Rare Image of John Chase on Stevens' Knoll

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Gettysburg Greg

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chase combo.jpg


The 5th Maine Battery Monument was dedicated on McKnight's (Stevens') Knoll in October of 1889. Among the veteran attendees was John Chase, known as the most wounded survivor from the war. Chase suffered 48 wounds including losing his right arm and left eye. Chase along with four of his comrades were photographed posng with their monument at the dedication ceremony. The top image shows Chase on the left with his four comrades and on the bottom is a rarely seen photograph of the same five individuals, again, Chase on the left, this time with the camera facing the opposite direction towards Cemetery Hill.
 
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John Hartwell

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July 1, 1863:
"A Confederate shell exploded near where Chase was standing. The blast took off his right arm, destroyed his left eye, and sent forty-eight pieces of shrapnel into his body. He was carried, unconscious, to the rear and left for dead. Two days later, his body was loaded onto a wagon along with many others to be buried. The wagon driver heard him moan, pulled him out from among the dead bodies, and gave him a drink of water. The first words Chase said were 'Did we win the battle?'" (Wikipedia)​

A tough character, indeed. He had already done the deed at Chancellorsville for which he would later be awarded a MoH.
 
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dhh712

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There has to be a story behind those last seven words.
Yes, to end on the note of a "faithless sweetheart" strikes up curiosity indeed!

Thank you for sharing the engaging details of this person's life. I don't know why I was struck by how young he still was after the war--I gather from the article 23 or 24 at the most; I can't tell if he meant he was 19 before the war or 19 when he was wounded. The more I read it I want to say that was before he was wounded, which would make him only like 21 or 22 after the war. Yet surely there were many this age with similar wounds though not as much in quantity.

A tough guy indeed. I love the phraseology he uses, "...but the old man is still here."
 
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John Hartwell

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Yes, to end on the note of a "faithless sweetheart" strikes up curiosity indeed!
And it still rankled after forty years ... he must have been badly hurt.

But, there must have been many sweethearts whose memory of the handsome young soldier going off to war just couldn't survive the sight of the scarred, crippled amputee who returned from it. It puts me in mind of another young girl whose friends were shocked that she would marry another such physical wreck of a man. She told them, "I'd rather be hugged by that one scarred arm than by all the good arms in America." That was a lucky man.
 

Tom Elmore

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And it still rankled after forty years ... he must have been badly hurt.

But, there must have been many sweethearts whose memory of the handsome young soldier going off to war just couldn't survive the sight of the scarred, crippled amputee who returned from it. It puts me in mind of another young girl whose friends were shocked that she would marry another such physical wreck of a man. She told them, "I'd rather be hugged by that one scarred arm than by all the good arms in America." That was a lucky man.
In 1864, Lieutenant Colonel Pliny Sheffield of the 50th Georgia wrote to Richmond, stating to Mary Hunt he had lost an arm, and would therefore release her from her engagement. She replied that in losing one arm he had gained two. [Submitted by Rosaline Sheffield, his daughter, Confederate Reminiscences and Letters, Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, vol. II, p. 45]
 
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