Member of the Year
Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
- Sep 4, 2014
- Lexington, SC
As most of you are aware the battle of the Wilderness was fought May 5-7th 1864. As day two opened Winfield Scott Hancock’s II Corps drove A.P Hills II Corps back over a mile. With his army in retreat, Robert E. Lee once again attempted to lead a charge and was once again for the third time ordered to the rear of the lines by his loving men. The 1st Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia arrived on the battlefield, commanded by one of Lee’s Giants. Lt Gen James Longstreet. As Lee sung the praises of Texans, Alabamians and Georgians, Longstreet launched one of his devastating flanking attacks, taking advantage of an old unfinished railroad cut. This attack drove Hancock back and rolled him up like an old blanket, miraculously turning the tide of the battle. The woods became dark with smoke and lines became confused. Longstreet riding in what he thought was relatively safe ground was suddenly struck by a bullet fired by his own men of the 12th Virginia who had mistakenly crossed the Plank Road creating a dangerous crossfire. The general attempted to ride on but the wound proved to sever. Longstreet was lowered to the ground and the Corps surgeon Dr. John Syng Dorsey Culle was called to the scene. Culley ordered the General to be placed on a stretcher and removed from the battlefield. Before leaving Longstreet turned his command over to Maj. Gen. Charles Field. Field failed to maintain the momentum of the attack resulting Grant’s men slipping away to Spotsylvania Courthouse.
Lee was now without his 2nd giant. Only 5 short days later JEB Stuart would be mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern. Lee would be without all his giants.
Jackson wounded on May 2, 1963 and dying eight day later.
James Longstreet fell on May 6, 1864.
JEB Stuart receiving a mortal wound on May 11th 1964
Lee’s Army was now reduced to mere mortals.
How important do you feel the loss of these officers were to the Army of Northern Virginia? Could Lee hope to possibly replace them with equals or was the Army of Northern Virginia reduced to an average force with average fighting ability?