Monday, December 12, 2011

Stonewall Jackson's Death - Union Soldier Tells How That Great Leader Was Shot.

Folks  - I dug this out of the Charlotte Observer (11.06.1910). Since I wrote the book on the 37th NCT, the regiment that fired on Jackson and his party first, driving them to the other side of the Orange Plank Road and into the guns of the 18th NCT, I've been interested in the story of Jackson's mortal wounding at Chancellorsville. Or course, we know that Jackson was under fire twice. However, Hay's story just confirms that there was much confusion going on that evening. After reading this story, what do you think?

Springfield Republican

John Hays, a Northern soldier, who belonged to the third division of the Second Army corps in the civil war, visited the battlefield of Chancellorsville recently and after looking over the lay of the land closely, has since come to the conclusion that he was directly responsible for the shooting of "Stonewall" Jackson on May 2, 1863, which resulted in his death a few days later. The cavalry to which Hays belonged was ordered to report to General Berry during the battle, but Berry could not be located, and Hays was sent out as a scout to find him.

   He found General Couch, and asked him where the brigade should go, and received the reply, "Damn it, go where the fighting is!" So Hays started back, but could not find his brigade. It was dusk, and while riding down a lonely road he noticed a little group of mounted men. Thinking they were Union soldiers, he had started toward them when a volley of musketry ripped out from all sides of him. His horse never having received a baptism of fire, wheeled and bolted down the road.

   Hays turned as he went and saw a commotion among the horsemen, and came to the conclusion that the volley had taken effect on them instead of killing him. A few days later he heard that General Jackson had been fatally shot by his own men at this place. Upon his recent visit to the field he relocated the old landmarks, and a Confederate officer, who was with Jackson, bore out his theory.

1 comment:

John Hays said...

You've identified the soldier as Hay, Hays and Hayes. Do you know which is correct? What was his hometown?