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Fighting and dying for the colors at Gettysburg

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  • Fighting and dying for the colors at Gettysburg

    This very interesting article was written by Michael Dreese and originally published in the July 2007 issue of Civil War Times Magazine.

    http://www.historynet.com/magazines/...s/7886642.html


    1) 2)

    1)"Confederate standard bearer" by Don Troiani.
    2)"Union standard bearer" by Don Troiani.


    3)
    4)

    3)"Saving the flag" by Don Troiani. July 2, 1863 - Colonel Harrison H. Jeffords of the 4th Michigan, thrust his drawn sword into a confederate soldier, regaining the symbolic regimental flag at Gettysburg's Wheatfield.
    4)"Fight for the colors" by Don Troiani. The Iron Brigade's 6th Wisconsin dashed gallantly forward towards the 2nd Mississippi. The hand-to-hand struggle for the flag of the 2nd Mississippi was one of the most heroic moments of the first day's conflict at Gettysburg.




    "Steady on the colors" by Don Troiani.
    My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

  • #2
    "The last stand of the colors" by Keith Rocco.




    "Save the colors" by Keith Rocco.



    5th New York Volunteer Infantry ( Duryee's Zouaves ) at the battle of Second Manassas ( 2nd Bull Run ). In their 10 minutes at the vortex of hell, the 5th New York lost 332 men of the approximately 525 engaged. It was the greatest battle fatality sustained by any Federal infantry unit in the war.

    Second Battle of Bull Run: Destruction of the 5th New York Zouaves. This article was written by Brian C. Pohanka and originally appeared in the September 2002 issue of America's Civil War magazine.

    http://www.historynet.com/magazines/...r/3034111.html

    The 5th New York Zouaves at Second Manassas: http://www.keithrocco.com/inventory/...?productid=169
    My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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    • #3
      Not mentioned in the article is the famous 26th NC Infantry who lost 14 color bearers in their attack up McPherson's Ridge on the first day.
      1. Sgt. ?????-Killed early in the advance.
      2. unknown Pvt-Co. F- shot once but rose again to urge the men on but shot again and killed
      3.
      4.
      5.
      6.
      7.
      8.
      9.Capt. William McCreery-Pettigrew's F&S- seeing the flag go down he impulsively picked it up to keep the men going. Was killed by a bullet to the heart moments later and fell atop the flag and stained it with his blood.
      10.Lt. George Wilcox-Co. H-rushed over to pick up the flag but a few seconds later was shot down badly wounded.
      11.Col. Henry Burgwyn Jr.-F&S-Picked out the flag and proceeded to carry it forward but was stopped a few steps later and handed it off.
      12.Pvt. Franklin Honeycutt-Co. B- SOme accounts say he requested the honor while others say that he was volunteered to take the flag from Burgwyn but was killed after only a few steps.
      13.Col. Burgwyn- mortally wounded through both lungs moments after taking the flag. died in the arms of Pvt. William Cheeck with Cpl. Nevel Staton and Pvt. Ellington looking on. The three soldiers had carried their beloved commander to the base of the hill on Cheek's blanket.
      14. Lt. Col. John R Lane-F&S- carried it a few yards but was shot in the back of the neck as he turned to cheer his men onward. The ball crashed through his jaw and mouth but he beat the odds and survived.
      15. Capt. Stephen W Brewer- Co. E- hoisted it through the last minutes of the fight.

      On the other side the 24th Michigan lost at least 9 color guards:
      1. unknown.
      2. Cpl. Charles Bellore-Co. E- Killed soon after the Iron Brigade formed its second line of battle.
      3. Pvt. Augustus Ernest-Co. K- Killed at the third line of battle.
      4. Cpl. Andrew Wagner-Co. F.-Marked the Rallying point of the unit until he was wounded in the breast.
      5. Col. Henry Morrow-F&S-Took the flag and rallied the unit.
      6. Pvt. William Kelly-Co. E-Took the flag from Morrow saying, 'The colonel of the Twenty-fourth shall never carry the flag while I am alive.' He was killed seconds later.
      7. Pvt. Lilburn Spaulding-Co. K-Bore them for a time.
      8. Col. Morrow- took the flag from Spaulding to rally the unit and held them until wounded.
      9. unknown soldier who was seriously wounded while carrying the flag in the retreat. Presumably died of wounds
      10. Capt. Albert Edwards-pried the flag from the soldiers paralyzed hand and carried it to safety.

      I will fill in the missing gaps on Wednesday,
      Matt
      "We Will Stay Here, If We Must All Go to Hell Together"
      -Col. John R. Cooke, 27th NC

      Avatar: My Grandfather on the right. His twin on the left. Their older brother in the middle. In their Navy Blues

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      • #4
        "Fight for the colors", painting by Don Troiani. Corporal Francis Waller of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry struggles with Color Corporal William B. Murphy of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry for possession of the Mississippi colors at the Railroad Cut at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863.



        One of the most stirring incidents in the history of the 2nd Mississippi and, indeed, in the entire battle of Gettysburg, occurred in the fierce engagement at the Railroad Cut as the regiment struggled to save its colors. William B. Murphy, the color corporal who was bearing the colors on July 1st, recalled the valiant charge of the 6th Wisconsin and the desperate struggle for the colors:

        "My color guards were all killed or wounded in less than five minutes, and also my colors were shot more than one dozen times, and the flag staff was hit and splintered two or three times. Just about that time a squad of soldiers made a rush for my colors and our men did their duty. They were all killed or wounded, but they still rushed for the colors with one of the most deadly struggles that was ever witnessed during any battle in the war. They still kept rushing for my flag and there were over a dozen shot down like sheep in their mad rush for the colors. The first soldier was shot down just as he made for the flag, and he was shot by one of our soldiers. Just to my right and at the same time a lieutenant made a desperate struggle for the flag and was shot through the right shoulder. Over a dozen men fell killed or wounded, and then a large man made a rush for me and the color. The firing was still going on, and was kept up for several minutes after the flag was taken from me..."

        Finally, Corporal Waller of Company I, 6th Wisconsin, seized both Murphy and the colors of the 2nd Mississippi. Waller presented the colors to Lieutenant Colonel Dawes who was especially gratified for he noted the 2nd Mississippi was "one of the oldest and most distinguished regiments in the Confederate army."

        Last edited by Zouave; 23 Nov 07, 08:51.
        My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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        • #5
          BTW, Waller would subsequently be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the capture of the colors of the 2nd Mississippi.
          My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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          • #6
            Thank you For this This is a good topic
            Maj. Gewi Redhawks Jones Jr.

            Civil War RPG

            Hold the line. Hold the line we few men will kill whats in front. Its our Division that will hold or we all die. I say hold this Line

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zouave View Post
              BTW, Waller would subsequently be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for the capture of the colors of the 2nd Mississippi.
              Just a side note, if you're at all interested.

              It's not actually the Congressional Medal of Honor. It's really the Medal of Honor awarded by Congress.

              Just something to help you win a few bar bets.
              "Yellowstain!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RapierFighter View Post
                Just a side note, if you're at all interested.

                It's not actually the Congressional Medal of Honor. It's really the Medal of Honor awarded by Congress.

                Just something to help you win a few bar bets.
                Interesting and true! I looked up the information, and you are right. I did not know that.BTW I need all the help I can get with bar bets...thanks...!
                Just like children sleeping, we can dream this night away... ~NY

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RapierFighter View Post
                  Just a side note, if you're at all interested.

                  It's not actually the Congressional Medal of Honor. It's really the Medal of Honor awarded by Congress.

                  Just something to help you win a few bar bets.
                  Thanks for the info.
                  My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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                  • #10
                    Although battered, the spirit of the 2nd Mississippi regiment was not broken. Later during the afternoon of July 1st, Colonel Stone noticed a stand of Federal colors that had been advanced well to the front of the Union line near a pile of rails.

                    Lieutenant A. K. Roberts of Company H volunteered to lead a party consisting of himself and four men from the 2nd Mississippi in an attempt to capture the enemy colors. The colors belonged to the 149th Pennsylvania Infantry, and they had sent their color party forward as a ruse to draw the fire of Confederate artillery batteries away from enfilading their main line.

                    As Lieutenant Roberts squad surprised the Pennsylvanians near the fence railings, a hand-to-hand struggle ensued. Lieutenant Roberts, less heavily encumbered than the other men and athletically inclined, neared the rail pile first, but to the surprise of the squad, the hidden color guard rose up and killed the Lieutenant. In the confusion that followed, the gun of one of Roberts men failed to fire, but he used it as a club and in so doing, stumbled and fell among the rails. When he recovered, he noted two of the Federal color guard were retreating with one of Roberts' men as a prisoner, while the color bearer was also retreating with his flag. He recapped his gun and fired at the color bearer and broke his leg. He then rushed forward, seized the colors from the wounded Federal and, amid a hail of bullets from the Federal line, brought in the captured colors of the 149th Pennsylvania.

                    This man was private Henry "Tobe" McPherson, also a member of Company H. Colonel Stone offered McPherson the lieutenancy position created by Roberts' death, which he declined, but accepted a furlough instead. McPherson was killed at the Wilderness on 5/6/1864.
                    Last edited by Zouave; 29 Nov 07, 20:44.
                    My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RapierFighter View Post
                      Just a side note, if you're at all interested.

                      It's not actually the Congressional Medal of Honor. It's really the Medal of Honor awarded by Congress.

                      Just something to help you win a few bar bets.
                      Congress also awards the Thanks of Congress. I know of two men who got it:

                      Joe Hooker (for his leadership after Chancellorsville) and Oliver Otis Howard (for choosing Oak Hill, Cemetary Hill and Cemetary Ridge as the Unions' defensive positions after the collapse of the AOP the 1st day at Gettysburg).

                      There might be more, but I haven't read of any others.
                      History of War Podcast

                      Episode 1: Why Study Military History?

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                      • #12
                        Airchallenged, I'm still waiting...
                        My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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                        • #13
                          I am waiting for the book to be transfered to my local library so I can pick it up. It will be on by my birthday(20th)
                          "We Will Stay Here, If We Must All Go to Hell Together"
                          -Col. John R. Cooke, 27th NC

                          Avatar: My Grandfather on the right. His twin on the left. Their older brother in the middle. In their Navy Blues

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                          • #14
                            I'm sure the wait will be worth it.
                            My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Airchallenged View Post
                              Not mentioned in the article is the famous 26th NC Infantry who lost 14 color bearers in their attack up McPherson's Ridge on the first day.
                              1. Color Sgt. Jefferson Mansfield-F&S-hit in knee in first volley
                              2. 1Sgt. Hiram Johnson-Co. G-hit while going through briars before Willoughby Run
                              3. Pvt. John Stamper-Co. A- Went down in Willoughby Run
                              4. Pvt. George Washington Kelly-Co. D- Hit in the leg by a shell fragment on the opposite bank of the Run. He retrieved the fragment to keep as a souvenir before heading back down the hill.
                              5. Pvt. Thomas Larkin-Co. F- He went down with a bullet in his left leg as the Iron Brigade was falling back to its second line.
                              6. Pvt. John Vinson- He was a former deserter that had been reprieved by Lt. Col. Lane on the march to Penn. He fell soon after he picked up the flag.
                              7. Pvt. John Marley- Co. G- He was shot dead within 20 yards of the Iron Brigades second line.
                              8. Unknown.*
                              9.Capt. William McCreery-Pettigrew's F&S- seeing the flag go down he impulsively picked it up to keep the men going. Was killed by a bullet to the heart before even taking a step and fell atop the flag and stained it with his blood.
                              10.Lt. George Wilcox**-Co. H- rushed over to pick up the flag but a few seconds later was hit in the right side. He tried to continue on but was hit again in the left foot and fell to the ground. This time the line passed by the flag without picking it up.
                              11.Col. Henry Burgwyn Jr.-F&S- went back and picked up the flag and proceeded to bring it back to the line and asked Lt. Cureton of Co. B for a volunteer for the flag.
                              12.Pvt. Franklin Honeycutt-Co. B- Cureton volunteered him to take the flag from Burgwyn and he willingly dropped his rifle and raised the standard but was killed after only a few steps. Col. Burgwyn was mortally wounded through both lungs at this time.
                              13. Lt. Milton F. Blair- Co. I- only made it a few steps before Lane ordered him to hand over the flag. Blair refused but Lane insisted and Blair obliged.
                              14. Lt. Col. John R Lane-F&S- carried it a few yards but was shot in the back of the neck as he turned to cheer his men onward. The ball crashed through his jaw and mouth but he beat the odds and survived.
                              15. Capt. Stephen W Brewer- Co. E- hoisted it through the last minutes of the fight.

                              *Some people, including Rod Gragg, think that this may have actually been John Marley.
                              **Despite his wounds Lt. Wilcox went to Col. Burgwyn's side and ordered Pvts. Nevel Staten and William Ellington to dragthe Col to safety on the reverse side of the hill on a blanket. Pvt. William Cheeck, who had received a concussion from a nearby explosion joined the pair on the reverse slope. The Col. died in Cheek's arms. After seeing to the Col, Lt. Wilcox got to his feet and rejoined the assault.
                              Updated.


                              Col. Burgwyn with the flag rallying the men just before Pvt. Honeycutt takes it.
                              Last edited by Airchallenged; 06 Dec 07, 21:28.
                              "We Will Stay Here, If We Must All Go to Hell Together"
                              -Col. John R. Cooke, 27th NC

                              Avatar: My Grandfather on the right. His twin on the left. Their older brother in the middle. In their Navy Blues

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