Who killed Maj. Winthorp at Big Bethel?

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gary

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I've only heard the one story about the afro-Confederate slave who asked his master for his rifle. There's suppose to be other stories out there. Care to share?
 
A

aphillbilly

Guest
I cannot access the two best sites that contain information that lead me to believe that Sam Ashe killed Winthrop.

But off the top of my head........

Sam was the body servant to a Captain Ashe of either North or South Carolina. Captain Ashe maintained that Sam fired the shot that killed Wintrop. Since not only was Sam firing at Winthrop but Sam was a most notable excellent marksman.

I believe there was 3 people who were eligible to claim the shot but only Sam was considered a true marksman.

YMOS
tommy

Ironically Winthrop was considered a fanatical abolitionist.


I found this.

Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865, Volume I:

Big Bethel, Virginia, is considered to be the first land battle of the war. It was fought on June 10, 1861. Union Major Theodore Winthrop was killed. The four men who are credited with possibly firing the fatal shot were in the 1st NC "Bethel" Regiment. They were: Private G.W.Buhman, Company H. Private Steve Russell, Company H. Private McIver, Company C. And Sam, body servant to Captain Ashe of Company D.




(Message edited by aphillbilly on November 24, 2003)
 

Lamiani

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I cannot access the two best sites that contain information that lead me to believe that Sam Ashe killed Winthrop.

But off the top of my head........

Sam was the body servant to a Captain Ashe of either North or South Carolina. Captain Ashe maintained that Sam fired the shot that killed Wintrop. Since not only was Sam firing at Winthrop but Sam was a most notable excellent marksman.

I believe there was 3 people who were eligible to claim the shot but only Sam was considered a true marksman.

YMOS
tommy

Ironically Winthrop was considered a fanatical abolitionist.


I found this.

Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865, Volume I:

Big Bethel, Virginia, is considered to be the first land battle of the war. It was fought on June 10, 1861. Union Major Theodore Winthrop was killed. The four men who are credited with possibly firing the fatal shot were in the 1st NC "Bethel" Regiment. They were: Private G.W.Buhman, Company H. Private Steve Russell, Company H. Private McIver, Company C. And Sam, body servant to Captain Ashe of Company D.




(Message edited by aphillbilly on November 24, 2003)
There is a strong indication that Gustavus William Buhmann, Company H, killed Major Winthrop. When he was killed, Stephen Edward Russell (also from H-Company) saw him go down and was given permission to move forward and retrieved some of Major Winthrop's belongings. Major Winthrop's pocket watch was later returned to his family (which contained personal photos).
 
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Andersonh1

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The New York Daily Tribune reported this during the war, so that's one source.

New-York daily tribune. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1842-1866, July 10, 1863​
Indeed! How does this answer our position - sustained by the most incontestable proof - that the Rebels organized and employed "negro troops" a full year before our Government could be persuaded to do any thing of the sort? You know, as well as we do, that negroes have not only grown the food whereon the Rebel armies have subsisted, but that they have dug the ditches and raised the intrenchments which sheltered those armies and enabled them to resist and repel the attacks of the Union forces. You know, too, that they began to arm and drill negro troops even before Bull Run; you have the testimony of a Rebel officer that Major Winthrop was shot by a negro slave at Great Bethel, armed and posted by his master, who had exasperated him against us by the gross falsehood that we had come down to seize the Southern slaves and sell them into a severer bondage in Cuba. Why do you not meet the facts as they are, instead of inventing others to serve your turn?​
 

Lamiani

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The New York Daily Tribune reported this during the war, so that's one source.

New-York daily tribune. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1842-1866, July 10, 1863​
Indeed! How does this answer our position - sustained by the most incontestable proof - that the Rebels organized and employed "negro troops" a full year before our Government could be persuaded to do any thing of the sort? You know, as well as we do, that negroes have not only grown the food whereon the Rebel armies have subsisted, but that they have dug the ditches and raised the intrenchments which sheltered those armies and enabled them to resist and repel the attacks of the Union forces. You know, too, that they began to arm and drill negro troops even before Bull Run; you have the testimony of a Rebel officer that Major Winthrop was shot by a negro slave at Great Bethel, armed and posted by his master, who had exasperated him against us by the gross falsehood that we had come down to seize the Southern slaves and sell them into a severer bondage in Cuba. Why do you not meet the facts as they are, instead of inventing others to serve your turn?​
This is great research Andersonh1! What officer gave testimony and what was the testimony and what is the name of the slave? It would be great to see this! Please post
 
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Andersonh1

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This is great research Andersonh1! What officer gave testimony and what was the testimony and what is the name of the slave? It would be great to see this! Please post
The claim was made by Captain Richard Ashe of Orange County, NC that his servant Sam had killed Major Winthrop, though as noted above, others also made the same claim. Sam was supposed to be an excellent marksman. I don't have a link to Capt. Ashe's statement, I'll have to see if I can find it.
 
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Lamiani

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There is a strong indication that Gustavus William Buhmann, Company H, killed Major Winthrop. When he was killed, Stephen Edward Russell (also from H-Company) saw him go down and was given permission to move forward and retrieved some of Major Winthrop's belongings. Major Winthrop's pocket watch was later returned to his family (which contained personal photos).
The statement the the slave Sam was the only good marksman is not correct. PVT Buhmann was such a great shot that men from the regiment (mainly H-Company) were loading for him as he stood up on top of the earthworks firing toward Major Winthrop. They handed him one after another until Major Winthrop was killed and the rest retreated on their left flank.
The claim was made by Captain Richard Ashe of Orange County, NC that his servant Sam had killed Major Winthrop, though as noted above, others also made the same claim. Sam was supposed to be an excellent marksman. I don't have a link to Capt. Ashe's statement, I'll have to see if I can find it.
 

General Butler

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Though Ashe was a great marksman they say, giving him a loaded weapon and hoping for the best outcome could be pie in the sky thinking (see "my" loyal slave was killing Yankees sent here to free them from bondage). What is clear is that Butler aide charged with getting the message of 2 units moving at night, with white armbands on a parallel path, at night, for the first time should not fire on each other. Of course he got lost in the darkness and chaos and failure followed. Butler had an OK plan but lacked the troop experience to carry it off...thus death and failure from friendly fire.
 
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Lamiani

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The statement the the slave Sam was the only good marksman is not correct. PVT Buhmann was such a great shot that men from the regiment (mainly H-Company) were loading for him as he stood up on top of the earthworks firing toward Major Winthrop. They handed him one after another until Major Winthrop was killed and the rest retreated on their left flank.
I don't think he said Sam was the only good marksman, just that he was a good marksman.
Please look above at the thread from aphillbilly and he wrote "I believe there was 3 people who were eligible to claim the shot but only Sam was considered a true marksman." I apologize for not being more specific; I will try to do better in the future. Thanks for pointing that out to avoid confusion.
 
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