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The current time is: 8/17/2018 3:09:00 PM
 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg
AuthorMessage
Larry Purtell
, USA
Posts: 638
A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/5/2018 8:48:11 AM
From the Pantagraph, Bloomington Illinois. August 4, 1863
Any ideas who this Colonel may have been?


---------------
"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 3792
Re: A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/5/2018 7:27:38 PM
Hi Larry,

The Colonel, sounds sincere, I'm sure that towards the end of the war a fair amount of Rebels had regrets!?

nice & short article,
Dave
---------------
"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: 3145
Re: A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/6/2018 3:42:12 AM
Larry,

How far do you think that the information in these articles you post is “ state-centric “ ?

By that, I mean do you think your chosen article was based on the experience of men from Illinois ?

If it is an anecdote experienced and reported by Illinois soldiers, then my first action will be to find out which regiments from that state participated in the Battle of Gettysburg, and by that process I can trace which sector of the field they fought in, and, consequently which confederate units they came up against.

Information from John Busey’s book will then give me something further to go on.

A long shot and a tentative approach, but, heck, I’m inclined to go for it !

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: 3145
Re: A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/6/2018 4:57:38 AM
Here’s a start to my investigation.

Using John Busey’s - and his son Travis’s - epic research into Confederate numbers and casualties at Gettysburg, I have the following :

There were 6,868 officers in Lee’s army at Gettysburg.

Of these, 305 were killed in action. Of the 1,581 who were wounded, 573 were captured by the yankees. Of these wounded officers who fell into enemy hands, 140 died from their wounds.

That leaves us with a pool of 433 potential candidates, assuming that out captive rebel colonel did indeed survive his wounds. What proportion of Lee’s officer contingent would have been colonels ?

Colonel is a high rank : there cannot have been that many of them.

This might prove do-able !

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: 3145
Re: A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/6/2018 5:29:17 AM

Quote:
do you think your chosen article was based on the experience of men from Illinois ?

If it is an anecdote experienced and reported by Illinois soldiers, then my first action will be to find out which regiments from that state participated in the Battle of Gettysburg, and by that process I can trace which sector of the field they fought in, and, consequently which confederate units they came up against.

Information from John Busey’s book will then give me something further to go on.



Illinois units were not heavily represented at Gettysburg. Only one infantry regiment in the X1 corps and two cavalry regiments were engaged ; all of them sustaining the entirety of their casualties on the first day.

It's hard to imagine any yankee infantry regiment of the X1 corps that fought on Day One capturing any rebel colonels, wounded or unscathed.

Cavalrymen, OTOH, had a role to play in travelling far and wide around the field, especially in the aftermath of battle, so if it is an anecdote related by an Illinois soldier, I would suspect it emanates from a trooper in one of those two cavalry regiments.

The trouble is, it is unlikely to pin a probable location, because of the cavalry's peripatetic role, which dispels my chance of identifying a specific location and identifiable rebel formation therein.

I'll fall back on the numbers game, and suggest that not more than one in ten of the surviving wounded rebel officers who were captured were colonels. That narrows the search down to something like forty candidates !

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: 3145
Re: A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/6/2018 7:33:23 AM
An invitation to help me, if you please, folks.

How many colonels might we assume were present in the ANV at Gettysburg, bearing in mind the overall number that Busey & Son have identified as serving ?

If each infantry regiment had one colonel in charge, then the job becomes easier.

Were there Lt Colonels, too, in each regiment ?

And then there are colonels of artillery, cavalry and staff to consider.

Is my suggestion of one tenth of officer cadre being colonels plausible , or is it too high a figure ?

Editing : On reflection, intuition tells me that it’s more like a couple of dozen than a couple of score.

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

Larry Purtell
, USA
Posts: 638
Re: A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/6/2018 10:48:35 AM
Here's another paper carrying the same story. This is the Free South in Beaufort South Carolina. August 1, 1863. Newspapers nationwide would reprint story's carried by others and sell under their banner. Hard to tell how and who originated this story.
---------------
"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
Posts: 561
Re: A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/9/2018 7:16:30 PM
The article was also published in a PA paper on 6 August.

I think it is possible that the “Colonel” in question could have been a Lieutenant Colonel.
Both ranks are addressed as “Colonel”, and the Confederate rank designation on the uniform sleeves could have been mistaken.

The authorized rank for a regimental commander was a Colonel, however, many ANV regimental commanders at Gettysburg were lower in rank than Colonel.

I went through two OBs which indicate the status of the senior commanders, regimental and above, and have come up with a list of 16 possibles.
They all hold the rank of Colonel, and all except one were listed as wounded/captured or mortally wounded/captured.

If there is still an interest in this thread I will post the names and units of those officers.
---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
Posts: 763
Re: A repentant Rebel
Posted on: 2/9/2018 8:23:58 PM
There's also a good chance there was no colonel, and that the whole thing is just a combination of some garbeled story from the field, passed along and improved in the telling in the sentimental, not a dry eye in the house style of thge day.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.