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Re: [TalkAntietam] 4th US Artillery-Battery B

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  • Laura Denny
    ... John Johnson was a Norwegian immigrant living in Wisconsin when the war broke out. (I m doing this from memory---having loaned out some of my books). He
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2001
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      Gerry writes:

      > I think we would be interested in hearing what the friend's
      > ancestor, Johnny Johnson, did to merit the nation's highest
      > military honor.

      John Johnson was a Norwegian immigrant living in Wisconsin when the war
      broke out. (I'm doing this from memory---having loaned out some of my
      books). He enlisted in the 2nd (?) Wisconsin, but apparently was soon
      serving with Battery B. It was the gun John Johnson was serving that Gibbon
      personally sighted during the fight in the Cornfield. He was a very lucky
      man to survive that hellish part of Antietam.
      His luck would not hold at Fredericksburg. While desperately trying to
      check the advancing Confederates and the guns of the "Gallant Pelham",
      Johnson's arm was torn off at the shoulder by a Rebel shell. He pitched
      forward onto the snow covered ground, and was left for dead. The intense
      cold and snow froze the gaping wound, and 3 days later he was found alive
      by a burial squad.
      He stood his post and did his job in the face of galling fire. Thousands
      did the same. So why the medal? I suppose because he was in the process of
      loading a shell when he lost his arm. He lost his arm but still managed,
      somehow, to load that shell before he collapsed.
      Best,
      Laura
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