Corp. Julius Converse “Shanghai” Chandler, Co. G, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry, On the Battle and Retreat

8 12 2022

The Battle as seen by one of the Wisconsin Regiments.

Mr. J. C. Chandler of the Adams county Independent, Wis., writes from Washington to his brother, in Cleveland, a letter about the battle, that has found its way into print. – The following is exceedingly graphic:

The horrors of a battle-field are supremely greater than my imagination has ever conceived. I saw the bloodiest part of it; our regiment relieved the Zouaves, whom the rebels rallied and charged on with more than demon vengeance. The Zouaves fought like heroes and devils; but there were ten guns to one against them, and when they retreated, terribly riddled, our regiment marched into the most hellish shower of bullets you can imagine if you try a month. Probably nearly a hundred men were killed and some were taken prisoners.

I had my belt shot off, a bullet hit my cap-box and cut the belt so that it soon burst, and while I was stooping to pick up some of the caps, a soldier in front of me was shot through the breast just as he was aiming, and threw his gun back in his death struggle, and hit me across the back of my head, well nigh killing me. I laid there until the rebels tramped over my body like a flock of sheep. I remember getting up, and seeing our regiment forming a square to resist a charge of the “Black Horse Cavalry,” which they did successfully.

After that I don’t remember much, until our 1st Lieutenant (shot through the shoulder) took my by the ear and told me to retreat with him.

We were some two miles from where we charged, – in a house where they were cutting off legs, arms and – heads, I should think. The boys took me there, and said I was “crazy as a loon.” Well, we retreated – thirty miles – I scarcely remember how I came, but I remember there was great disorder. I don’t remember when or how I got into Washington.

The Weekly Panola (MS) Star, 8/15/1861

Clipping image

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