Soldiers of Company K, 50th Georgia Infantry at Gettysburg

Tom Elmore

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Brooks County lies in southern Georgia, along the border with Florida. In March 1862, a company known as the “Brooks Volunteers” was raised at Quitman, the county seat. It became Company K of the 50th Georgia Infantry, part of the brigade commanded by Brigadier General Paul J. Semmes at Gettysburg. Like many Georgia units, its service records are spotty for the period of the campaign, and since no brigade report was submitted by the mortally wounded Semmes, it is not easy to reconstruct the regiment’s role at Gettysburg. We are least fortunate in having one excellent account by a member of the company – Sergeant William M. Jones. In addition, the acting company commander, Lieutenant John G. McCall, was a prominent figure. Otherwise, we are compelled to rely upon dry facts about individual soldiers, although some insight is derived from post-war pension applications.

We can be certain that the company and the regiment as a whole suffered terribly on July 2 from Federal artillery. Company K received one of those particularly destructive single shots just as it stood up to begin the advance, which killed two men, wounded two more gravely, and perhaps others less seriously. During its advance to the farm dwellings of George Rose, it endured a gauntlet of fire from 18 cannon at close range, namely three batteries under the command of Captains A. Judson Clark, Charles A. Philips and John Bigelow. The apparent net effect was to whittle the regiment down from an estimated initial strength of about 30 officers and 272 enlisted men, to just a few dozen effectives, within the span of 45 minutes.

So far as is known, Company K entered the fight with but one officer and approximately 27 enlisted men, if it was of average size. The following list identifies the officer and 16 of those men, in addition to three detailed non-combatants. My draft map (attached) map depicts the 50th Georgia while it was huddling in disorder around the Rose house due to ongoing fire from enemy artillery posted on or near the Wheatfield road. Only 40 or so men subsequently rallied to support the 3rd South Carolina of Kershaw’s brigade as it withstood the attacking Federal infantry brigades of Zook (Freudenberg) and Kelly.

John Goldwire McCall, 1st Lieutenant, present, commanding Company K. “In looking over the battlefield for a wounded brother [Wilson C. McCall], he came near to being caught by the ambulance corps of the Federal army, who by agreement had been allowed to come over and bury their dead.” (Normally an informal truce existed between opposing search parties. On the night of July 3, it was also the case that Federals from McCandless’ brigade gathered up Confederates who ventured near the Rose buildings.) During the retreat of the army, while guarding a bridge over Antietam Creek on July 10, a ball (gunshot) shattered McCall’s right jaw. On July 25, he was admitted to General Hospital #4 in Richmond, and was given a furlough for 60 days on July 27. His wound healed rapidly, however. Born on January 18, 1836 in Screven County, Georgia, he graduated from Union University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1858. He became professor of Greek and Hebrew at the university until the war broke out. Post-war he served as a probate judge and the mayor of Quitman. In 1917, William Moore Jones described him as a “gallant and trustworthy officer, always ready to perform all the duties devolving upon him, and worthy of everything coming his way.” On August 26, 1920, he vouched for the pension application of a former soldier, James A. Groover. McCall died on December 3, 1921 in Brooks County. (Confederate Reminiscences and Letters, 1861-1865, Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Atlanta, Georgia (1995-2000), vol. 6, pp. 38-39; Memoirs of Georgia: Containing Historical Accounts, Atlanta, GA: The Southern Historical Association, 1895, vol. 1, p. 384; Confederate Military History, Extended Addition, vol. VII, Georgia, pp. 803-804; Compiled Service Records, Fold3; The History of Brooks County, Georgia, 1858-1948, Spartanburg, SC: The Reprint Company, Publishers, 1978, pp. 119-123; Georgia’s Virtual Vault, Confederate Pension Applications, Thomas County and Brooks County; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/30170823/john-goldwire-mccall)

Wilson C. McCall, [4th?] Sergeant, wounded. Brother of Lt. John G. McCall. He enlisted at Quitman on March 4, 1862. Following his wounding at Gettysburg, he was admitted to General Hospital #9 in Richmond on July 25. He was afterwards promoted to sergeant major of the regiment. He died in 1914. (Compiled Service Records, Fold3; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/37769109/wilson-c-mccall)

William Moore Jones, 5th Sergeant, wounded. During the advance on July 2, a canister ball struck his right leg between the ankle and knee joint. Carried off the field on a stretcher by James Brice and Clem Humphreys, his foot was amputated in a field hospital by brigade surgeon George Rogers Clark Todd (the brother of Mary Todd Lincoln), aided by the 50th’s Assistant Surgeon Henry J. Parramore. On the retreat, Jones occupied an ambulance with Captain A. J. McBride of the 10th Georgia, but he was left behind in Williamsport, Maryland and taken to a field hospital in Hagerstown. From there he was sent on to the General Hospital near Chester, Pennsylvania, followed by confinement at Point Lookout, until he was exchanged on March 17, 1864. He retired from active service on October 25, 1864. Born September 13, 1841 to Malachi D. Jones (father) and Sarah (mother), he enlisted in his hometown of Quitman, where his family had a plantation. He was wounded at Chancellorsville two months prior to Gettysburg. Jones died and was buried in Boston, Thomas County, Georgia on March 3, 1936. (Georgia’s Virtual Vault, Confederate Pension Applications, Thomas County and Brooks County; Reminiscence by Sgt. William Jones, 50th Georgia Infantry, by Keith Bohannon, Military Images, May-June 1988; War Services and Diary of Sgt. William Moore Jones, Confederate Reminiscences and Letters, 1861-1865, Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Atlanta, GA: 1995, vol. V, p. 118)

Kasper G. Duncan, 3rd Corporal, wounded in the foot. He enlisted on March 4, 1862 at Quitman. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

James “Jim” M. Alderman, Corporal, killed. As noted, an artillery shell exploded above Company K just as the advance began on July 2, killing Alderman and James Dixon, and wounding George H. Merriman, Jesse N. Stephens and others. He had enlisted March 4, 1862 at Quitman. His owed back pay and allowances were given to his father, George Alderman, on February 3, 1864. (Reminiscence by Sgt. William Jones, 50th Georgia Infantry, by Keith Bohannon, Military Images, May-June 1988; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

William R. Alvis, Private, wounded, captured. Wounded in the heel and hip, he was left behind and sent to DeCamp General Hospital on David’s Island, New York, where he was paroled on August 24, 1863. He was captured again toward the close of the war, and when released from Point Lookout on June 22, 1865, was described as having a dark complexion, dark hair, hazel eyes, and standing 5’ 2 1/2” tall. He enlisted April 24, 1862 at Quitman. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

(David) James Brice, Private, present. James Brice was detailed as an ambulance driver in the regiment, and he also served as a litter bearer during the battle, taking wounded men off the field on the night of July 2, including Sgt. William M. Jones. (Reminiscence by Sgt. William Jones, 50th Georgia Infantry, by Keith Bohannon, Military Images, May-June 1988; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

James “Jim” M. Dixon, Private, killed. Killed by the same exploding artillery shell that claimed James Alderman and wounded several others prior to the advance on July 2. He had enlisted on May 13, 1862 at Quitman. (Reminiscence by Sgt. William Jones, 50th Georgia Infantry, by Keith Bohannon, Military Images, May-June 1988; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

Virgil A. Giddings, Private, wounded. The nature of his wound is not known. He enlisted May 6, 1862 at Quitman, and was killed at Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

James A. Groover, Private, present. He enlisted on March 4, 1862 at Quitman, and died on May 9, 1882 in Brooks County. (Georgia’s Virtual Vault, Confederate Pension Applications, Thomas County)

Clement T. “Clem” Humphreys, Private, present. Humphreys was detailed as an ambulance driver/litter bearer in the regiment, and he worked with James Brice in removing the wounded from the battlefield on the night of July 2, including Sgt. William M. Jones. In 1862, he had been detached as a nurse to a hospital in Macon, Georgia. When paroled at Thomasville, Georgia on May 17, 1865, he was described as being 5’ 8” tall, with dark hair, black-colored eyes and a fair complexion. (Reminiscence by Sgt. William Jones, 50th Georgia Infantry, by Keith Bohannon, Military Images, May-June 1988; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

Tarlton B. Joyce, Private, wounded, captured. Wounded in the hip, he was left behind when the army retreated. Taken to DeCamp General Hospital in New York City for only a few weeks, he was paroled on August 24, 1863 and returned to duty. He had enlisted on March 20, 1862 at Quitman. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

James M. Kelly, Private, wounded. The nature of his wound was not described, but he rejoined the regiment until he was captured at the end of the war on April 6, 1865. He enlisted March 4, 1862 at Quitman. When he took the oath of allegiance at Point Lookout on June 28, 1865, he was listed as having light brown hair, blue eyes, a light complexion and stood 5’ 4 1/2” tall. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

John Hardy King, Private, wounded. The nature of his wound was not indicated, but he recovered and was subsequently seriously wounded at Knoxville on November 29, 1863. He enlisted May 11, 1862 at Quitman. He died in 1912 in Berrien County, Georgia and was buried at Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery in Cook County. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3; Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg by John W. Busey and Travis W. Busey, 1:485; Georgia’s Virtual Vault, Confederate Pension Applications, Berrien County)

John G. F. McCall (his relationship to the McCall brothers above is not known), Private, wounded. The nature of his wounds were not mentioned, and he was admitted to Winder Hospital in Richmond. Returning to his regiment, he was killed at Petersburg on June 19, 1864. He had enlisted March 4, 1862 at Quitman. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

George Henry Merriman, Private, wounded, captured. He was wounded in the left breast and lung by a shell fragment which caused hemorrhage and difficult respiration. Left behind in a field hospital after the battle, he arrived at DeCamp General Hospital on David’s Island, New York by July 24. Paroled on August 24, he was admitted to a Petersburg, Virginia hospital on August 28, and furloughed on September 4. Throughout 1864, he spent time in a hospital at Tallahassee, Florida. He was retired from the service on November 22, 1864, and was paroled at Madison, Florida on May 20, 1865. Merriman had enlisted on April 20, 1862 at Quitman. His wife, Caroline Lewis, applied for a pension in Jefferson County, Florida in 1888. (Florida Confederate Pension Applications; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

Jesse N. Stephens, Private, wounded. He was wounded just over the left eye and left temple by a fragment from an exploding shell at the start of the advance, which fractured three inches of bone and permanently blinded him in the left eye. He was received at General Hospital #9 in Richmond on July 20, 1863 and sent the next day to Camp Winder General Hospital. He had enlisted at Quitman on March 4, 1862 and was paroled at Thomasville on May 21, 1865. Stephens was born on April 7, 1833 in Liberty County, Georgia. His wife Cornelia applied for a pension in Suwannee County, Florida in 1896. (Compiled Service Records, Fold3; Florida Confederate Pension Applications)

Henry H. Strickland, Private, wounded. He enlisted March 4, 1862 at Quitman. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

Benjamin Franklin Whittington, Private, present. He was detailed during the battle, probably in a non-combatant role. (Confederate Reminiscences and Letters, 1861-1865, Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Atlanta, Georgia (1995-2000), vol. 2, p. 35; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)

Leonard Winters, Private, wounded, captured. Type of wound not described. He was captured at Cashtown on July 5 or else at Falling Waters on July 14. Being sent to the General Hospital at Chester, Pennsylvania, he died from pneumonia on either September 23 or 30, 1863. (Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, July 31, 1863, casualty list; Compiled Service Records, Fold3)
 

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Gettysburg Guide #154

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It is always amazing to see the detail that you are able to provide down to a very granular level.

In looking at your map, there were two things that crossed my mind. One is why Freudenberg is shown as the brigade commander. Of course, Zook is already wounded and had been removed from the field by this time. However, I have so far not come across a source that puts Freudenberg in command.

In his "Diary of a Young Officer" Zook's A.A.G., Josiah Favil, states that upon meeting the mortally wounded Zook being escorted to the rear by another aide, he told that aid that he " . . . would turn over command to [Col. Orlando] Morris [66th NY] and join him as soon as I could, but Morris was not to be found readily in the great confusion of battle. [Col. Richard] Roberts of the One Hundred Fortieth was killed, and the troops by this time were sadly mixed up with other commands. I found [John] Frazer, however, the lieutenant-colonel of the One Hundred Fortieth Pennsylvania, next in rank, and notified him of the death of Zook, and directed him to assume command." I note that it is Lt. Col. John Frazer who files the official report for the brigade. I believe that Freudenberg was wounded during the fight, but I am not sure when that occurred.

Another point that struck me was the position of the brigade as being entirely east of the fence bordering the west side of Rose's Woods. The regimental history for the 140th PA states that the right 3 companies (C, F, and G) met with the heaviest losses because they were "in the open and exposed to enfilading fire". A bit earlier, the same history mentions a move by the right flank to correct an overlap with the 116th PA in their front. It seems that it was this movement that caused the right companies to be in the open, so perhaps it is your interpretation that the map of 18:25 shows the situation just prior to this movement.
 

Tom Elmore

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It is always amazing to see the detail that you are able to provide down to a very granular level.

In looking at your map, there were two things that crossed my mind. One is why Freudenberg is shown as the brigade commander. Of course, Zook is already wounded and had been removed from the field by this time. However, I have so far not come across a source that puts Freudenberg in command.

In his "Diary of a Young Officer" Zook's A.A.G., Josiah Favil, states that upon meeting the mortally wounded Zook being escorted to the rear by another aide, he told that aid that he " . . . would turn over command to [Col. Orlando] Morris [66th NY] and join him as soon as I could, but Morris was not to be found readily in the great confusion of battle. [Col. Richard] Roberts of the One Hundred Fortieth was killed, and the troops by this time were sadly mixed up with other commands. I found [John] Frazer, however, the lieutenant-colonel of the One Hundred Fortieth Pennsylvania, next in rank, and notified him of the death of Zook, and directed him to assume command." I note that it is Lt. Col. John Frazer who files the official report for the brigade. I believe that Freudenberg was wounded during the fight, but I am not sure when that occurred.

Another point that struck me was the position of the brigade as being entirely east of the fence bordering the west side of Rose's Woods. The regimental history for the 140th PA states that the right 3 companies (C, F, and G) met with the heaviest losses because they were "in the open and exposed to enfilading fire". A bit earlier, the same history mentions a move by the right flank to correct an overlap with the 116th PA in their front. It seems that it was this movement that caused the right companies to be in the open, so perhaps it is your interpretation that the map of 18:25 shows the situation just prior to this movement.
Bill, I figure Freudenberg was in command of the brigade for less than 10 minutes between the time Zook fell and Fraser assumed command, according to Freudenberg himself:

(Letter of Lt. Col. Charles G. Freudenberg, Bachelder Papers, 1:667) After Gen. Zook was wounded, or killed, I took command of the brigade, gave the order "cease firing" then "forward march," placing myself in front of the 52d N.Y., which was in the center, with the intention of charging the enemy in front of us. I was immediately disabled by three shots and carried off the field ...

Your assessment of the 140th Pennsylvania's movement is spot on. Because Kelly cut in front of, and overlapped, Fraser's left, the latter shifted right, which moved the three right companies of the 140th Pennsylvania out into the field, as indicated on my attached map 1840 (6:40 p.m.). At this time the rallied portion of the 50th Georgia (about 40 men) was joining in, and 7th South Carolina's right has been doubled back as Kershaw so clearly described, and is just about to be driven back.
 

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Gettysburg Guide #154

Sergeant
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Bill, I figure Freudenberg was in command of the brigade for less than 10 minutes between the time Zook fell and Fraser assumed command, according to Freudenberg himself:

(Letter of Lt. Col. Charles G. Freudenberg, Bachelder Papers, 1:667) After Gen. Zook was wounded, or killed, I took command of the brigade, gave the order "cease firing" then "forward march," placing myself in front of the 52d N.Y., which was in the center, with the intention of charging the enemy in front of us. I was immediately disabled by three shots and carried off the field ...

Your assessment of the 140th Pennsylvania's movement is spot on. Because Kelly cut in front of, and overlapped, Fraser's left, the latter shifted right, which moved the three right companies of the 140th Pennsylvania out into the field, as indicated on my attached map 1840 (6:40 p.m.). At this time the rallied portion of the 50th Georgia (about 40 men) was joining in, and 7th South Carolina's right has been doubled back as Kershaw so clearly described, and is just about to be driven back.
Tom: Thanks for the citation to Freudenberg's letter. As always, you have sound support for your maps. I am currently researching Zook's Brigade for a program on the field in August, and haven't yet got into Bachelder, so this is a big help.
 

rpkennedy

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Tom: Thanks for the citation to Freudenberg's letter. As always, you have sound support for your maps. I am currently researching Zook's Brigade for a program on the field in August, and haven't yet got into Bachelder, so this is a big help.
Let us know when you have the program together. You're apt to have a CivilWarTalk audience.

Ryan
 

Gettysburg Guide #154

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The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides runs a series of programs on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. This year the first program will be on June 1 and continue through and including August 31. The walks start at 5:30 p.m. and run for 2.5 to 3 hours. The cost is $35. Further information will soon be available on the Association Website. https://gettysburgtourguides.org

My tour on Zook's Brigade is scheduled for August 10. I am also doing a program on Indiana at Gettysburg on June 22.

There will be another series of walks on Sunday afternoons during the fall beginning September 7 through and including October 26. The Sunday afternoon walks begin at 2:00.
 

rpkennedy

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The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides runs a series of programs on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. This year the first program will be on June 1 and continue through and including August 31. The walks start at 5:30 p.m. and run for 2.5 to 3 hours. The cost is $35. Further information will soon be available on the Association Website. https://gettysburgtourguides.org

My tour on Zook's Brigade is scheduled for August 10. I am also doing a program on Indiana at Gettysburg on June 22.

There will be another series of walks on Sunday afternoons during the fall beginning September 7 through and including October 26. The Sunday afternoon walks begin at 2:00.
Do you know when they will release a list for the 2021 season?

Ryan
 

infomanpa

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The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides runs a series of programs on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. This year the first program will be on June 1 and continue through and including August 31. The walks start at 5:30 p.m. and run for 2.5 to 3 hours. The cost is $35. Further information will soon be available on the Association Website. https://gettysburgtourguides.org

My tour on Zook's Brigade is scheduled for August 10. I am also doing a program on Indiana at Gettysburg on June 22.

There will be another series of walks on Sunday afternoons during the fall beginning September 7 through and including October 26. The Sunday afternoon walks begin at 2:00.
By the end of the summer, those 3 hour Tuesday walks will be ending in the dark!
 

Lubliner

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@Tom Elmore do you have these maps printed onto paper yet, and if so what size sheets, and how much coverage of the Gettysburg Battlefield area in how many sheets? The reason I ask is that if available on printed paper, I would consider purchasing a set of them, and definitely if I could piece them together, individually, for wider coverage. Thanks,
Lubliner.
 

Gettysburg Guide #154

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Scott F

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To build on what Tom said, Caldwell when he sent Col. Brooke in, likely directed him to inform Zook along with Brooke to move the line forward while he drummed up supports for the division. Brooke claimed Freudenberg was the first officer he had seen from Zook's brigade as he was three quarters of the way across the Wheatfield, and he had told him that Zook was taken from the field wounded. He more than likely placed Freudenberg in charge of the brigade to move them forward with his brigade. Freudenberg did so but was wounded only moments later. Meanwhile Favill was trying to find Morris but he had been one of the first wounded and was headed to the rear. When Freudenberg got the brigade moving again, taking their movements from the right, Morris took hold of the colors and was charging his regiment towards the Stony Hill when he was wounded. Because of the 66th NY and the 52 NY's charge, they got mixed up with the NY regiments from the Irish Brigade. Col. Roberts, about the time Zook had been wounded, broke contact with the brigade line in order to maneuver around the 116th Pa. He was killed not long after that. Favill found Lt. Col. Fraser and told him he was in charge but just then, Brooke came up (he had been stalled at the bottom of the Wheatfield) "and took charge of the whole line." Although Fraser claimed in his report that he did not know that Zook had been wounded until after the battle let alone he was in charge of the brigade, this is likely not true. Brooke had repeated several times in his accounts that he had taken charge of the whole line and also claimed that he had received a situation report from the 140th when Fraser was in charge. There seems to be an consorted effort among the officers in the division's official reports to hide this fact. Probably because it would have reflected poorly on General Caldwell. Apparently, two officers in the Irish Brigade didn't get the memo and had mentioned that Col. Brooke was in charge of the division. One undeniable piece of information that will tie everything together, is that General Zook was wounded nowhere near where his monument stands today and later in the battle than history dictates. Back in the early 1880s the Wibles owned the land and the field was still under cultivation. One or two years before Zook's monument was placed, the 27th Conn. made memorial stones for two of their officers to be placed where they had fell, with the inscriptions "Here fell Col. Merwin and Here fell Capt. Chapman" (something along those lines). Unfortunately they were not allowed to place them at those locations and were forced to place them together along the easement of the Wheatfield Road. Several years later when the Battlefield association purchased the land the 27th Conn. placed their monument on the spot where Merwin fell and Chapman's stone was moved to the proper spot also. Merwin's stone was replaced with a new inscription stating this fact. A year or so later, Zook's monument was placed under the same circumstances, in the easement on top of a rock so as to not interfere with any farming. The real location of his wounding is somewhere near the 57th NY's monument. This makes Favill's account more sensible and relevant, because he truly had no reason to lie, unlike Fraser and even Brooke.
 

lelliott19

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During the retreat of the army, while guarding a bridge over Antietam Creek on July 10, a ball (gunshot) shattered McCall’s right jaw.
According to then Lieut. William H Sharpe (K/50th GA) Capt. John G McCall was wounded on the morning of July 10 at Funkstown and Private John G F McCall had his forefinger shot off (!) at the same place. Sharpe names several others who were present at the Funkstown fight and whom I presume were with the regiment at Gettysburg? Walter Joyce, Corporal (?) McCall, and Jack Duncan (wounded in the nose at Funkstown.)
Thanks. I am always eager for any Semmes brigade information.
You'll enjoy reading this one
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Waycross Weekly Herald. (Waycross, Ga.), June 30, 1900, page 4.
 

Scott F

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Lt. William (Billy) Pendleton was just an 18-year-old officer for Company B of the 50th Georgia. Here is what wrote about the skirmish at Funkstown.

At sundown we turned left, marched two miles, and camped in an apple orchard, on Antietam Creek, near the place of battle of the year before. The Confederates call it Sharpsburg. The next morning General McLaws rode by. His wife was a Pendleton. After the war I traced the relationship. Across the creek was Funkstown, Maryland. In the course of the morning we were marched across the creek and through the town, and saw a Confederate battery on a hill. We formed in line of battle and advanced. At the same time both batteries opened up. While advancing Lieutenant Sharp was sent out on skirmish line and soon became engaged with enemy's skirmish line. My line was in a farm yard, under fire of skirmishers, behind stones and a fence. I saw a hen and some chickens, which made me homesick.

During this time Lieutenant sharp was fighting bravely, but soon was ordered to retreat to the farmyard. Sharp was angry at being recalled. Then some men started firing but we couldn't see the enemy. I was sitting with Colonel [Major] McGlashen, Captain McCalb, and others. After a while a bullet hit Captain McCalb in the cheek, and he had to goto the rear. A little later when I happened to look down the line I saw a man from Thomas County killed dead. He was the only man killed in that place. We stayed there until sundown, and then were withdrawn to the same camp, across the creek in the orchard, where we stayed two days in line of battle, behind a stone wall... Also I wrote home about the battle of Gettysburg. I opened the letter saying, "The Lord has saved my life through another great battle."
 

Scott F

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Pendleton's letter home was not included in his memoirs but his narrative was interesting....

About four in the afternoon we formed in line of battle behind a stone fence which was behind a hill. I knew a battle was imminent. Colonel Kearse addressed each company, telling the men to fight and win. Soon the firing from my brigade began which was answered. Before our canteens were filled, – the man that took them did not get back in time, - we were ordered to advance. We moved forward over a hill into an open field where we were under fire. We came to a road with high fences on both sides; the firing was getting hotter. I wondered if I would ever get across the fences. We were going toward a peach orchard, but were ordered to right oblique. The firing was very heavy and dangerous. Colonel Kearse and Sergeant Hersey were killed. I didn't know it at the time, but both were killed dead.
We went down toward a wood and through it. The men in front retreated, and finally our men gave way about two hundred yards. We passed a stream which was bloody from wounded men drinking, but I drank some too. The men rallied in a lane, I called to them, “Let's show we can fight in Pennsylvania as well as in Virginia.” When the regiment rallied, Major McGlashen started right for the enemy, but they had retreated. We were now in a thick wood and attacked
with Hood's Texas division. We went on with them, following up the enemy. An officer came up who had lost his command – Lieutenant W. A. Tenille, of the Fifteenth Georgia
[ 9th Georgia Anderson's Brigade]. We got to the edge of the wood, to the right in front were Hood's men. [CSA] I was behind a fence in the woods. A mile beyond where the enemy had retreated, we reached the top of a hill. At sunset an officer came up to Major McGlashen and asked him for reinforcements. I was sent over in charge of B, C, and H companies and stayed for a while. The firing stopped after dark. The officer had seemed familiar to me, and I found out he was a brother of a cadet at Marietta, - Frank Fontaine,
 

Scott F

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It was a moonlight night. When I went back regiment the dead and wounded were lying all amoun crying for water. Sergeant Bailey gave some to a soldier who assaulted him with his fists.

About ten o'clock I heard a voice asking what regiment we were. It was Lieutenant Colonel Flemming who had not been in the battle
[Major Flemming was in the battle but got separated from Major McGlashan when their line broke]. He had orders to bring the regiment back to the brigade by the spring. We started back. I walked with Flemming and asked him about Colonel Kearse. Captain Bedford of our company had been shot through the ankle. Captain Ford of Company A had been killed dead. I said, “Colonel, will this war never end?” I was very sad about my dead friends. We got back to a farm house, where we lay all night in line of battle. This was the second day of the battle of Gettysburg.
The next day we gathered up the dead and buried them.

I found a blanket on the field and we buried Colonel Kearse in it. I covered his face with an old shirt. During the burial I heard the battery start firing, so I went back to position after marking Kearse's grave. There were three batteries on left, right, and behind us, and the enemy's in front. This battle was the greatest artillery battle the world had known. Lee's men charged but were repulsed.
 

Scott F

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Sep 6, 2015
Major McGlashan of the 50th Georgia who took command of the regiment after Col. Kearse was killed by artillery, wrote General McLaws in 1886.

On the evening of the 2d of July, about 4 o'clock, the 50th Georgia Regiment, together with the 10th, 51st and 53d Regiments, forming Semmes' brigade, were ordered forward to attack the enemy's position in front of Little Round Top, about three-quarter of a mile from our lines. The space between being an open valley, traversed by the Emmitsburg road, we moved on rapidly with Kershaw's brigade in front of us directing our march against a wooded slope at the base of Little Round Top, under a severe and sustained fire of shot and shell from the enemy's batteries, which as we got nearer was changed to grape and canister. My regiment, the 50th, lost nearly one-third of its number under this fire, including the colonel [Kearse] of the regiment. When I assumed command of it--as Kershaw's brigade entered the wooded slope--a dense and large mass of infantry suddenly arose, poured in a destructive fire of musketry and charged, driving the front line, or a large portion of it, in confusion against the Second (Semmes') Brigade (only half of the line came back and it came in line, not in confusion), disengaging our line from the broken first. We rushed against the enemy and for what seemed to me an hour (not so long) the hottest and sternest struggle of the war was waged at the edge of the woods. It was a regular melee, the opposing ranks mingling and fighting hand to hand with bayonet and clubbed musket. Here General Semmes was mortally wounded and sent to the rear, with the captured flag of a Pennsylvania regiment [62nd Pennsylvania's regimental colors captured by Pvt. Edward J. Smith and Alfred Norris of Company E, Phillips' Legion]. At last the deadly fire of our men began to tell on the masses and they retreated rapidly up the slope, followed by our line. The portion of Kershaw's brigade which had been forced back was promptly met and brought back by General McLaws in person and placed on our right.
[Lafayette McLaws, "McLaws' Division and the Penna. Reserves on the Second Day at Gettysburg," The Press (October 20, 1886).]

@lelliott19 I wrote an article about the captured flags in the Wheatfield, that is going to be published in the Civil War Times, thanks to information you provided in an old post "Cheer Less". I tried to include you in the PM but I guess since you are a moderator it wouldn't let me include you. But thanks to you and Tom Elmore for your excellent research.
 
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