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 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1479
Joined: 2004
7-26-1863
7/26/2022 1:18:54 PM
From the Evening Bulletin. Charlotte North Carolina. July 26, 1863.


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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-26-1863
7/27/2022 3:41:27 AM
Truly superb contribution, Larry !

What a pleasure it is to encounter such an unusual report which poses such a challenge to our interpretation. Unusual might not be sufficiently robust as a depiction : unique might be the appropriate word.

Here we have a severely damaged unit, with the AQM doing his best to acknowledge the ordeal without sowing the seeds of dismay and panic.

My next task will be to discover the early official reckoning of the regiment’s casualties, and contrast it with the actual loss as revealed by the Busey compendium.

With this rendition, I’ll apply my own comments and interpretation.

This is a profoundly gratifying exercise for anyone seeking to enjoy history : an original source, affording the chance to assess and appreciate it in the light of subsequent research. Discipline and enthusiasm being deployed in equal measure.

We have you to thank for this, Larry.

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: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-26-1863
7/27/2022 11:07:00 AM
The original official return , as furnished by Lafayette Guild, Surgeon and Medical Director of Lee’s army, gave the casualties of the 11th North Carolina as 50 killed and 159 wounded . There was no report of any missing in action , despite John Tate’s lament that many of the killed and wounded in the repulse of the third day fell into the enemy’s hands.

By the Busey research, the total casualties were exactly 400, of whom 60 were killed, 309 wounded and 31 captured unwounded. Of the wounded, 55 were fatally hurt, of whom 38 perished in enemy hands. Of the wounded who survived, 119 were captured.

This from a total strength of 655, representing a casualty rate in excess of sixty percent.

Don Ernsberger, who’s contributed to this forum and has conducted some first rate research into the units of Heth’s and Pender’s commands in the battle, comes up with slightly different figures : 59 killed, 285 wounded ( 45 of them mortally) and 40 captured unwounded, for a total of 384 casualties from a total of 740 present at the start of the battle : more than fifty percent.

Interestingly, Don attributes 237 of these casualties to the first day, and 147 to the third.

Time runs out.

I’ll post some comments later.

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: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-26-1863
7/28/2022 4:44:42 AM
One of the things that caught my eye in the article was Tate’s refusal to divulge the numbers of the casualties, because, he wrote, he didn’t want to provide details which might yield information useful to the enemy.

This suggests that he might have been complying with an order issued by Lee after Chancellorsville, stating that journalistic reporting of the details of casualty lists was providing too much intelligence to the enemy, and distorting the record by including slight cases of wounds, thereby giving an inflated impression of the damage.

OTOH, he might just not have known the scale of his regiment’s loss : or could it be that he was all too aware and didn’t want to divulge such awful news ?

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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