Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The 19 Confederate Colonels of Gettysburg

Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, Day 3

       I thought it amazing that Lee lost 5 general officers at Gettysburg. Recently, I've been doing a large amount of research for my upcoming Civil War website. To my amazement, there were 19 Confederate colonel's killed at Gettysburg. 10 of the 19 were killed on the third day in what became known as Pickett's Charge. No other Civil War battle comes close (the closest are Antietam and Spotsylvania with 9 each, added together they still don't equal Gettysburg). I thought I would to a blog or couple of blogs on these 19 men who died leading regiments and brigades at Gettysburg.

Gettysburg, Day 1


Colonel Daniel Harvey Christie

       Daniel Harvey Christie arrived at Gettysburg in command of the 23rd North Carolina Infantry at the age of 30. He had been a pre-war music teacher, merchant, and had ran a military school. He'd seen action several times in the war before Gettysburg, having been wounded at Seven Pines when the horse he was riding was killed and fell on him. He'd seen action at Williamsburg, Seven Days,  Antietam, and Chancellorsville among others. During the Seven Days battles, he'd been wounded in the leg at Gaines' Mill. During Iverson's debacle on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the regiment advanced with the rest of the 1400 men of Iverson's North Carolina Brigade. For the full story of what happened, please see my blog entitled Alfred Iverson: A General and His Burial Trench. During the charge that saw Iverson lose 900 of his 1400 men, Colonel Christie would be shot through both lungs. He would cling to life for 16 days, dying in Winchester, Virginia on July 17, 1863. It would have been a long and painful death. He rests there today in Mount Hebron Cemetery. 

Daniel Harvey Christie

Grave of Colonel Daniel Harvey Christie

Colonel Samuel P. Lumpkin

       Samuel P. Lumpkin arrived at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863 at the age of 29. He'd been a physician before the war began and arrived at Gettysburg in command of the 44th Georgia Infantry. He led the regiment during the Seven Days battles and was wounded at Malvern Hill during the last of those battles. He then saw action at Antietam and Chancellorsville. His regiment was in the brigade of Brigadier General George Doles and saw action on the northwest side of town that afternoon. Doles's brigade was heavily engaged just west of Blocher's Knoll and Colonel Lumpkin was struck in the leg. He was being taken back to Virginia when he was captured during the retreat at Williamsport, Maryland. The Federal surgeons determined the leg must be amputated which was done, Colonel Lumpkin diedoon thereafter on September 11th in Hagerstown, Maryland. It was nearly two months following his being wounded.Samuel Lumpkin rests there today in Rosehill Cemetery. It was stated about Colonel Lumpkin that there was no braver, better, or cooler officer.

Col Samuel P. Lumpkin

Grave of Samuel P. Lumpkin

Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, Jr.

       Henry King Burgwyn would be the youngest full colonel to die at Gettysburg. He arrived on the field that morning in command of the 26th North Carolina Infantry at the age of just 21. In his short life, he'd managed to graduate from both the University of North Carolina and the Virginia Military Institute. He was known as the "Boy Colonel." He was personally recommended for command by General Stonewall Jackson. He would see action at New Bern and Goldsboro Bridge. During heavy fighting against the famed Federal Iron Brigade, he was personally carrying his regiment's colors when he was shot through both lungs. He would be dead within two hours time. He was satisfied with his fate saying, "The Lord's will be done." He added, "Tell the general that my men never failed me at a single point." He rests today in Oakwood Cemetery, Raliegh, North Carolina. He was one of the bravest soldier's and extremely intelligent person. 

Henry King Burgwyn, Jr

Grave of Colonel Burgwyn

       I will write about the 5 colonels who lost their lives on the second day of Gettysburg in the next blog. 

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