We weren’t in any type of order and were just a gang of men running for their lives. When the Yanks fired a volley at us, I saw my old pard, Joe Norris, who was behind me in the second rank get lifted up off his feet and thrown back. I screamed, NO! But I could tell he was dead before he hit the ground. I was so shocked that I stopped running and just looked at him. The Yanks were starting to reload and the flow of men took me along with them toward the fence line that we had charged from.

We got back to the fence line and one of our batteries stopped the Yanks from following us. All our companies were being sorted out and put back in line. It was then that I saw Wesley, Nancy’s brother, with a pard of his under each of his arms bringing him back to our lines. He could not use his feet and was being dragged along between them. I ran to them and helped carry him into the regimental line. Wes, our nickname for him, was barely awake and couldn’t move his legs. Once we laid him down, I saw why. He had two wounds below his navel about two inches apart that had gone completely through his body. The blood was still flowing from him and he was dead in about two minutes. His two pards were choked up and so was I. For some reason I kept remembering the last time we went fishing together. He was about four years older than me, but he always treated me as an equal and never talked down to me. He had even stood up for me at Nancy’s and my wedding. I started to cry and couldn’t help it. So many good men were gone: my brother-in-law, my pard and so many others. Right there in the middle of the battle I just cried and inwardly I cursed the day that we had ever joined up and come East.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
This entry was posted in War Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s