Edward Porter Alexander's One-Horse Dunkard, Retreat From Gettysburg July 1863

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,860
Location
Central Pennsylvania
alex art charge.jpg

Artillery General Edward Porter Alexander had a fierce battle in Pennsylvania. Battles. We owe his engineer's eye for detail some of the best accounts from July, 1863. Sketch is entitled " Porter Alexander's artillery charge ", now history. Despite those savage 3 days in Adams County Porter took the time to record an encounter with Peace.

Came across this and was tickled. These personal encounters are like time-outs during an appallingly brutal war. Alexander tends to be vastly interesting anyway, his writings devoid of ego or that mid-Victorian, adjective strewn romanticism. He does seem an acute observer; Pickett's Charge through Porter's pen may seem brief. It's as horrifying as if we were there anyway.

alex horse 1.JPG


Snipped this from an account by Porter of the Confederate army's retreat from Gettysburg, July 1863. No need for a back story in a forum composed of those of us who can't stay away from all-things-1861 - 1865.

Backstory needed is on the Dunkards. Dunk- baptized by immersion. A religious sect whose Pennsylvania roots helps explain this encounter. Putting their lives where their Bible was, Dunkards were remarkable. Truly, remarkable. A church member once armed himself after his business had been raided by Native American three times. Kicked out of the church. You didn't slide by the rules, that was it- no guns meant no guns. No violence. No false piety about this sect, no burning witches while elders played, no lies, drinking, tobacco, cruelty- you can fill in the blanks. German-Swiss, which probably means Alsace- a lot of them in Pennsylvania's history of immigration.

alex horse 2.JPG

It gets better.

alex horse 3.JPG

Right?

alex horse 4.JPG

Imboden's 17 mile train of wounded alone was enough to make the retreat unendurable for both wounded and those who managed to leave with a whole skin. That Porter could find time or energy, or have the inclination to take his hat off to a good man is as remarkable as the man with one horse.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,860
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Wonderful story of two honest men, Annie, Thanks for posting.

It was just so lovely. A different man than Alexander may have missed the point, perhaps written of the Dunkard with humorous disdain, you know? Two men of such simple and profound integrity running into each other in a shambles called war, and recognizing worth when they saw it got to me.
 

EJ Zander

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,390
Location
Gettysburg, PA
Interesting. Have experienced the 1 for 1 when bartering with another local denomination conservative church member. I attempted to include extra in the transaction out of good will. They then likewise wanted to contribute more. In subsequent transactions the same thing would happen. A great person and true friend.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,860
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Interesting. Have experienced the 1 for 1 when bartering with another local denomination conservative church member. I attempted to include extra in the transaction out of good will. They then likewise wanted to contribute more. In subsequent transactions the same thing would happen. A great person and true friend.

Dunkards are still with us? That's one of the most hopeful things I've read. Quite a few churches underwent slow changes through decades,split, changed names, ideologies became varied and we'd lose them. Really happy to know they're still here, returning that extra horse.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

EJ Zander

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,390
Location
Gettysburg, PA
Dunkards are still with us? That's one of the most hopeful things I've read. Quite a few churches underwent slow changes through decades,split, changed names, ideologies became varied and we'd lose them. Really happy to know they're still here, returning that extra horse.
Sorry not Dunkard. He is, conservative Brethren. But there are Dunkard Bretheran here locally. The church does trace back to the Schwarzenau Brethren (Dunkard) movement.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,860
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Sorry not Dunkard. He is, conservative Brethren. But there are Dunkard Bretheran here locally. The church does trace back to the Schwarzenau Brethren (Dunkard) movement.

We have a good number of Brethren around here, too. A few churches seem to have cut away, forming independent churches although it's hard ascertaining the difference. It all still seems the same bottom-line commitment to what we see dealing with the Dunkards. There are 3 tiny white churches topping hills just in a 12 mile stretch, still going strong if Sunday morning parking lots are an indication, dating from gosh, late 1700's, early 1800's? You just don't hear a lot of them.

Never occurred to me to ask if any were Dunkards. Signs say things like " Jacob's Church ", not which denomination. That's a good thread. We had Quakers break from their sects to take up arms in the war, my grgrgrandfather was one. Unlike his great grandfather who did the same thing in the Revolution and was allowed back in, he became a Methodist. Love to know if there were similar cases in Dunkard churches.
 

EJ Zander

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
1,390
Location
Gettysburg, PA
We have a good number of Brethren around here, too. A few churches seem to have cut away, forming independent churches although it's hard ascertaining the difference. It all still seems the same bottom-line commitment to what we see dealing with the Dunkards. There are 3 tiny white churches topping hills just in a 12 mile stretch, still going strong if Sunday morning parking lots are an indication, dating from gosh, late 1700's, early 1800's? You just don't hear a lot of them.

Never occurred to me to ask if any were Dunkards. Signs say things like " Jacob's Church ", not which denomination. That's a good thread. We had Quakers break from their sects to take up arms in the war, my grgrgrandfather was one. Unlike his great grandfather who did the same thing in the Revolution and was allowed back in, he became a Methodist. Love to know if there were similar cases in Dunkard churches.

This def could be its own thread and a long one, lol. There is a spectrum of how conservative each of the individual churches are. When you drive by the churches take a close look at whats parked out front. My own family has been historically mostly Moravian but we also have alot of current Brethren members. Some Mennonite to if memory serves. Doing the family research is complex.
Wow sounds like your family has some deep roots. Very interesting stuff.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top