previous next
[300] regiments recorded. In the Tenth Virginia (which I think was very small) the loss was (killed, wounded, and missing) 64. This I have not been able to verify. The Third North Carolina lost, according to my memoranda, killed, wounded, and missing, 207 out of 312 men. Dr. Wood, of that regiment, writes that this corresponds very nearly to statistics in his possession. The Second Maryland lost, according to my notes, 206 men. Other estimates (by Colonel Herbert and Major Goldsborough) put their loss, one at 250, the other at 222. One company, that of the lamented William II. Murray, carried into battle 92 men, and lost 18 killed, 37 wounded, total 55. Another estimate (by the orderly sergeant of Company A) puts it at 62. My diary states that the brigade mustered about 2,200 before the battle. At Hagerstown, on the 8th July, about 1,200 men reported for duty. It is probable that others subsequently came in, as I cannot think the loss was so high as 1,000 men, in the face of the following entry in my diary July 4: “Total loss in the brigade (killed, wounded, and missing) 680.”

There were probably many stragglers on the march to Williamsport, some of whom may have been taken prisoners; but many no doubt afterwards came in. Perhaps the entire loss might be put at 800.1

These fearful losses sufficiently indicate the character of the work those brave men were called on to do. The Light Brigade at Balaklava lost about one-third of their number (247 men out of 673 officers and men) in their famous charge. That, indeed, was over in twenty minutes, while these two regiments sustained their loss of one-half and two-thirds during a conflict of ten hours duration. But at least we may claim for the men of the Third brigade that they maintained a long and unequal contest with a valor and a constancy worthy of the best troops.

1 What a field was this! For three hours of the previous evening, and seven of the morning, had the most terrible elements of destruction known to modern warfare been wielded with a might and dexterity rarely if ever paralleled. The woods in which the battle had been fought was torn and rent with shells and solid shot and pierced with innumerable minnie balls. Trees were broken off and splintered, and that entire forest, where the battle raged most furiously, was, on the following year, leafless, the stately but mute occupants having yielded up their lives with those whom they overshadowed.-Page 145. And speaking of the state of the hill on the 4th: “We came upon numberless forms clad in grey, either stark and stiff or else still weltering in their blood. .... Turning whichever way we chose, the eye rested upon human forms lying in all imaginable positions. . . . We were surprised at the accuracy as well as the bloody results of our fire. It was indeed dreadful to witness.” --Bates' Gettysburg, page 145.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Taylor Wood (1)
Murray (1)
James R. Herbert (1)
Goldsborough (1)
Bates (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 8th (1)
July 4th (1)
4th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: