Toombs' Brigade at Antietam: Sgt. John S. Hudson "Tell mother..."

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lelliott19

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I turned aside yesterday in the battle to see how a true soldier can die. He was of twenty two or three summers -- of clear skin and mild blue eyes -- John S. Hudson of Elbert county, Ga. His thigh had been torn off by a shell, and hung only by a thin piece skin. He was calm and resigned, though his struggles were severe and protracted. Finally, as the dread hour for dissolution approached, he gathered up all his remaining strength, and turning to his brother, who hung over him in dumb agony, he said, "Tell mother I die rejoicing, and die a soldier's death." There was not a dry eye among the dozen spectators who, strangely enough, had stopped to witness the last moments of the youthful hero. May Heaven have mercy upon his soul, and upon our bleeding land!

Sgt. John S. Hudson Company C, 15th Georgia, Toombs' brigade. Born 1840. Enlisted July 15, 1861 at Elberton, GA for the war. Discharged on Surgeon's certificate of disability November 7, 1861. Re-enlisted February 27, 1862 at Elberton, GA in the same company and regiment. Company Muster Roll for May/June 1862 shows him "present sick." Company Muster Roll for July 1 to October 31, 1862 shows Appointed 4th Sgt. August 6, 1862. Killed in battle at Sharpsburg September 17, 1862. His widowed mother, Mary W. Hudson, filed a claim for settlement to collect his back pay on December 27, 1862.

Sources:
Image - Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. October 11, 1862. (Public Domain)
Excerpt from newspaper article "Sharpsburg, MD., Sept. 18" by Peter Wellington Alexander (P.W.A.), printed in Southern Recorder. (Milledgeville, Ga.), October 07, 1862, page 2.
1860 US Census, Elbert District, Elbert County, GA.
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@Brian Downey for your roster. Sorry I was unable to locate an image or positively identify his brother, mentioned in the article. There are several Hudsons in Co C so perhaps you'll be able to determine.
 

Brian Downey

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Aug 5, 2005
Location
North Florida
@Brian Downey for your roster. Sorry I was unable to locate an image or positively identify his brother, mentioned in the article. There are several Hudsons in Co C so perhaps you'll be able to determine.
Thank you Laura - I've added this excellent quote to his webpage.

On first look there are 3 Hudsons in his Company who could be the brother mentioned. Sergeant (later Captain) David Hudson; Private (later Sergeant) J.M Hudson; and Private (later Sergeant) William D. Hudson. 2 others had died earlier of disease, both in Richmond, VA. I don't have enough info right now to narrow it further.

Now, however, I need to look into Peter Wellington Alexander, the author of that piece. His gravestone has him as Colonel, CSA, but I haven't found a military record for him yet. It looks like he was a correspondent for the Savannah Republican with the Army of Northern Virginia - imbedded, as we might say today. There's always much more to learn.

Thanks again!
 
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Lubliner

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"He was calm and resigned, though his struggles were severe and protracted." (quote from above).

This tells me explicitly those last moments after being wounded. He was not screaming, muttering, nor verbal until his last words. Probably with clenched teeth and fists, grabbing toward whatever handhold he might gain, his two lower limbs moving to and fro hoping also to gain traction on anything. Eventually he would be overcome by shock and loss of blood, and in his last few breaths of life, uttered his dying words, to a brother that was trying to immobilize him from further harm. Am I mistaken in believing it was a hard death and one gladly received?
Lubliner.
 
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