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