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The ramrod did the work

Discussion in 'The Eastern Theater' started by frontrank2, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. frontrank2

    frontrank2 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

    Oct 10, 2012
    On the Jersey Shore
    William Patterson was 15 and living near Culpeper Court House when the War came to his hometown. Fleeing ahead of the Union Army which was confiscating or destroying civilian property, Patterson joined up with the 21st Virginia Infantry and went into battle two days later on Aug. 9, 1862, at the Battle of Cedar Mountain.

    " Men were ordered to put double charges in their guns. I had shot my gun so often ( and wiped it out but once ) that when I rammed down one minie ball and nine buckshot I thought I would put in some more. In ramming down the extra charge the ramrod stuck fast. I could not move it up or down. Augustine said ' If you fire your gun in that condition, it will burst. Turn it up and drive the ramrod down on that rock.' I did so, but as the enemy was about to charge I had to leave the ramrod in. Thinking the gun might kick me over, I knelt down, so I wouldn't have far to fall. It was well that I did.
    When the enemy came out of the woods, moving straight towards us, I said to my cousin: ' Watch that Yankee on the dark sorrel horse.' Well, when she went off, I fell one way and the gun another, the horse had no rider, and a gap was cut through their lines. That ramrod, the eighteen buckshot, and the minie ball did the work. My captain said: ' See here young man, where did you get that piece of artillery?' I replied that it was a gift from General Jackson. 'Well now,' said he meditatively, ' General Jackson should have it mounted on wheels, so it wouldn't kick you over.'

    Story from the Civil War Times Magazine - August 2006 issue

    Battle of Cedar Mountain
    unionblue, bdtex and James N. like this.

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