Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Two shots of the 78th/102nd New York Monument on Culp's Hill. . .
* * * * * * * * * *
And, of course, I couldn't leave the battlefield today without first visiting the monument dedicated to the 96th PA Infantry, from my native Schuylkill County. . .
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Like so many young boys, Daniel Barnett was eager to volunteer when the American Civil War broke out in April 1861. But at the outbreak of hostilities, Barnett was just fourteen years old. For someone like Barnett who was only too eager to enlist, the widespread belief that the war would be a short affair, decided after one strong show of force, may have been just a little frustrating and disconcerting. If this was true, then he would miss out on the great adventure of soldiering and on the honor of having served his country in its time of need.
But the war would certainly not be a short-lived conflict. It would drag on, through many long months and through many savage battles. By 1864, the notions that this war would a glorious affair were wiped clean from most minds. . .but not to Daniel Barnett. In February 1864, the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry was actively seeking new recruits, and on the eighteenth, young Barnett, now seventeen years of age, finally volunteered. Outfitted with the Union blue and given the accoutrements and weapons of war, Barnett proudly posed for a photographer. He was a soldier now, and he was serving his country.
Barnett, a laborer who stood just 5'4" in height, survived the horrific combat at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and at Cold Harbor. He also made it unscathed through the opening attacks at Petersburg, and survived Pegram's Farm. By the beginning of 1865, Barnett, now eighteen years old, was nonetheless a veteran of at least a half dozen major battles. And for the soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania, there would be but one more major battle before the war finally came to a close, although no one could have known this when the spring of 1865 dawned.
On April 2, General Ulysses Grant ordered an all-out, frontal assault on the thin Confederate lines surrounding Petersburg. It was, by all accounts, a glorious battle, with the veterans of so many hard-fought battles rushing forward, bayonets glistening, and their proud banners, torn by shot and shell, flying high above their heads. But for all this romanticism, this was still war, with all its terrible and horrific realities. Hundreds died, thousands more received ghastly, disfiguring wounds.
The loss of life in the 48th Pennsylvania was high. The regiment's commander, Colonel George Washington Gowen, was killed instantly when an artillery shell tore away half his head. The regimental flag was splattered by his blood and brains. Included among the killed, too, was Private Daniel Barnett. Sometime during the charge, the eager young soldier was shot through the temple and, in an instant, his life came to an end.
Exactly one week later, hostilities in Virginia ceased when General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. There would be celebrations throughout the army, but not as jubilant as those that occurred throughout the cities, town, and townships of the north. However, there would certainly be no great celebration among the members of Daniel Barnett's family. Instead, there would be just mourning. They would have their memories and they would cherish his photograph, where he is standing proud in his uniform of the United States, so full of life and youthful vigor.
While the survivors of the war began to make their way back to their homes and loved ones looking forward to continuing to live their lives in peace, the body of young Daniel Barnett would remain buried deep in the ground, where, after 142 years, it still remains.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Oh, and after further searching, I found that someone used it against clips from Saving Private Ryan and The Lost Battalion. . .
They both help to show war for what it is: terrible and senseless.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
From the cannon representing S.D. Lee's Battalion, opposite the Dunker Church, the fog made it impossible to see even the Maryland Monument, which is just a hundred or so yards away. . . The New York State Monument slowly came into view. . .
The 1st Rhode Island Artillery Battery, Captain Tompkins's guns, was all one could see this morning from the southern side of the Visitor Center. . .
Monday, October 1, 2007
This I am happy to state leaves me well, but I am grieved beyond descritpion to announce the death of my dear brother John. He departed this life on the 3rd in Georgetown of disease. His disease I could not tell you as the the Official Notice gave it in Latin. Lieut Henry Boyer received Official notice from the Doctor today. I am very sorry I could not attend to him in his last hours but this was impossible He died a patriotic Soldier.
Dear parents he was a brave soldier and done his whole duty That consulation you have and I hope you will make up your mind that the loss of your son and my brother the country has lost one that endured the battlefield boldly and fearlessly; not in anngry passion, but cooly and reservedly, to put rebellion down. Dear Parents, think of me and pray for me so if I fall, my soul may enter the kingdom of heaven Although brother is no more with us in person he is in spirit. If I am killed my spirit will guide them on to victory and glory. . . .
I don't think we will enter Virginia this fall, as it is getting cold and we will have to prepare for winter. . . .Lieut [Abiel H.] Jackson commanding our company resigned and went home last Wednesday. We have been lying here very near three weeks and there is no intimation of a forward [inellegible]. . . . As I have nothing more to day I will close hoping to hear from you soon my love to all
Your aff Son
Company A 48th Regiment P.V. 1st Brigade 2nd Division Burnside's Army
Jesse Springer remained in the army, and reenlisted in the early spring of 1864. He survived the battlefields of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg, and on July 17, 1865, he was mustered out of service, still a private, but proudly as a "veteran." He returned to Hecla. . .