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I just want to add my two cents about the get together at Lancaster yesterday. It was great and Jill is right; the people on this list are just great when meeting them in person. Hope we can do it again soon.

Now on to the tidbits for this week. Have you ever thought about the courage of the men fighting the war? Well let me tell you about a couple of them. General John Sedgwick, affectionately called "Uncle John" by his troops, commanded 6th Corps, Army of the Potomac. Having seen action at Antietam, where he suffered three wounds, Fredericksburg and the Wilderness he took his troops into the bloody battle at Spottsylvania. When the Union army entered Spottsylvania on the morning of May 8, 1864, Confederate soldiers presented them with fierce resistance. The soldiers in gray had dug a broad loop of trenches surrounded by an earthen wall that extended to the rear in case any of the trenches were taken.

On the morning of 10 May, Sedgwick went to a forward point which was dangerously close to enemy lines. Despite warnings from his soldiers of rebel sharpshooters, he stood among the artillery surveying the scene. He replied, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this range," and then dropped. He was struck below the eye by a rifle bullet and died before he hit the ground.

The opposing armies faced each from behind a breastwork made only of piled up logs. The soldiers reached over the logs and shot into the faces of their enemies and stabbed with their bayonets. Another instance of bravery in this battle was William Noyes of the Second Vermont. This private stood on the parapet firing at the Confederates with muskets loaded and passed up to him by his comrades. He managed to fire 30 shots before he jumped down. He was unhurt even though his cap was shot off his head. Private Noyes received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle at Spottsylvania.

The fighting dragged on with no victory in sight for either side and the number of casualties continued to increase. Finally, Grant decided to move his army southeast around Lee's army. A detail of 200 Vermont soldiers was left as a rear guard and finally withdrew south on 22 May.

Accessed 7 October 2005 available at www.civilwarhome.com/sedgwickdeath.htm: Internet

Accessed 7 October 2005 available at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sedgwick: Internet

Accessed 8 October 2005 available at www.answers.com/topic/john-sedgwick: Internet

Accessed 8 October 2005 available at www.rocemabra.com/~roger/tagg/generals/general24.html: Internet

Some food for thought for next week. Would you recognize some of the names of soldiers who fought in the Civil War? I mean names other than the well known generals that we all know. How about the man who is mistakenly thought to be the originator of baseball or how about a well known author? Any ideas of who they may be? Take a look at Abner Doubleday

© 2006 Winifred Ledoux