Counterpoint The Most Terrifying Death in the War

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
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Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Whether atrocities of fearful tragedy and revenge or plain facing the rebel charge, which death do you determine to be the most terror stricken moment?
Keeping with the era of our discussion and topic, as a hint to E. A. Poe who once wrote The Pit and the Pendulum, I prefer one at a time. Mine is;

"There were reports taken upon the field after the First Bull Run when wounded soldiers lay upon the ground that spoke of wild hogs feeding upon the living before they were dead."

Lubliner.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Location
Hoboken living, CNY raised
I found a letter reprinted in a newspaper from August 1864 this morning about the Crater.

The story is from a soldier, told second hand. Probably apocryphal, but still. Apparently, a Confederate officer was found neck and head sticking out of the soil that had resettled after the explosion. The rest of his body was covered.

When asked where his men were, he replied something along the line of "Don't know. Probably buried below me."

So that.
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
I’m reading Jack Hinson’s One-man War. pp155

As the doctor sat in the parlor with Jack, Elisabeth, and the children, the soldiers rode down the Hinsons’ lane clomped and rattled past the slave quarters, and dismounted at the front yard gate. One of the soldiers carried the heads of George and John in a blood soaked burlap sack.

Leaving Elisabeth in the parlor with Sarah and the stunned and weeping children, Dr. Smith walked with Jack to the front door to meet the soldiers. They arrived at the door and opened it Just in time to see the soldiers with the bloody burlap sack reach into it, withdraw the heads, and place them on the posts of Jack’s front yard gate. Jack was staggered by what his unbelieving eyes beheld; so was Dr. Smith.

Could go on, but I will stop there. This had a Dramatic Effect on Jack. Seeing his 2 Sons treated this way.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
I do not think anyone can say for sure, but, people of that age were fairly tough minded about death, in that age of primitive medical knowlege and skills, death was an ever constant companion to daily life of all people of high and low estate.

Soldiers in the CW tough minded, yet sentimental about themselves and their families and I think to most soldiers biggest fear was of bine so mangled as to be unrecognizable so their death could not be reported to their families at home.
 

Ole Miss

Captain
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Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
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North Mississippi
I always thought the quote below was rather unique in that it described the effect of one missle casuing multiple casualties.
Regards
David

"At one place, five rebels had found shelter behind a small tree, one behind the other in a row, when a cannon-ball struck a root in front of them, and glancing upward, passed diagonally through each one-the first at the hips, and the last at the head, severing it from the body!”
History of the Forty-eighth Ohio by John A. Bering
Chapter V At Shiloh
http://www.48ovvi.org/oh48hist.html
 

DBF

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
I look at this question as a two-parter. The person who dies and the others that witness it. In some cases the victim never felt a thing as was the case of Julius Peter Garesché (1821–1862). While riding with General Rosecrans during the Battle of Stones River he was hit by a cannonball and decapitated.

As described by Brigadier General Willam Hazen:

“I saw but a headless trunk: an eddy of crimson foam had issued where the head should be. I at once recognized his figure, it lay so naturally, his right hand across his breast. As I approached, dismounted, and bent over him, the contraction of a muscle extended his hand slowly and slightly towards me. Taking hold of it, I found it warm and lifelike. Upon one of the fingers was the class ring, that (to me) beautiful talisman of our common school.” {*}

Reports state General Rosecrans was “shaken” by the death, understandable as he witnessed his headless body continue on horseback for another 20 paces, before slumping to the ground, his blood spattering on Rosecrans but for Garesché it was an instant death.

{*} http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/civil-war-cubans/garesche-death.htm
 

bankerpapaw

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Location
Rome, Georgia
Whether atrocities of fearful tragedy and revenge or plain facing the rebel charge, which death do you determine to be the most terror stricken moment?
Keeping with the era of our discussion and topic, as a hint to E. A. Poe who once wrote The Pit and the Pendulum, I prefer one at a time. Mine is;

"There were reports taken upon the field after the First Bull Run when wounded soldiers lay upon the ground that spoke of wild hogs feeding upon the living before they were dead."

Lubliner.
I've heard the same thing about hogs eating bodies at Shiloh.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
The Surgeon-General's tables of mortality have some quite startling types of death from illness. At least one person died of each of these ailments:

"Incontinence of urine"
"Necrosis"
"Headache"
"Inflammation of Conjunctiva"
"Other diseases of the eye"
"Otorrhoea"
"Delirium tremens"
"Caries"
 

NH Civil War Gal

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Feb 5, 2017
Sam Watkins describes a soldier who playfully tried to catch a spent cannon ball and was crushed to death.
I read that. He said he saw a man stick out his leg to stop a rolling cannon ball and it tore his leg off, and he saw one or two children try to catch one that was rolling along with their hands and it killed them both.
 

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
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Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
All good so far, but no one mentioned the Sultana disaster yet. Both drowning and boiling alive is a two-fold horror that comes right when you think you made it all the way through the war. But still the idea of laying upon the earth and having to watch a snorting hog as it inspects it's next meal, being confronted by the ultimate knowledge of the devil's own flesh is worse than fire.
Lubliner.
 
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