Brass Napoleon Award Last Words and Moments of Soldiers

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

Andy Cardinal

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
2,133
Location
Ohio
Not exactly his last words, but I hope it fits the spirit of the thread--

Dear Parents, Brothers and Sisters: I am wounded, mortally I think. The fight rages around me. I have done my duty, this is my consolation. I hope to meet you all again. I left not the line until nearly all had fallen and the colors gone. I am getting weak, my arms are free, but my chest is all numb. The enemy trotting over me, the numbness up to my heart. Goodbye all. Your son, Allen.

Captain Allen Zacharias, 7th Michigan at Antietam. Zecharias was wounded in the West Woods and wrote this note as he lay on the field. A Maine soldier found Zacharias with the note, and sent the note home to Zacharias's family. In the end, Zacharias lived far longer than he or anyone else expected, not succumbing to his wound until December 31, 1862, at a hospital in Hagerstown.
 

Tom Elmore

Sergeant Major
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
2,454
Chaplain Flynn was asked the direction of the fighting by a dying lieutenant, who asked Flynn to turn him over so that he would face that way. He then calmly said, “I do not wish to die with my back towards the field of battle.” 1st Lieutenant Frederick Bliss, Company B, 8th Georgia; mortally wounded July 2, died July 4. [George Hillyer, Battle of Gettysburg, August 2, 1904]

Captain, if you will help me over the fence, I will try to go on.” Private John F Stephens, Company C, 9th Georgia; mortally wounded July 2. Captain Hillyer told him to remain where he was and have the litter corps carry him to the rear, but Stephens died in the meantime. [George Hillyer, Battle of Gettysburg, August 2, 1904]

You can do me no good; I am dying. Follow your piece!” Corporal Joseph T. Van Lantz, Taylor’s battery, Alexander’s battalion; killed July 2. Van Lantz was speaking to one of his comrades from the battery who came to his assistance. [Confederate Veteran, vol. 32 (1924), p. 59]

Oh, my poor wife and children.” Private Patrick McNeil, Parker’s battery, Alexander’s battalion; mortally wounded July 3. [Royall Figg, “Where Men Only Dare to Go!”]

Oh God, is it possible that I must die?” Colonel Joseph Wasden, 22nd Georgia; mortally wounded July 2. [Memoir of William B. Judkins, G/22 GA]

Now you may let go.” Levi Smith, Company A, 148th Pennsylvania; mortally wounded. A surgeon told him he would die soon after a comrade withdrew his hand that was compressing his wound, so Smith asked for paper and pen and wrote a letter to his mother. After finishing, he let himself fall back, hesitated a moment, then spoke his final words. [The Story of our Regiment, A History of the 148th Pennsylvania Vols., ed. by Adj. J. W. Muffly, Des Moines, IA: The Kenyon Printing and Mfg. Co., 1904]

George, keep up good courage.” Captain Henry V. Fuller, Company F, 64th New York; mortally wounded July 2. Private George W. Whipple had just helped drag Fuller to Rose Run when the Confederates came up and ordered Whipple to the rear. [Memories of George W. Whipple, Private, Company F, 64th N. Y. V., 1861-1865, 8th Georgia Infantry Webpage]

I would rather be killed than beaten today.” Corporal William W. Goodell, Company D, 14th Connecticut; killed July 3. [Souvenir of Excursion to Battlefields by the Society of the Fourteenth Connecticut Regiment, by Chaplain H. S. Stevens, Washington: Gibson Bros. Fronters and Bookbinders, 1893, p. 37]

Mother! Mother! Mother!” Colonel Harrison H. Jeffords, 4th Michigan; mortally wounded July 2. Recorded by his surgeon, who informed regimental quartermaster Lt. Robert H. Campbell. [War Reminiscences of Robert H. Campbell, Bentley Historical Library, Civil War collections online]

Oh, I am shot.” 2nd Lieutenant John J. McKeever, Company A, 29th Pennsylvania; mortally wounded July 3. [Captain William S. Stork, Personal Recollections of the Civil War, The Lutheran Observer, vol. 72, May 27, 1904]
 

LeeSouleles

Cadet
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
1
"You can do nothing for me. Go on." Captain William Scantland Sadler, 8th Tennessee, CSA, said this to his younger brother, Lee Sadler, during the Battle of Stones River/Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This happened around noon, December 31, 1862. He'd been hit by cannon fire while leading his men across a dry cornfield. Captain Sadler, my G-G-G-Grandfather came from Jackson County, Tennessee.
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
8,190
Location
Central Massachusetts
According to the San Francisco Bulletin, of 30 May 1862:
"The correspondent of a San Francisco paper says that Gen. Ben McCulloch, of the Confederates, who was killed in Arkansas during the late three days' battle, had his 'last word.' Just before he died he was told to prepare for the 'great change,' 'Oh, Hell!' replied he, and, rolling over on his side almost instantly breathed his last, and expired."​
Times-Picayune_1862-05-03_2.png

[N.O. Times-Picayune, May 3, 1862]

Centinel_Of_Freedom_1863-12-29_[4].png

[Newark Centinel of Freedom, Dec. 29, 1863]

Columbus_Daily_Enquirer_1866-06-07_[2].png

[June, 1866]​
 

Tom Elmore

Sergeant Major
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Messages
2,454
Come on, boys, come on! The Fifth Texas will get there before the Fourth. Come on, boys, come on!” Private Rufus B. Franks, Company I, 4th Alabama; mortally wounded July 2, died July 2 or 3 at the John Edward Plank farm. [W. C. Ward, “Incidents and Personal Experiences on the Battlefield of Gettysburg,” Confederate Veteran, vol. 8 (1900), pp,. 345-349]

The last words of Private Lucian Lloyd of Company G, 28th North Carolina on July 3 were that he wanted peace, as told to his tentmate James F. Craige of the same company. [The Hillsborough Recorder, NC, September 30, 1863, p. 3]

Don’t leave me, boys.” Private Edwin G. Aylesworth, Company G, 147th New York; mortally wounded July 1, died July 10 at Seminary hospital. Told to Capt. J. V. Pierce and Sgt. Peter Shuttz, who had to leave Aylesworth behind as Davis’ brigade closed in on them. [J. Volney Pierce, New York at Gettysburg, III:992]

I would like to see my mother and sisters, but I never will.” Andrew Gregg Tucker, 1st Lieutenant and Acting Adjutant, 142nd Pennsylvania; mortally wounded July 1, died on July 4 or 5. [https://civilwartalk.com/threads/university-of-lewisburg-connections-to-the-battle-of-gettysburg.162393/#post-2124121]

Tell mother I received my wound on my twentieth birthday. I give my life for my country; if I had another I would give it too.” Private Charles M. Lowe, Company K, 19th Maine; mortally wounded July 3. [Killed in Action, by Gregory A. Coco]

This is the fourth or fifth time they have shot at me, and they have hit me at last.” On being told by a surgeon there was no hope, he said, “Then I want you to send for my wife as soon as possible.” Later he said, “I presume I have done my last fighting.” In his final moments he attempted to repeat the Lord’s Prayer. Colonel Strong Vincent; mortally wounded July 2. [Eighty-Third Regiment, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, by Samuel P. Bates, vol. II; A. M. Judson, History of the Eight-Third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers]

Oh God!, I am shot.” 2nd Lieutenant Silas A. Miller, Company A, 12th U.S. Infantry; lived about 10 minutes after being struck on July 2. Recorded by Adjutant B. P. Mimmack, 12th U.S. Infantry. [Killed in Action, by Gregory A. Coco]

Lieutenant John L. Willman of Company D, 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade asked a superior officer to bear testimony to the world that he had discharged his duty faithfully as an officer. Willman was mortally wounded on July 3. [Eulogy of Lt. Col. John A. Steiner, 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade, Historical Society of Frederick County, Maryland]
 

rpkennedy

Major
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
9,810
Location
Carlisle, PA
"Don’t leave me, boys.” Private Edwin G. Aylesworth, Company G, 147th New York; mortally wounded July 1, died July 10 at Seminary hospital. Told to Capt. J. V. Pierce and Sgt. Peter Shuttz, who had to leave Aylesworth behind as Davis’ brigade closed in on them. [J. Volney Pierce, New York at Gettysburg, III:992]
Private Aylesworth calling out for help haunted Captain Pierce for the rest of his life. He wrote about it several times in the postwar era.

Ryan
 
Top