knew he was safe from harm at all times.

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