Saturday, October 1, 2011

Eyewitnesses at the Battle of Stones River by David R. Logsdon

I own three of the books in this series (Perryville, Franklin, and Stones River) and they are all excellent. I just finished this one and wanted to recommend it.
Mr. Logsdon does an outstanding job of compiling eyewitness accounts and presenting them in a manner that is clear and compelling.

There was one account in this book that really struck me as unfathomable and I wanted to share it here.

[Describing the scene at the Stones River battlefield, January 2, 1863]
"Going into the field of corn stubble, just fought over and trampled by both the charging rebels, their repulse and retreat, followed by our lines of blue charging them in turn, leaving the earth strewn with dead and dying. At my left I saw one of four men in blue stooping over a dead rebel. The awful feeling toward the ghouls who rob the dead on the field of battle...flashed through me; riding close up to him he looked up, startled by the tread of my horse, and holding up to me an open letter that he was just reading, before I could say a word he blurted out 'Oh, sir, this is my brother. I thought it was when we charged them, and I got leave to come back and see, and this is a letter from our mother.' And the tears ran down his cheeks as he sobbed and tried to clear his eyes with the back of his hand. A lump came in my throat as I turned away...A BLUE and a GREY of Kentucky regiments and who knows but that he had shot his own brother..."
Chaplain William H. Smith, 75th Illinois

(Copied here without permission)

1 comment:

Rodger said...

Stories like that are what make ACW so special to me. That sort of scene seemed so common place. Thanks for that.

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