Tuesday, May 06, 2008

1864 :: Our Joseph survives the Battle of the Wilderness

On this date in our family history . . . the 6th day of May . . . in the year 1864 . . . Private Jos. H. Nettles is a member of Hood's Texas Brigade as they fight at the Battle of the Wilderness alongside Confederate General Robert E. Lee (who is a 4th cousin six times removed to the Keeper of this blog) . . . Nettles is reported as wounded in the leg on this date, while a very large number of fellow Texans lose their lives . . . this Joseph Helidorah Nettles (1832-1890) is a 2nd great-grandpa of the Keeper of this family history timeline . . .

The Battle of the Wilderness
By Morris Schaff

"Just as they start Lee catches sight of them and gallops up and asks sharply What brigade is this The Texas brigade is the resolute response General Lee raised himself in his stirrups so said a courier in The Land We Love only a few years after the war uncovered his gray hairs and with an earnest yet anxious voice exclaimed above the din My Texas boys you must charge A yell rent the air and the men dashed forward through the wreckage of Hill"

"where Gregg first struck Wadsworth That night the Texans who had suffered so severely collected the dead they could find dug a trench near the road and buried them And when the last shovelful of reddish clay and dead leaves was thrown they tacked a board onto an oak whose branches overhung the shallow trench bearing the inscription Texas dead May 6th 1864 Field said in a letter to his friend Gen EP Alexander that a single first lieutenant was all that was left of one of the companies WR Ramsey of Morton Pa who was in Wads "

"Text not available"

And from The Handbook of Texas Online . . .

Hood's Texas Brigade rallies around General Lee. May 06, 1864. On this day in 1864, in one of the most moving incidents of the Civil War, Confederate general Robert E. Lee ordered the celebrated Hood's Texas Brigade to the front, and they in turn ordered him to the rear. During a critical moment of the fierce Battle of the Wilderness, as the Southern battle line was crumbling, Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, was heartened to see the Texas Brigade, under the command of John Gregg, arrive on the field as reinforcements. With a cry of "Hurrah for Texas!" Lee ordered them forward against the Union army and, carried away by his enthusiasm, began to lead them into the charge. The Texans, unwilling to risk their idol in battle, stopped and gathered around him, yelling "Lee to the rear!" and held onto his horse until he withdrew. The Texas Brigade suffered severe losses, but the Union army was once more fought to a standstill.

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