** Please check out my tribute page to two of my Civil War relatives who never made it home **

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012

One of the most well-known battlegrounds on McPherson’s Ridge is the Railroad Cut, which was not actually open to railroad passage at the time. One can easily imagine the intense, brutal combat in this small place, and it is easy to see how soldiers would have felt trapped in this glorified trench where it was impossible to scramble up to ground level without presenting oneself as a moving target.

Unfortunately, this “secluded” position had initially seemed inviting to Gen. Joseph Davis’ North Carolinians and Mississippians, but the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side” was proven with deadly force when New Yorkers and a regiment from the famed Iron Brigade aimed their rifles into the Cut in an attempt to retake it. It must have been terrifying for the Confederates to have no knowledge of what was going on above them, only to see enemy rifles peering down over the sides of the Cut. One of these beleaguered units was the 2nd Mississippi.

Of the two photos above, the top photo shows the Railroad Cut from the small bridge that crosses it, while the bottom gives a clear view of the Cut and the tree-line beyond. The two monuments belong to the 95th New York (closest to the Cut) and the 6th Wisconsin, part of the Iron Brigade.


Co. G, 52nd Virginia Infantry

Born about 1841 --- Died July 03, 1863 at age 22

Sgt. Bull’s prewar life consisted of farming, probably in Rockingham Co., Virginia. One of the saddest facts of his story is that nothing is known of his burial, which may mean he still rests at Gettysburg. Though he was killed in a Virginia unit on July 3rd, his death would not have come in the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge, as they were not engaged in this particular struggle. Enlistment papers give a rare treat, a physical description that helps put a face to the man: Sgt. Bull was 5’8 with blue eyes and dark hair.

(c) 2012 Skies of Blue and Gray

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