Wednesday, September 19, 2012

149 Years Ago Today...

Battle of Chickamauga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As I've posted several times before, my Great Great Grandfather was in the 22nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which was part of Steedman's (First) Divison, Granger's Reserve Corps of the Army of the Cumberland.

The 22nd Michigan was with General Thomas on Snodgrass Hill.

John Clem, AKA "Johnny Shiloh", was assigned to the 22nd Michigan, although the 22nd Michigan did not take part in the Battle of Shiloh. (In fact the regiment had not even been raised at the time; I suppose "Johnny Chickamauga" doesn't scan as well, not to mention the fact that Shiloh was a Union victory, more or less, while Chickamauga was a Union defeat.)

Perusing the records of the Adjutant General of the State of Michigan in the library in college, I found evidence that my Great2 Grandfather was discharged for wound, and may have had his left arm amputate. Family history does not substantiate that.

I thought it odd that the wounds were to his left arm, as I had read in several locations that the most common injury was to the right arm. This was ascribed to the habit of Civil War infantryman of lying prone and/or digging in or seeking cover behind rocks, trees, walls, etc.; the right arm would be exposed when reloading the muzzleloading rifles still in vogue.

Then I read that the Battle of Chickamauga was one of the few battles fought in heavily wooded areas, and the soldiers fought behind standing trees; their right arms were covered as they were when reloading, but the left arm was exposed when shooting. It turns out that the most common body part wounded during this battle was the left arm...
Thought I had written a post to be automagically posted today, but if I did, the Internet ate it.  
Previous posts:
The Clue Meter: Update to "Happy Birthday To Us"
The Clue Meter: On this date in 1863...
On this date, 1863...
Snodgrass Hill, Part II

Corrected title of post.  Stupid math. 

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