South Mountain by Rick Reeve

South Mountain by Rick Reeve
South Mountain by Rick Reeve depicting the wounding of General Garland

Friday, September 14, 2012

150th Anniversary: Battle of South Mountain

6th Corps Assault, Crampton's Gap (Alfred Waud, Oct. 1862)

Today, at roughly 9 in the morning, the first shots of what would swell into the first major battle fought on northern soil were fired between men from Ohio and boy's from North Carolina. The savage fighting that would occur on the slopes near Turner's and Crampton's Gap's and the fields and woodlots around Fox's Gap, would provide a fitting preview to those survivors of the horrors that would come just three days later along the banks of the Antietam Creek. Today take the time to remember those that gave all for those causes they believed in. For more information on the battle follow the links listed below.

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here":Morning fight at Fox's Gap
"Bathed in Blood": Afternoon fight at Fox's Gap
"Twilight Assault":  Battle for Crampton's Gap
"Well captain...your men fight like devils": Pennsylvania Reserves capture the Frostown Gap
"With their usual gallantry..." Hood's Division holds the line
"The men stood like iron.": Birth of the Iron Brigade

More information on the fighting can be found here, here, and here or to the right under the labels section.

"The most fearless man I ever knew.": Brigadier General Samuel Garland
"The army has met with grievous loss...": Major General Jesse L. Reno
"A Fallen Ohioan": Private George Detrick, 23rd Ohio
"Lee's Tarheels": Remembering North Carolina's Fallen
"Rode's Alabamians": Remember Alabama's Fallen
"As we emerged...the enemy met us with a murderous fire": 96th Pennsylvania
"To stubborn to leave..": Fallen of the Iron Brigade
"Our boy's acted nobly..." Fallen of Drayton's Brigade
"While we advanced...we suffered heavily.." Fallen of the Pennsylvania Reserves
"A Fallen Georgian": Lieutenant William G. Dekle, 50th Georgia
"They called them legion.." Men of the Phillips Legion
"The loss of the brigade...": Fallen New Yorkers of Phelp's Brigade
"His place can hardly be filled..." Captain Wilson Colwell, 2nd Wisconsin
"Exposed to a plunging fire..." Remembering Vermont's Fallen
"A Fallen Alabamian": Lieutenant Colonel Owen McLemore, 4th Alabama
"He fell cheering his men...": Captain William Horsefall, 18th New York
"The loss of the regiment...": The fallen of the 16th New York
"A deadly fire was opened..." The fallen of the 23rd Ohio
"Georgia's sons slaughtered" The fallen of the 50th Georgia

More information on the men that fought from letters to recollections can be view to the right under the labels section on by clicking here.

Again, as we commemorate this battle, please take the time to remember those who gave the last full measure and those who left a piece of themselves on those bloody slopes of South Mountain. Feel free to comment any remembrances you have and remember the event that occurred 150 years ago today. I close with a a couple stanzas of a poem found at National Cemeteries across the country:

The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last Tattoo;
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards, with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.

Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,
Dear as the blood ye gave,
No impious footstep here shall tread
The herbage of your grave.
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While fame her record keeps,
For honor points the hallowed spot
Where valor proudly sleeps.

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