Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My Old War Horse

Colonel Henry Walter Kingsbury

As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.

The gore of the Civil War Battle of Sharpsburg is what is glorified, but I choose to offer another glimpse to the face of war in the following two quotes of events of the opening of the battle.

The first concerns Lt. General James Longstreet, of the Confederate Army, who had been riding his lines inspecting them in the day, that he rode to General Headquarters to report to General Lee.
On his way there, he discovered wounded Soldiers hidden away on the battlefield behind fences and walls, which had not yet received medical attention.
Into this an American family in Maryland at the scene of the battle, had a cannon shell ignite and burn down their home. General Longstreet invested the time to help this family.

It was only then, after all the other officers had made their report to General Lee, that Longstreet arrived, and was fondly embraced by General Lee as "My old war horse".

After riding along the lines, giving instructions for the 
night and morning, I rode for general head-quarters to 
make report, but was delayed somewhat, finding wounded 
men hidden away under stone walls and in fence corners, 
not yet looked after, and afterwards in assisting a family 
whose home had been fired by a shell, so that all the other 
officers had arrived, made their reports, and were lounging 
about on the sod, when I rode up. General Lee walked 
up as I dismounted, threw his hands upon my shoulders, 
and hailed me with, " Here is my old war-horse at last !" 

The Civil War was just that in it was the American Family making war against each other. There were few officers in either army who did not have family or friends in the ranks of the others. General Longstreet's wife's family was related to General Grant's wife's family in the Dents.

In this at a forgotten battle of the Civil War, General Kingsbury of the North was leading a charge at Burnside Bridge which the Union needed to cross to get into the Confederate lines. Opposing him, was his brother in law of the Confederates in General Jones.

General Jones never recovered from the killing of his brother in law, by his command. He took a leave of absence, and began withering away from the harm done, and in a few months was dead too from the trauma.

One of those peculiarly painful personal experiences 
which are innumerable in war, but seldom get into print 
(save in fiction), came under my observation in this 
battle. Colonel H. W. Kingsbury, who was killed while 
gallantly leading the Eleventh Connecticut Regiment at 
the ford near the Burnside Bridge, was a brother-in-law 
of General D. R. Jones, who commanded the Confederates 
immediately opposing him. His taking-off* was a severe 
blow to Jones, and one from which he never recovered. 
His health had not been strong for some time. He asked 
leave of absence shortly after this occurrence, and, gradu- 
ally but hopelessly sinking, in a few months passed over 
to the silent majority to join his fallen kinsman.

Too many Americans have been slaughtered for the money interests, who only make entertainment and books damning Americans and glorifying the gore. This was a glimpse of a few people's lives shattered by that one battle. Every battle in America was one where someone's cow was killed  for food by some army, their pet horses ran off to be killed in battle, their chickens slaughtered before their eyes and in many cases their homes destroyed in the battle.

Those things are never recorded nor remembered, save for a General who was still remembering all the tragedies decades after that great war in America.


General David Rumph Jones

Nuff Said