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

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 10:28:48 AM

By July 22, 1863 news of Gettysburg is being received in Alabama by letter and returning wounding soldiers.

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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 12:02:51 PM

Alabama's Gettysburg toll;

Killed, 258 ; died of wounds, 127 ; wounded, 1,150 ; captured unwounded, 731, of whom 166 died while PoW.


More than one third of all the Alabamians who were present at Gettysburg were killed, wounded or captured.


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
Gregory C. White
Canton
GA USA
Posts: 231

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 1:09:22 PM

I don't have my copy handy of Robert K. Krick's book of Gettysburg casualties, but weren't records lacking to show the true extent of Alabama casualties @ Gettysburg?

Now I'm wondering if the recent book (Busey?) on Gettysburg casualties is much different than the earlier Krick assessment on Alabama losses.

Greg
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"I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of to-day unless he has some knowledge of...[and] some feeling for...the history of the world of the past." Theodore Roosevelt
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 2:13:15 PM

Greg,

Krick's work was quite a ground breaker, but he did not have the research data that Busey was able to avail himself of.

Krick relied on estimate and extrapolation where records were lacking. Busey & Son tracked down the myriad details of muster rolls and newspaper reports that were much harder to obtain when Krick released his study in 1985.


Yes, the results of Buseys' research are very different from those of Krick.

I have Krick's book to hand, and, to indicate the difference, while he estimated that 281 Alabama men were killed or mortally wounded at Gettysburg, Buseys' compendium ( 2017) identified 385 who were killed in action or died from wounds, a difference of more than one third.


In his book, Krick compiled a list of 3,872 names of Confederates who were killed or mortally wounded at Gettysburg, and opined that there were " probably at least 700 more" . The very recent research of John and Travis Busey now gives us our most authoritative rendition, and we have 3,446 killed in action and 1,995 died from wounds. In other words, the previously estimated figure of roughly 4,500 dead has been raised to about 5,500, an increase of approx. 22%. The yankee dead, it should be noted, have been stated by Busey to have been well in excess of 5,000 ; Fox stated a figure of 5,291. A remarkably closely fought battle !


The disparity between the Alabama death figures as estimated by Krick, and the accurately assessed total provided by the Busey research, attests to how incomplete the Alabama returns were in terms of identifying mortality. It's not the overall total of casualties that differed, but the total of fatalities therein. Krick ascribes 2,236 casualties to Alabama at Gettysburg , Busey 2,277....as near as damn it the same. But the big difference is a fatal one, literally. Whereas Krick applied a formula which understated the numbers of missing who had actually been killed, or the death rate among the wounded, Buseys' painstaking research revealed that many more of the missing had been killed, and significantly more wounded died, than Krick had supposed.


All honour to Krick for breaking into the challenge : it was Busey and Son who took things further.

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
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 612

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 3:52:41 PM

Law's Brigade- 4th,15th,44th,47th,48th ALA
99k-253w-148mc
O'Neal's Brigade-3rd,5th,6th,12th,26th ALA
90k-422w-184mc
Archer's Brigade-5th BTN,13th ALA
14k-76w-172mc
Wilcox's Brigade-8th,9th,10th,11th, 14th ALA
78K-443w-257mc
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5339

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 6:15:41 PM

Quote:
Alabama's Gettysburg toll;

Killed, 258 ; died of wounds, 127 ; wounded, 1,150 ; captured unwounded, 731, of whom 166 died while PoW.


More than one third of all the Alabamians who were present at Gettysburg were killed, wounded or captured.


Phil



Hi Guys,

You wonder how many of these figures on the toll on the Bama Boys were from the assault of Little Round Top!?

And you wonder if this story is true??

[Read More]

[Read More]

Worst Ground!?
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

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 6:53:35 PM

Quote:
Law's Brigade- 4th,15th,44th,47th,48th ALA
99k-253w-148mc
O'Neal's Brigade-3rd,5th,6th,12th,26th ALA
90k-422w-184mc
Archer's Brigade-5th BTN,13th ALA
14k-76w-172mc
Wilcox's Brigade-8th,9th,10th,11th, 14th ALA
78K-443w-257mc



John,

Those are the figures that Bob Krick estimated thirty four years ago.

If I may, allow me to correct them in line with the Busey findings.

Remember that Krick's figures for " Killed" also include the mortally wounded : the numbers are far short of the mark.

Here's a revised array for the above commands :

Law's Brigade : 139 killed/died of wounds ; 256 wounded ; 144 captured ( unwounded). A lot of LRT casualties therein, Dave !


O'Neal's Brigade : 94 killed/died of wounds ; 383 wounded ; 204 captured ( unwounded)


Archer's Brigade, Alabama units : 23 killed/died of wounds ; 109 wounded ; 162 captured ( unwounded)


Wilcox's Brigade : 128 killed/died of wounds ; 401 wounded ; 220 captured ( unwounded)

You'll discern from the differences that Krick was wrong about the figures for killed and died of wounds ; and he also failed to appreciate the proportion of the missing who had been killed. It wasn't his fault...he just didn't have the research apparatus available to the Buseys. His stab at O'Neal's Brigade was much closer than it was for the others. Krick was concerned with the numbers of the dead : his book is titled The Gettysburg DEATH Roster. In that respect, he was quite far short of the mark. My figures above do not allow for the death rate among the unwounded prisoners : of the unwounded Alabamians captured at Gettysburg, 22.7% failed to survive their ordeal. That is a shocking mortality rate...but perhaps we should temper our reaction by reflecting that routine army life was so squalid and hazardous that many of them might have died anyway in the course of their service.


I am aware here that I place unquestioning confidence in the authenticity and accuracy of the Busey research. I hope that I am right to do so !


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
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows
PA USA
Posts: 832

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 7:52:33 PM

Hi Phil I think we are comfortable with the revised Busey numbers. Add in the men who died up to five years after the war from sickness, disease and wounds and the toll becomes staggering.

Larry
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 612

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/22/2019 8:03:27 PM

Phil
I got my numbers from Busey 1st edition tho which are Krick's

Wilcox's boys did some heavy lifting on Day 2 running over Humphrey's Division and on Day 3 making a totally useless assault
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/23/2019 1:50:04 AM

Quote:
Hi Phil I think we are comfortable with the revised Busey numbers. Add in the men who died up to five years after the war from sickness, disease and wounds and the toll becomes staggering.

Larry

Yes, indeed, Larry.

Bearing in mind the relatively small white population in the South, and its parochial nature, the impact of the loss of life - and, as you remind us - of the debilitating effects of invalidity which amplified the toll over the post war decade, must have had huge socio - demographic consequences. For young females to have had their marital prospects ripped away from them, not to mention the destruction of the societal codes and hierarchies that had defined life for generations......the whole business was overwhelming, and has left livid scars to this day.

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
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/23/2019 2:04:44 AM

Quote:
Phil
I got my numbers from Busey 1st edition tho which are Krick's

Wilcox's boys did some heavy lifting on Day 2 running over Humphrey's Division and on Day 3 making a totally useless assault


John,

Talking about heavy lifting, I must give Krick all credit for doing just that in the 1980s when he opened up this field of research. The early editions of Busey and Martin that gave us details in their research into the numbers for Gettysburg were based very largely on Krick’s work. It was more recently that Busey really got to grips with things and produced a four volume survey of the confederate casualties. I paid a lot of money to buy them, but have considered it well spent.

Wilcox’s boys inflicted huge damage on day two : they were the troops that virtually annihilated that Minnesota regiment that sacrificed itself in a suicidal counterattack. What was it that imparted to those rebel troops such prowess in combat that enabled them to attack and smash up the yankees like this ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"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
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/23/2019 3:32:55 AM

Quote:
Quote:
Alabama's Gettysburg toll;

Killed, 258 ; died of wounds, 127 ; wounded, 1,150 ; captured unwounded, 731, of whom 166 died while PoW.


More than one third of all the Alabamians who were present at Gettysburg were killed, wounded or captured.


Phil



Hi Guys,

You wonder how many of these figures on the toll on the Bama Boys were from the assault of Little Round Top!?

And you wonder if this story is true??

[Read More]

[Read More]

Worst Ground!?
MD


Dave,

When the Alabama soldier referred to " Little Round Top ", I was wondering if the name would have been known to the rebel troops at that time. Didn't they refer to it as a rocky hill, or a small mountain, or something like that ? Perhaps the soldier was reminiscing in the later part of the war, in which case the thing seems more plausible.

The 15th Alabama had about five hundred men in that fight, and their casualties amounted to just over one third : bad enough, but surprisingly light considering the desperate predicament they were in and the intensity of the fighting. In fact, only 84 of them were actually killed or wounded....just about one in six of the men who were engaged. Twenty three were killed outright, eleven died from their wounds, and fifty were surviving wounded, of whom nineteen were taken prisoner. Eighty six were captured unwounded, of whom twenty six - nearly one in three - perished while PoW.

Their yankee counterparts, the 20th Maine, took bloodier and deadlier punishment. With 386 engaged, they also lost one third of their numbers, but - and this is significant - the number killed and mortally wounded was higher than that of the 15th Alabama : 42, compared with 34. This is not what you'd expect, is it ?

Adding an edit now : did my ears deceive me ? That Alabama man said that he was running forward and loading by nines ? Well, damn my eyes, that's something ! Tired, desperately thirsty men surging up a steep hill under fire, and loading those muzzle loading enfields as they go. Now it's got me thinking....we always allude to that high ground being the key to the field : Culp's Hill, the Round Tops, Cemetery Hill etc.

And yet, and yet...to occupy the height and fire down on people coming up at you doesn't bestow the advantage we might think. Reflect on Missionary Ridge. A topographical crest does not afford the best field of fire....troops firing down a steep incline will aim too high, and might themselves present a better target to an enemy coming up at them, especially if that foe can avail itself of boulders as cover. Even at Culp's Hill, a steep hill if ever there was one, the defending yankees of the 137th New York took a dreadful beating : worse than that of its Maine counterpart at LRT. And to the left of Culp's Hill, in the Eastern Cemetery hill sector, the Louisiana boys surged up there in the evening of the second day, and inflicted bloodier punishment than they themselves suffered. The observation advantage of the high ground is undoubtedly very precious....but in terms of firepower effect, there is evidence in some of the casualty statistics to make one circumspect about how things have been interpreted.




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
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 612

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/23/2019 11:20:30 AM

If memory serves me (there might be some doubt there!) Bragg's men at Missionary Ridge occupied the natural crest not the military crest of the ridge.
The 137th NY was not the end regiment on Culp's Hill at first. von Amsberg's brigade of 3 regiments broke and left the 137th out on the end. This allowed Steuart's Brigade of Virginians to hit the New Yorkers on the right flank and rear. Co A of the 137th refused the flank but the pressure was too great. It fell back from the breastworks causing other companies to pull back in turn until only the left-most company remained behind the works.
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5339

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/23/2019 3:40:49 PM

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the lowdown, I never would have thought that in the instances mentioned, that having the "high ground" was not such an advantage, & even was more deadly?

Also as far as a Reb having Chamberlain in his sights, on little Round Top. I have heard this mentioned before? So it could be true, what say you?

Regardless, I'm glad Joshua survived, as I look at my print purchased in Gettysburg, of Col. Chamberlain leading the 20th Maine Bayonet charge, against the Bama Boys, on Little Round Top!

Ya gotta love Gettysburg!
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

Gettysburg and Alabama
Posted on: 7/23/2019 4:08:05 PM

Dave,

Perhaps getting clustered on high ground does result in a kind of deadly exposure, especially if the enemy can effect a breach that makes it easier for infiltrators to create havoc.

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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