Reader clarifies facts from prior
letter regarding Civil War story
Monday, April 01, 2013 9:47 AM
I enjoyed reading the story 'Grandson remembers story shared by Civil War soldier' that appeared in the March 18 issue.
There are a few bits of information in this story that should be clarified. Fifty thousand souls did not leave the earth during the three-day battle. There were 51,000 total causalities all told. This number includes killed, wounded, captured and missing. The actual number of killed is under 10,000. This accounts for soldiers who died in the hospitals and during the Confederate retreat back into Virginia.
The reason I bring this up is that I visit Gettysburg several times each year and the battlefield guides at Gettysburg are quick to point out this causality differential.
A second point could be made about the boys from Vermont. These soldiers were only 100-day enlistees. They had seen no action during their short soldiering time and could go home. They chose to stay with the Army of the Potomac and were at Gettysburg. They didn't want to go home and have to answer questions about why they never saw the elephant (battle).
They performed very well on the third day of fighting when they stood up against Kemper's confederate soldiers during Pickett's charge. They also routed Perry's and Lang's men during Pickett's charge.
Thank you for running stories like this and I look forward to more.