Counterpoint The Most Terrifying Death in the War

Waterloo50

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Well, I’ve got a fairly horrid way to go. Here’s one of my folks, who was shot in the 22 July Battle of Alabama.
His brother was shot with him in the bowels and lived six hours. John lived a week.
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I guess maybe amputation would be a moot point...
During WW1 the term GSW meant either a general service wound or a gunshot wound, I then found out that a GSW didn’t always mean ‘gunshot wound’, it could also refer to shrapnel from an explosive device, my G-grandfather was sent home wounded from France during WW1 with a GSW to the right thigh, he was lucky because he survived, I think had he been injured like John Richard he’d have not wanted to live.
 
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The terror of drowning is the principle behind waterboarding isn't it? It creates the thought or illusion of being drowned. Sheer terror!
I would think yankee soldier's encounters with strange critters down South , like snake bites or crossing an alligator infested river or swamp, created some terrifying moments as well. Was Lyme disease from tick bites around back then?
 

Waterloo50

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The terror of drowning is the principle behind waterboarding isn't it? It creates the thought or illusion of being drowned. Sheer terror!
I would think yankee soldier's encounters with strange critters down South , like snake bites or crossing an alligator infested river or swamp, created some terrifying moments as well. Was Lyme disease from tick bites around back then?
How well informed about the critters would Yankee soldiers be about the hidden beasties in the swamps and rivers? Were there any reports of soldiers becoming alligator lunch, being eaten alive would have to be on top of my ‘ways not to die’ list.
I fed a bunch of gators at Gatorland and those critters are lean, mean killing machines.
 

edfranksphd

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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.
Rebs getting buried alive in the explosion of the st petersburg mine; many 100s were killed but a large portion of them likely died not from the blast per se but from being buried alive in the rubble?
 

Waterloo50

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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.
You know that trying to stop cannonballs wasn’t that uncommon, I’ve read of men that were in my gg grandfathers regiment losing their legs because they thought that they could stop a slowly rolling cannon ball with their foot. I’ve never seen a cannonball rolling along the ground but I guess that the speed of the thing must be deceiving.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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You know that trying to stop cannonballs wasn’t that uncommon, I’ve read of men that were in my gg grandfathers regiment losing their legs because they thought that they could stop a slowly rolling cannon ball with their foot. I’ve never seen a cannonball rolling along the ground but I guess that the speed of the thing must be deceiving.

The speed AND mass must be so deceiving to the eye. Like looking at a plane overhead - it looks like it is going so slow but really it isn't.
 

A. Roy

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You know that trying to stop cannonballs wasn’t that uncommon, I’ve read of men that were in my gg grandfathers regiment losing their legs because they thought that they could stop a slowly rolling cannon ball with their foot. I’ve never seen a cannonball rolling along the ground but I guess that the speed of the thing must be deceiving.

Makes me think of stories I've heard about people who underestimated the velocity of a train, and tried to sneak across the tracks before it got there.

Roy B.
 
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I would have to agree, being wounded so that you cant move and yet the fire approaches
This may be off topic, but your reply made the light bulb go off over my head.

What if at The Wilderness, Lee had had the gory concept of fighting bullets with fire. I don't know which way the prevailing winds were blowing during the battle, but suppose Lee realized he had the opportunity to attack the AoP with deliberately set fires. Suppose he had sent small detachments of cavalry around either flank of the Wilderness, with order to stop every 100--200 yards and have a trooper dismount and start a fire inside the tree line. They would continue until they reached the eastern and western termini of the roads passing through the Wilderness. Imagine how much greater the devastation deliberately created fires vs a hodge-podge of accidental fires caused by random powder discharges would have become. I can envision fires similar to Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne, or Tokyo in WWII. Fire moving like water sweeping through rapids in a river. I heard a day or two about wildfires in Colorado consuming entire acres in less than a minute. In an hour or two the AoP easily could have ceased to be a cohesive military unit. Even Lincoln faced with such a disaster might have given up.
 

Lubliner

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Well, I think some excellent choices such as the Hunley and the Crater have been submitted, and even the hogs, alligators and moccasins. Shrapnel too, but what about the true stories of bushwhackers coming to a farm at night after hearing of hidden money from the sale of cotton. They grab the farmer and with a rope, slowly hoist him up by the neck until he goes blank. Then they lower him, and with a few slaps across the cheeks awaken him from unconsciousness. Still not telling where he hid the money, the farmer gets lofted back up again for his second hanging. Some men were hanged multiple times.:redface:
Lubliner.
 

farrargirl

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During WW1 the term GSW meant either a general service wound or a gunshot wound, I then found out that a GSW didn’t always mean ‘gunshot wound’, it could also refer to shrapnel from an explosive device, my G-grandfather was sent home wounded from France during WW1 with a GSW to the right thigh, he was lucky because he survived, I think had he been injured like John Richard he’d have not wanted to live.
I think you are right, Especially if he knew that all of his three brothers and his brother-in-law were also killed.
 

4th W. A.

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At Vicksburg a man was killed by a 220 lb. 13 inch mortar shell which struck him squarely from above and drove his head, torso and legs deeply into the ground. His hands and maybe feet were all that was left on the surface.
Terrifying to everyone else, including us, but he probably "never knew what hit him," unless he looked up.

I may be wrong about the source, but I believe that he was a member of the 3rd Louisiana Inf. or it was recorded in the records of that unit.

Do any of you Vicksburg guys have the source?
I’ve heard the same story but I believe it happened at Port Hudson, Louisiana.
 
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Well if we want to go strange.... How about one of the poor fools early in the war who seeing a bounding cannon ball heading their way, decided to stick out their foot or hand to stop it and had a very quick amputation of an appendage. I know this happened fairly frequently in the early days of the war before men on either side learned what you should and shouldn't do. I would presume that at least one of them paid the ultimate price.
 

Waterloo50

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Well if we want to go strange.... How about one of the poor fools early in the war who seeing a bounding cannon ball heading their way, decided to stick out their foot or hand to stop it and had a very quick amputation of an appendage. I know this happened fairly frequently in the early days of the war before men on either side learned what you should and shouldn't do. I would presume that at least one of them paid the ultimate price.
We were discussing the very same thing a few posts ago #46, the general thought is that the speed of a rolling cannon ball must have been very misleading. I recall a similar thing happening to a WW1 pilot, he managed to fly into the path of his own artillery, a shell passed just a few feet in front of his propeller, he described the shell as a dark and slow moving object which was the size of a bus. I very much doubt that the shell was slow moving but it just goes to show how poor our judgment is when it comes to fast moving deadly objects, at least the pilot didn’t try to catch it or stop it with his foot.
 

damYankee

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Being trapped under a dead horse? Crushed by stampeding livestock? Being scalded by steam from a broken boiler, litteraly be skinned alive by steam.
As for the illusion of the speed of artillery, during WWII my father witnessed the sensation from watching the 16 inch naval guns blasting the enemy, at night while on the deck of a destroyer, He was also at the Bikini Island atom bomb test in Operation Crossroads, witnessing the first two detonations, his ship the USS Robert K. Huntington was 6 miles out from ground zero, all hands were ordered top side, told to cover their eyes with their hands. When the first A bomb was detonated (Able) it was an aerial explosion, 50 feet above the main target ship, you could see through your hands. By morning the next day, nearly every man on the ship was sick, and some lost hair while other hair turn white.
Google Operations Crossroads and read the eye witness accounts. Over 30k sailors were there. AKA lab mice.
 
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Lubliner

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What appears to be slow moving...driving the Interstate one day running 65, and a pretty wide median of grass between directions when a truck headed the opposite way lost a wheel and tire. It came bounding across the grass median in slow motion headed my way probably 600 yards to a half mile in front of me. Oh what a weird sensation of reckoning time while watching the bounce and roll of that tire. I fear what would have occurred had it hit me.
Can anybody here tell a tale of 'Whistling Dick'? (Please!!)
Lubliner.
 
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