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(1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows
PA USA
Posts: 832

July 18, 1863
Posted on: 7/18/2019 8:09:35 AM


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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5342

July 18, 1863
Posted on: 7/19/2019 9:27:56 AM

Hi Larry,

Again great articles, the 1st on the gallant actions of Pettigrew & the North Carolinians, the letter is dated July 9th, how long after his wounds did Pettigrew pass away? Also I believe that troops from North Carolina suffered more casualties than any Confederate state in the war? The second main article is quite accurate for a Southern Newspaper!?

Thanks again,
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

July 18, 1863
Posted on: 7/19/2019 11:04:47 AM

Dave,

You’re certainly right about North Carolina having suffered the highest number of fatalities among the Confederate states. In proportionate terms, however, I believe that South Carolina suffered even heavier loss of life : at least, as far as actual combat deaths were concerned, the Palmetto State recorded a figure that might well be described as incredible if you compare it with the number of white males of military age returned in the census of 1860. This is what motivates me to ask Larry questions about how the newspapers of Charleston recorded the progress of the war. The secessionist fervour must have been put to the test once the magnitude of the sacrifice became apparent. What is it, I wonder , that makes some regions of warring nations or states shoulder such a disproportionate burden, while others escape relatively lightly ? Sheer misfortune, of course, can place contingents in extremely fatal predicaments : such was the fate of poor North Carolina at Gettysburg. On the other side, it was New York that paid the bloodiest price for victory at Gettysburg, although we might legitimately have assumed that Pennsylvania would have been the principal sufferer for the Union, fighting as she was on home soil.

Editing : If memory serves me, NC suffered the heaviest overall loss in proportionate terms ; but SC took the heaviest proportional punishment in combat fatalities. The loss in NC was roughly equally divided between combat and disease deaths ; that of SC was preponderantly in combat. In a war in which squalour rather than battle tended to kill men, the fact that SC recorded such an excess of battle fatalities over disease deaths is in itself remarkable.

Regards , Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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