Brass Napoleon Award Last Words and Moments of Soldiers

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Andy Cardinal

2nd Lieutenant
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Joined
Feb 27, 2017
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

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
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]
 
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LeeSouleles

Cadet
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
"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.
 
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John Hartwell

Major
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Joined
Aug 27, 2011
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]

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

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[June, 1866]​
 

Tom Elmore

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
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]
 
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rpkennedy

Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
May 18, 2011
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
 

Tom Elmore

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Now let me die as a soldier and a Christian.” Brigadier General Paul J. Semmes; mortally wounded on July 2, died in Martinsburg, (West) Virginia on July 9 or 10. Told to James A. Cody and John Redd of the 2nd Georgia. [James Adolphus “Doll” Cody, the Friend of Gen. Semmes, by Lee Camp Moore, Confederate Reminiscences and Letters, 1861-1865, Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Atlanta, GA, vol. 7, p. 22]

A widow – three sweet babes fatherless – mourning – Miserere Mei Deus.” [Latin for “Have mercy on me, God”.] Private Newton J. Tedder, Company D, 17th Mississippi; mortally wounded July 2. [The Weekly Panola Star (Panola, Mississippi), June 2, 1866, p. 3]

Oh! Billy, I’m shot.” Private Joseph Calvin Clifford, Company G, 5th North Carolina; killed July 1. He spoke those words to his brother, William, of the same company. [http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/genealogy/ancestorcomments]

Good-bye, Captain, I hope we will meet in a better world. Tell all the boys good-bye for me, and tell them I glory in the spunk of Company I.” Private James M. Williams, Company I, 6th North Carolina; mortally wounded July 2. [The North Carolina Standard (Raleigh), July 29, 1863, p. 3]

Colonel, won’t you write to my folks that I died a soldier?” Corporal James Kelly, Company B, 6th Wisconsin; mortally wounded July 1, died July 21. Spoken to his Colonel, Rufus Dawes. [Letters of Rufus Dawes, http://www.nps.gov/gett/getttour/sidebar/dawes.htm]

I am shot!” Private Peter Drumheller, Company K, 151st Pennsylvania; killed July 1. Struck by a solid shot that severed both of his legs. [Like Ripe Apples in the Storm, The 151st Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, by Michael A. Dreese, Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2000, p. 39]

No, killed!” 2nd Lieutenant Elias B. Weidensaul, Company D, 150th Pennsylvania; killed July 1. Weidensaul was responding to the Adjutant’s question as to whether he was wounded. Weidensaul had been promoted to Lieutenant from 1st Sergeant the day before. [Address of Lt. Col. Thomas Chamberlin, Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, II:752; History of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, by Lt. Col. Thomas Chamberlin]

It’s all up with me, Faville.” Brigadier General Samuel Zook; mortally wounded July 2. 1st Lieutenant Josiah Faville was the brigade’s Assistant Adjutant General. [New York at Gettysburg, 57th New York]

Oh, God, cut me loose, let me go.” Private Cephas Dodd Sharp, Company D, 140th Pennsylvania; mortally wounded July 2. [http://www.pacivilwar.com/bios/sharp_cephas.html]

Well, they won’t do it, for I will shoot the first man who touches me. I am married and I won’t go home to be a burden on my wife.” Corporal James O. Butcher, Company D, 28th Pennsylvania; mortally wounded July 3. Butcher spoke with William Simpson (a musician assigned to the hospital) after being told by the surgeons that his left leg must be amputated. When the surgeons returned later in the day, Butcher was dead. [William T. Simpson, The Drummer Boys of Gettysburg, June 29, 1913, http://www.keltaskavern.com/28th/BillySimpson.html; Killed in Action, by Gregory A. Coco]
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
" Not while I have my sword arm left "

Lt. William Henry Pohlman, 59th New York. He survived long enough to die in a hospital so there may have been another ' last words ', this is what was recorded on the battlefield. Arm shattered by a ball, men begged him to go to leave the fight. " Not while I have my sword arm left ". His story is from an August, 1863 NY paper, found a lot more on him in different searches. Buried in Albany, NY.
 
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lelliott19

Captain
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Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
"Tell mother my trust is in God; how goes the fight?" the last words of Corporal August L. "Gus" Short, Co. C, 17th Georgia Infantry, "uttered while trembling in the death agony." Gus was killed or mortally wounded July 2 at Gettysburg. He was 20 years old. [The Daily Sun. (Columbus, Ga.), August 25, 1863, page 2.]

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[The Daily Sun. (Columbus, Ga.), August 25, 1863, page 2.]
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diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Nathan Bedford Forrest had a last conversation with a fellow he'd once threatened to kill - Minor Meriwether. It was the custom to visit dying people and there was a long line but Meriwether and his eleven year old son were last. The boy was still scared of Forrest! But he said, "Don't be afraid, Lee. Your father is my friend." Then he very gently brushed the boy's hair back and said, "May you grow to be a true son of the South." There was a pause and then he said, "Call my wife." And those were his last words.
 
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