In a message dated 10/20/2004 9:44:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, ted_savas@... writes:
and that it is doubtful the 39th suffered so
few casualties as reported elsewhere
I would have to agree with Ted, the Battle of Champion Hill was a disaster for the 39th, and many of the veterans wrote that it was the worst battle that they were ever in. Robert Magill of Company F, 39th GA would write in his diary:
"Saturday, 16th.-Drew some raw beef; were beginning to barbecue it, when, just at 8 0'clock, a few cannons were fired near us very unexpectedly. Formed immediately and marched back about two miles; skirmishing began before our lines were formed, and it was soon secertained that the Federals were moving on us in heavy force. 10 a.m., battle opened with great fury on our left; our line was immediately moved to the left in quick time; formed under heavy fire, and in less than five minutes were charged with perhaps two lines of battle. The 34th Georgia was on our right, in a very awkward position, and being struck first, and having no support, after one or two volleys, broke and fled in wild confusion. The Federals pressed through the gap, and on our front at the same moment. Our boys, seeing this, became panic stricken, and in less than ten minutes, the whole brigade was in the wildest confusion. With the exception of about two hundred men, all efforts to rally the brigade were in vain. Having lost all their artillery and about one fourth of their men, killed or captured, and the Yankees' triumphant yells in rapid pursuit, whizzing Minnie balls and shells exploding in their midst, were not very soothing antidotes to their agiated feelings...Colonel McConnell was also wounded...Many of our brigade killed, and great many captured. Some of Company F were captured on the line. William Graham supposed to be killed."