Previous Wounds Among Gettysburg Veterans

Tom Elmore

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Jan 16, 2015
High ranking officers like Richard S. Ewell and Oliver O. Howard were not the only ones with previous battle injuries to serve at Gettysburg:

(USA) Lieutenant Colonel George A. Woodward, commanding the 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves, was unable to accompany his regiment as it advanced across Plum Run Valley from Little Round Top late in the day on July 2, because of wounds he had sustained at Glendale [June 30, 1862], although he slept that night with his regiment at the stone wall bordering the east side of the Wheatfield. Major P. McDonough led the regiment in the charges it made on July 2 and 3. (Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, I:114;

(CSA) Lieutenant Colonel Powhatan Bolling Whittle of the 38th Virginia had lost his left arm at Malvern Hill [July 1, 1862]. On July 3 at Gettysburg, he was severely wounded in both the right arm and left thigh. (Letter of James Booker, Company D, 38th Virginia; Memorandum of the 38th Virginia, Southern Historical Society Papers)

(CSA) Major Charles S. Peyton, commanding the 19th Virginia and remnants of Garnett’s brigade after July 3, had lost his arm at Second Manassas [late August 1862], and rejoined his unit in April 1863. During the grand assault against Cemetery Ridge he received a painful flesh wound, but he was the only field officer in the brigade capable of duty following that charge. (Confederate Veteran magazine, vol. 21 (1913), p. 495; Confederate Military History, Extended Addition, vol. 3 (West Virginia), pp. 256-257)

(CSA) Major John Cheves Haskell, while a lieutenant, had his right arm torn off at the shoulder by the discharge of an enemy cannon when he was within ten feet of the muzzle. This occurred near Gaines’ Mill on June 27, 1862. Haskell was attached as an adjunct officer to the First Corps artillery at Gettysburg. (The Making of an Artillery Officer: Major John Cheves Haskell at Gettysburg, by David L. Shultz and Steven C. Nelson, No. 62, January 2020, p. 55)

(CSA) Captain Benjamin Hodges Smith, Jr., commanding the Third Company of Richmond Howitzers (actually four 3-inch Rifles) posted on Seminary Ridge on July 2 and 3, had lost a foot to amputation in October 1862. (A Gunner in Lee’s Army: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Henry Carter, by Graham T. Dozier, p. 145)

(CSA) Captain Thomas Edwin Betts of Company C, 40th Virginia, sustained a partial paralysis of his right arm at the battle of Gaines’ Mill [June 27, 1862]. He was captured on the retreat from Gettysburg. (Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

(CSA) 1st Lieutenant Champe W. Pattie of Company A (“Hardy Blues”), 25th Virginia had lost one eye while fighting as a sergeant at Kernstown on March 23, 1862. (Confederate Veteran magazine, vol. 19 (1911), p. 348)

(CSA) First Lieutenant William Ambrose Wright of Company K, 3rd Georgia was serving as ordnance officer in the brigade led by his father, Brigadier General Ambrose Ransom Wright. William had lost a leg at Second Manassas [late August 1862] and rode with two crutches attached to his saddle. On June 25, after the brigade encamped for the evening near Sharpsburg, the brigade staff rode forward to Keedysville, Maryland on a reconnaissance. While in that village they were surprised by a squad of Federal cavalry operating from Harper’s Ferry. Being unable to keep up with his comrades while falling back, William was captured. (Fighting With the 3rd Georgia, by Alfred Zachry, Civil War Times Illustrated, Sep-Oct 1994, vol. 33, no. 4, p. 68; George S. Bernard, Company E, 12th Virginia; Grinnan Family Papers, 12th Virginia)

(USA) 1st Sergeant George W. Haight of the 24th Michigan was still suffering from a wound he had received at Fitzhugh’s Crossing [April 1863], but he went into battle anyway on July 1, and was severely wounded again, in the leg. Colonel Morrow mentioned him for bravery. (Official Report of Col. Henry A. Morrow, 24th Michigan)

(CSA) Private Ira Wheeler, Company A, 49th Georgia, had his right thumb shot off at the middle joint at Cedar Run [also known as Cedar Mountain] on August 9, 1862. At Gettysburg he had his left leg grazed by a glancing artillery round. (Georgia Virtual Vault, Confederate Pension Applications, Jones County)


Brigadier General
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Mar 15, 2013
Here are some to add to your list. The first one we have talked about before.

(CSA) Sergeant Major Wm Washington Montgomery of the 16th Georgia. On December 11, 1862 at the Battle of Fredericksburg, he was wounded slightly - described as "contusion by shell." At Gettysburg, on July 2, 1863, he was wounded "slightly in the arm."

These other two had previous amputations and were participants in the Battle of Gettysburg. Maybe amputated fingers did not qualify you for a discharge as long as you could still load the gun and pull the trigger?

(CSA) Pvt Thomas D Aaron, Company A, 16th Georgia, enlisted July 10, 1861 at Danielsville, Georgia. On December 13, 1862 during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Aaron received a gunshot wound to the hand, necessitating amputation of the middle finger. At Gettysburg, he was captured July 2, 1863; sent to Ft Delaware and on to Pt Lookout 10/13/1863; paroled at Pt Lookout and exchanged 2/13/1865.

(CSA) Pvt Albert Lafayette Allen, Company A, 16th Georgia, age 24, enlisted Feb 3, 1862 at Danielsville, Georgia. On December 13, 1862 during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Allen received a gunshot wound to the left hand, necessitating amputation of a finger. At Gettysburg, he was wounded "through the body" on July 2, 1863, captured and died July 13, 1863 at the US Fifth corps field hospital at Michael Fiscel's farm.

The Southern Watchman. (Athens, Ga.), December 24, 1862, page 2.


Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
May 18, 2011
Carlisle, PA
Colonel George H. Ward of the 15th Massachusetts was wounded at the Battle of Ball's Bluff and his left foot was amputated. At Gettysburg, he was mortally wounded commanding his own regiment and the 82nd New York around the Codori House when Ambrose Wright's Georgians attacked Cemetery Ridge.


nc native

Aug 30, 2011
NC Piedmont
One of my direct ancestors Lt. James Peyton Glenn in Company D of the 18th Virginia was wounded in the ear at Gaines Mill and then wounded again at Second Bull Run in the right thigh. The second wound was serious enough to put him out of action until March 1863 when he returned as the company commander. He was wounded again in the leg during Pickett's Charge and captured and after being discharged from a Baltimore hospital in August 1863, he was sent to Johnson's Island, Ohio. He was paroled in March 1865 and received a promotion to Captain shortly after his release and just before the war ended.

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