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3730Re: Mosby during the Maryland Campaign

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  • Scott Hann
    Sep 25, 2007
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      And in Wistar's own words:

      As the head of column was wheeling to the left about myself as
      pivot, its killed and wounded falling at every step, I was myself
      knocked over by a bullet through the left shoulder. Rogers, the left
      flank sergeant of G Company was instantly at my side, and as the
      blood was spouting from under the sleeve at the wrist, hastily
      clapped on a tourniquet constructed of my pocket handkerchief and
      his bayonet. He offered to remain with me, and was inclined to
      insist, till I appealed to him to save my sword. Recognizing that
      obligation, he quickly took it from me, and rushed after the
      retiring column, and was scarcely gone till the enemy's line marched
      over me.
      But about this time General Meade, whose own division had
      been used up in the two attacks of Hooker, had got together a small
      force composed of the remnants of various regiments coming out in
      good order, and was leading it forward when he met and seized on the
      71st, compact and in perfect order, though reduced to three officers
      and scarcely 250 rank and file. This force continuing to increase
      soon met and drove back the disordered Confederates who again
      retired over me leaving me lying between two fires. Twice again the
      enemy advanced over me, and were as often repulsed and driven back,
      finally making a firm stand at or near their original position. The
      last of these movements was by a heavy line of battle composed of
      the fresh troops of 'Stonewall' Jackson—that is, if troops can be
      called fresh who had marched all night and were now put into action
      without any rest or intermission. As this splendid line moved over
      me, a young lieutenant seized the occasion to leave his place to
      demand my sword. When he learned that it was beyond his reach, he
      wanted my parole, which I refused to give. The little dispute was
      suddenly terminated by the arrival of several General Officers whom
      I took to be McLaws, Walker and Stuart. These with their staffs were
      following and closely watching their line now heavily engaged with
      our troops, whose balls were striking all around us. Having lost
      much blood notwithstanding the tourniquet, suffering intense pain
      and barely able to whisper, I nevertheless managed to attract the
      attention of one of their couriers, who dismounted, ascertained and
      reported the subject of discussion to Stuart, who inquired of the
      lieutenant his name and regiment. "Hill, of the 12th Georgia." "Join
      it immediately sir." The courier then rearranged the tourniquet,
      which, though hitherto but partially effective, had become
      excessively painful, handed me a drink from one of the 71st's
      wounded near-by, who kindly offered his canteen, and leaving me in a
      much more comfortable condition rode away after his General.
      It was not till several years after the war that a mutual
      friend—accidentally hearing the celebrated Confederate guerilla,
      John S. Mosby, relate the same circumstance in connection with my
      name, which he still remembered—brought us together, when I learned
      for the first time that the friendly courier had been no other than
      the renowned Mosby, at that time not even a commissioned officer.

      Wistar, Isaac J., "Autobiography of Isaac Jones Wistar 1827-1905
      Half a Century in War and Peace," Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute
      of Anatomy and Biology, 1937, pp. 407-409.

      I have several photos of Wistar including one with his arm in a
      sling (from his Balls Bluff wound) which you are welcome to use for
      your book.
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