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CONVERSATION WITH J. B. HOLLOWAY [JR.] "PAPA" ON J. B. HOLLOWAY AT GETTYSBURG

by Louis Garrou


      When I was driving Papa to a place somewhere in the mountains (I can't remember where we were going ), he told me many stories. (He died, I believe in 1940-so I was probably a teenager.)...

      The story I remember the most vividly was Papa's brief account of his father at Gettysburg:

      J. B. had a friend whom I think I remember Papa saying was an Alexander. The friend survived the war and later told Papa a short comment on the action when J. B. was mortally wounded. The friend said they (the Yankees) couldn't miss him because he was so "big". He said that J. B. was far and away the tallest man in the line that was advancing up that hill.

      (Being a Lieutenant, he would have been on the right and out in front of his platoon in Co. F holding his saber high as they marched easterly in tight formation up the hill on McPherson's farm. Since J. B. was "six feet seven inches tall, the tallest man in Caldwell County", Mama's famous statement, there was no way the Wisconsin Iron Brigade sharpshooters with repeater rifles could not get him among the first. The 26th Regiment, under the famous boy Colonel Burgwin formed just west of Willoughby's Creek, marched through the shallow creek, out of the woods and up the hill. J. B. probably did not get far up the hill. The total distance to the Union line as I remember would be about 200 maybe 300 yards. By the way, they sent the Yankees running.

      Most historians say that, on this first day of Gettysburg, the 26th regiment, which was attached to the brigade under North Carolinian, Gen. Pettigrew, suffered the highest number of casualties of any unit in a single battle, North or South. My Civil War reinaction [sic] friends in Caldwell County say that Co. F suffered 100% casualties that day. On July 3rd, the pitifully few remaining elements of the 26th were again right there with Pettigrew's brigade suffering grievous losses while advancing on Missionary's Ridge at "The High Iide Of The Confederacy". They were in Pettigrew's Charge, misnamed by the press of the day, "Pickett's Charge".)

      Louis Garrou

      [son of Louise Victoria Holloway (1897-1955) and Albert Garrou]


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