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Thursday, February 26, 2015

A.B. West’s Last Day, the Third Battle of Winchester

Entrance to the Battlefield
Little did Alex West know when the bugle sounded the wake-up call on September 19, 1864, that this would be his last day on Earth. The day was likely a warm summer day in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia near the city of Winchester.  Company K of Bryan Grimes’ Brigade of Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes’ Division was camped somewhere in the outskirts of the city of Winchester.

The Third Batty of Winchester is known as the Battle of Opequon.  Opequon is an unincorporated community along Opequon Creek in Frederick County, Virginia.  It is located on Cedar Creek Grade (VA 622) at Miller Road (VA 620) and is also known as Kernstown, Virginia.

The battle, which was fought on September 19, 1864, was the bloodiest battle ever fought in the Shenandoah Valley.  Union Gen. Sheridan lost 12 percent of his army with about 5,000 of his 39,000 soldiers killed, wounded, and missing.  Confederate Gen. Early suffered approximately 3,600 casualties casualties which represented 25 percent of his army.

Company K of the 53rd North Carolina Regiment, known as “the Wilkes boys,” was part of Lee’s Army of Virginia, which was part of Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early’s Army of the Valley.  Early’s Army of the Valley consisted of many seasoned veterans from Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Virginia.  Company K of the 53rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment (the Wilkes Boys) was also part part of Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes’ Division and part of Brigadier Gen. Bryan Grimes’ Brigade (formerly the deceased Brigadier Gen. Junius Daniel’s Brigade). 

Confederate officer, Lt. Gen. Early, had an estimated 12,000 soldiers.  His counterpart, Union officer, Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan, had about 40,000.  Both armies had sufficient ammunition, but the Union forces had more cannons, more horses, and more artillerymen.

Red Bud Run
On that fateful morning of September 19, reveille sounded in the Confederate Army camp at 1 a.m.  By 4:30 a.m., Sheridan’s forces were advancing.  At daybreak the first shot was fired when General Ramseur’s North Carolinians fired on Captain Hull’s New York Cavalry.

Heavy fighting took place that day in areas known as the West Woods, the First Woods, the Second Woods, the Middle Field, and Red Bud Run.  A Union soldier commented that the battle at Middle Field “was perfectly terrible but the forces in our front gave way.”  The battle ended at sundown when the divisions of Ramseur, Rodes, and Gordon fell back to positions near Winchester.  Maj. Gen. Rodes was killed that day.  By nightfall the Union Army had taken the city of Winchester.  

Many who died on this historic this day were buried where they fell in battle.  Such was likely the fate of my second great grandfather, Alexander Balus West.

In October 2104, my sister, brother-in-law, husband, and I spent a day on the battleground of the Third Battle of Winchester.  Unlike Gettysburg, the battlefield is not resplendent with monuments and statues.  It is peaceful, serene, and non-commercial in nature.  It has a rustic, natural beauty with an appropriate number of signs to mark locations.  Many of the paths are unpaved, and cars not are allowed on the battlefield.


Vicinity of the West Woods
Like our visit to Gettysburg, this visit was also moving.  I’ve always wanted to see where my 2nd great grandfather died.  As I walked over the hallowed grounds, I tried to imagine where he might have fallen, mortally wounded.  I know that he was part of Rodes’ Division, Grimes’ Brigade, the 2nd Battalion, and the 53rd Regiment (North Carolina Infantry).   Maps of the Battle of Winchester that may be found on the Internet indicate that Grimes’ Brigade in Rodes’ Division was on the southern flank near what is now US Interstate 81.  Most of the heavy fighting occurred that day in the Middle Field, the Second Woods, West Woods, and Red Bud Run.  His brigade was apparently located in that southern part of the battlefield labeled West Woods.  In retreat they moved westward toward Winchester.  I can only assume that he was killed on that southern-most part of the battlefield and possibly during the retreat to Winchester.  In fact the location of his death and burial may presently be located under what is now Interstate 81.  
Much of the battlefield at Winchester has been significantly degraded or destroyed by expanding urban development in and around Winchester.  I found it quite sad that the likely area in which my second great grandfather died and was buried may now be covered by that urban sprawl and the interstate highway.  
Preservation Marker
Residential and business development and highway construction continue to pose threats to the preservation of the original battlefield.  The Civil War Trust has preserved 222 acres of the 567-acre battlefield.  In 2009, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation along with the Civil War Trust and the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, and the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Foundation purchased 209 acres of additional land.  The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation worked toward the restoration of the battlefield for the 150th Anniversary of the battle in September 2014.
Since I was able to be there and walk the battlefield, I left the battlefield with some degree of satisfaction. However, I am still left with a desire to know where he was buried, but I am certain that desire will remain unfulfilled.   
 
THIRD BATTLE OF WINCHESTER
SEPTEMBER 19, 1864
 
                                      Red:                      Confederate Lines
                                      Brown:                 Confederate Retreat Lines
                                      Blue:                     Union Lines

                                                      Clip on the maps to enlarge them.

THE THIRD BATTLE OF WINCHESTER
SEPTEMBER 19, 1864
 

Grimes Brigade as part of Rodes’ Division retreated to the west and then southwest toward what is now US Interstate 81 and Winchester.  The brigade may have been in any of the areas marked with the red lines.

Sources:

·        Battle of Third Winchester Summary & Facts (See featured articles.): www.civilwar.org/battlefields/third-winchester.html

·        Civil War Trust, Saving America’s Civil War Battlefields, “The Battle of Third Winchester,”  http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/thirdwinchester/third-winchester-history-articles/the-battle-of-third.html

·        Grimes Biography from the Dictionary of North Carolina: http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/grimes/bio.html

·        Maps of Third Winchester, Virginia (1864), CWPT Third Winchester Battlefield Tour Map, http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/thirdwinchester/maps/cwpt-third-winchester.html


·        Third Battle of Winchester – Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Opequon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Isaac West, A Reply to Kellea

This post is in response to the comment on February 18, 2015, that Kellea made on my post, “Small Pieces of the Puzzle Contribute to the Whole—Alexander West (c1730),” dated May 1, 2014.

Kellea indicated that she believes that the daughter of Isaac West, Phereby West, who married James Reece, was her ancestor.  According to Kellea’s comment, Phereby West and James Reece were married in Lincoln County, North Carolina, for which a record may be found in FamilySearch.org.  James died in 1837 in Todd County, Kentucky, and named Phereby in his will.  According to the 1860 Mortality Schedule, Phereby died in Humphreys County, Tennessee.

Since I wanted to share some of my research with Kellea regarding the Isaac West who may have been my 6th great uncle, I indicated that I would provide my comments in a new blog post.  Therefore, I am providing my response in this post.

Even though, I have never encountered him in my research, I have no doubt that Kellea is correct regarding her Isaac West and his daughter, Phereby.   However, as I have conducted research on the West family and the possibility that Isaac (1745-1814) and my Alexander West were brothers, I’ve found numerous Isaac Wests.  I do not believe that Kellea’s Isaac West is the same one who may have been the brother of my Alexander West.  

The Isaac West whom I believe to be my 6th great uncle (1745-1814) was married to Susanna Anderson.  He did have a daughter named Phoebe West (1770 SC-1868 Greenville, SC) who married Isaac Green (1762 Tryon, NC-1831 Greenville, SC).  I have researched in the Old Tryon Genealogical Society Library in Forest City, Rutherford County, North Carolina, attempting to find evidence of the John West who may have been the brother of my Alexander and also the brother of Isaac.

In the Old Tryon County Genealogical Society Library, in April 2014, I found an Isaac West who was in court records and land transaction records in Tryon County, North Carolina, in 1771, 1778, and 1779.   Tryon was divided into Lincoln and Rutherford Counties in 1779. An Isaac West is found in Lincoln (which may have been the same area in Tryon prior to the division of the county) in 1789, 1790, 1792, 1795, and 1797.  I was never able to determine who this or these Isaac Wests were.  They could have been the same man or different men by the name of Isaac West.  Since Killea’s ancestors, Phereby West and James Reece, were married in Lincoln County, North Carolina, one of these Isaac Wests could have been the father of Phereby.

The Isaac West who married Susanna Anderson was born in Orange County and had lived there and in Wilkes County, North Carolina.  He moved from North Carolina to South Carolina prior to the birth of their first child who was born in 1768.  The following children were born in South Carolina: Catherine, b 1768; Nancy, b c1769; Phoebe, 1770-1868; Susan, 1773-1841; Solomon, d 1864; Isaac, 1776-1864; John, 1776-a1827; Abner, c 1780-p1833; Robert Anderson, 1790-1856; Elizabeth, c1794-a1840; Sarah; and Mary.

A South Carolina deed of sale documents that an Isaac West purchased land on Richmond Creek in Newberry District, South Carolina, in 1778. In 1804 an Isaac West sold land in Newberry District, South Carolina, to his son-in-law, Isaac Green, who was the husband of his daughter, Phoebe West. The sale/deed was witnessed by Isaac’s son, John West, and Samuel Walker, who was John’s father-in-law.  John West was married to Sarah Walker.  After the sale of his property, Isaac and Susanna Anderson West moved to Dickson and Williamson Counties in Tennessee.   His wife Susanna died in 1810 in Dickson County, Tennessee.  After her death, he married a person known only by the name of Mary and had one child, George Washington West.  Isaac died in 1814 in either Dickson County, Tennessee, or in Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Illinois, where he was visiting. 
Green Plot and Tombstone
Isaac Green and Wife, Phoebe West
White Oak Baptist Church
Greenville, SC
Courtesy Find a Grave
Isaac and Susanna Anderson West’s daughter, Phoebe West and her husband Isaac Green are buried in the White Oak Baptist Church Cemetery in Greenville, South Carolina.

In an 1859 issue of De Bow’s Review, an article was published about Isaac West and his daughter, Phoebe.  The article describes Isaac as being an active participator in the Revolutionary War and living about one mile from King’s Mountain where that famous battle took place.  The article also describes Phoebe witnessing a tory strike her father on the head with a sword in their home.  I have not seen this article which circulates in family trees on the Internet and cannot substantiate it.  (De Bow’s Review, Volume XXVII, 1859, pp. 692-693)

 
 



It All Hinges on John West and Mary Madden!

Yes, it all hinges on John West and Mary Madden being the most recent common ancestor of Kevin and me.  In order to protect his privacy, Kevin’s last name will not be used.

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that I am searching for the parents of my 5th great grandfather, Alexander West, who was born about 1730.  The preponderance of circumstantial evidence indicates that Alexander’s parents were John West and Mary Madden with his brothers being Solomon West, who married Isabella Boyd, and Isaac West, who married Susanna Anderson.

Recently, Kevin found this blog and contacted me regarding his ancestors, Isaac West and Susanna Anderson.  Of course I was most excited to communicate with Kevin, who graciously sent me information regarding his direct line from Isaac West and Susanna Anderson.  In addition, he provided additional information regarding the letter by E. C. Page that I published in my post of Dec. 3, 2014.

Kevin indicated that he, too, believes, but cannot prove, that John West and Mary Madden were the parents of his Isaac West who married Susanna Anderson.  It’s great to find someone else who shares my opinions, albeit, questionable!

Regarding my post of December 2, 2014, “A Transcription of ‘A History of the West Family as far Back to 1665,’” Kevin stated that some of the information in the letter is erroneous since some of the dates do not make sense.

Kevin provided me with a copy and transcription of the cover letter that accompanied that 1905 history of the West family.  The cover letter was addressed to Mrs. Sattie Smith and signed “Your Aunt E. C. Page.”   She wrote it on April 28, 1905, from Attala County, Mississippi.  Sattie was the nickname for Sarah Ann West who was the wife of Thomas White Smith.  Obviously, E. C. Page was her aunt.  However, Kevin does not know who E. C. Page may have been.  Sarah Ann “Sattie” was the great granddaughter of Isaac West and Susanna Anderson.

If, indeed, John West and Mary Madden are the common ancestors that Kevin and I share, we are 6th cousins once removed.  Thanks, Kevin, for contacting me and sharing information with me.  I hope that by working together we may find documentation to prove that John West and Mary Madden were the parents of Alexander, Isaac, and Solomon, and possibly a John.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Transcription of "A History of the West Family as far Back to 1665"

 

 
 
A Transcription of “A History of the West Family As far Back to 1665”
by Charlotte West Dade

 
The transcription provided in Judd and Smith Family Lines, by khsmith2245, Ancestry.com, was used along with the enlarged original to complete the following transcription.
 

      A History of the West Family As far Back to 1665

 
John West was born in 1665 Emigrated to American from

England John Alex Solomon & Isaac were all sons of this John

West who settled in the lower part of South Carolina and lived

there until he died Alex West settled in Georgia and died there

Solomon West moved to Wayne County Kentucky Isaac West and

Susan Anderson was married in Orange Co North Carolina They

were the parents of Anderson West Isaac West & Susan Anderson

was married in 1769.  They moved from NC to Greenville District

South Carolina in 1782  They moved to Dickson County in 1801

Susan West died And in 1814 Isaac West died From home near

Shawneetown on the Ohio river  Sisters of Anderson West  One

married John Barnhill Pheba West married Isaac Green Susan West

married Lynn Walker Mary West married Elisha Simmons he died

she then married Henry Bugg Sallie West married John May Nancy West

married Jerry Ward Elizabeth West married Samuel Sharks  Brothers

John West married Sallie Walker Isaac West married Hannah

Russel Solomon & Abner West both young men unmarried

died aged 22 Brothers of Anderson West, Anderson West and

Celia Tubb were married the 30th of April 1812 Moved from

Dickson County Tenn To Alabama in 1816 (1816)   In 1837 they moved

to Holmes Co Miss In 1842 they moved back to Alabama, Anderson

West health was so bad his two oldest sons went over to Alabama

and moved them back to Holmes County Miss Where the most of their

children lived Anderson West died May 11th  1856 Celia West died

3rd of Oct 1875 George West son of Solomon West moved to Salina County

Ark  The daughter[s] of John West that emigrated from England one

married a man by the name of Cole. Two married two brothers by

the name of Collins, Nelly West married Alex Barnhill

 

Analysis of This Narrative

By Charlotte West Dade (presumptive 6th great niece of Isaac West)

 
·         Most of the information in this narrative agrees with the information that I have.  I was able to use my data along with the transcription provided by khsmith2245 in Ancestry.com’s tree, Judd and Smith Family Lines, to confirm some of the names and dates that were difficult to read in the narrative.

·         Alex (Alexander) West, who was my 5th great grandfather, is the presumed brother of Isaac West.  Even though in his later years, Alexander appeared to have moved to Georgia where he died.  However, he had previously lived in Orange, Surry, and Wilkes Counties of North Carolina. Two of his sons (Alexander II and John – my 5th great grandfather) were born in Orange County, NC.  In addition, I have found land records linking John Sr., John Jr., Solomon, and Alexander together in Orange County. 

·         Therefore, it may be assumed by the preponderance of circumstantial evidence that John West, Sr. was the father, and John West, Jr., Solomon West, Alexander West, and Isaac West were his sons.

·         Isaac West married Susanna Anderson in 1769 in Orange County, NC. Another land record connects Alexander and Isaac in Wilkes County where Isaac served as a chain carrier for the survey of Alexander’s property on Glady Fork in 1782.

·         Isaac West married Susanna Anderson, the daughter of Peter Anderson and Catherine.  In William D. Bennett’s Orange County Records, Vol. III, p. 173, I found the following documentation for them:

26 Feb 1787, “Peter Anderson of Orange, yeoman, & Catherine his wife to Ellenor Garrison of same, forty pounds, 66 acres, on W side of Stony Cr., bounded on S by Bracking, on W by Boyle, begin at a stake near William Brackin's line, N 32 ch. to a post oak, N38E 4 ch. to a WO on side of Stony Cr., down fork to Wm. Bracking's cor., his line to firs station, to Anderson from John West Senior 2 August 1768; signed: Peter (X) Anderson, Catherine (X) Anderson; witness: Garret Garrison, George Garrison; proved February Term 1787 by Garret Garrison."

This Orange County, NC entry provides the link between Isaac West (son of John West) and Peter and Catherine Anderson whose daughter Isaac married.

·         The Jerry Ward who married Nancy West was probably Jeremiah Ward.

·         The Samuel Sharks who married Elizabeth West was probably Samuel Sparks.

·         One daughter married a Cole and one married John Collins.  Perhaps, another daughter married the brother of John Collins.  I do not have any information regarding this daughter.

·         The History of the West Family written by E. C. Page, in 1903, appears to be an eye-witness account of one who lived during the period in which Isaac West lived and would have had first-hand knowledge of the family.  Since Mr. Page wrote the history in 1903, 28 years after Celia Tubb West died in 1875, I think his history of the family could be considered an eye-witness account.

 
 
·        A few problems that exist which must be addressed in using this letter as documentation for proof are the following:
o   The written history does not contain a date.
o   The written history does not contain a signature.
o   The relationship of the writer to the West family is unknown.
o   The relationship between the person for whom the history was written and its author is unknown.
o    The family history appears to have been trimmed from a page of a yellow legal pad
which, I, at first, wondered, would have been available in 1903?  My research revealed that the legal pad was invented by a 25-year-old paper mill worker in 1888.  Originally, the pads were white with no down-lines on the left margin.  By 1900 the down-line was added.  No one seems to know when they became yellow. Therefore, the paper on which the West Family History is written passes this test of time!
  • My genealogical research has taught me that when an original item is transcribed the original spelling, capitalization, punctuation, spacing, and alignment on the page should be preserved in the transcription. In "those early days" writers did not adhere to the same standards of spelling and writing that we do today.  They seldom used punctuation which makes their writing difficult to read, and they used capital letters as they thought fit interspersing them throughout their writing.
FOOTNOTE:
A History of the West Family As far Back to 1665, by E. C. Page, for Annie Mildred Smith Reideman, 1903
        Originally published in Ancestry.com in Judd and Smith Family Lines, by khsmith2245, owner.
        Published in Ancestry.com in West Family Tree, Chrystal Brake, owner.
        Retrieved and transcribed with an analysis by Charlotte West Dade, 12-2-2014
        Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, spacing, and alignment were transcribed as they appear in the original document. 
        Any words or symbols which were added to the transcriptions by the transcriber appear in brackets [ ].
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
     
     
     
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 



Friday, July 18, 2014

Gettysburg—A Sobering Experience


Battle of Gettysburg
Courtesy of Jen Goellnitz
http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org
In the fall of 2013 my sister Sandy, brother-in-law Pat, husband Doug, and I spent two days touring the museum and the battlefield at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  My husband and I first visited the museum and battlefield in 2008, but that visit was quite short and inadequate.  I, particularly, wanted to revisit the site since my 2nd great grandfather, Alexander Balus West, was wounded on July 3, 1863, during the battle of the third day. 

Eternal Light of Peace
We found our experience to be profoundly sad, sobering, and humbling.   Even though it has been almost a year since our visit, I want to share with my readers some information about the battle and some photographs regarding this experience.  I think that I, being perplexed and intimidated by the enormity and complexity of such a narrative, have postponed writing about the visit until now.
Our first day at Gettysburg was spent touring the museum with all of its photos, artifacts, exhibits, and video—so much to absorb and comprehend.  On the second day of our visit we toured the battlefield using a self-guided, auto tour.  The information that I am sharing in this blog is taken from our tour book, park museum brochures, and additional information from the Internet. In addition, I have included some of the beautiful photographs from Jen Goellnitz’s website, Draw the Sword, and have complied with her protocol for their use as described in her website.
THE ARMIES
 Virginia Memorial
Gen. Robert E. Lee
Representatives of Typical Soldiers
Gen. George G. Meade
Courtesy of Jen Goellnitz
http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org
The Union army was formerly known as the Army of the Potomac with George Gordon Meade as the Commanding General. It was later referred to as the United States Army (USA).  He had 95,000 troops and 356 cannons.  The Confederate army was first known as the Army of Northern Virginia and later called the Confederate States Army (CSA).  Robert Edward Lee was the Commanding General with 75,000 troops and 275 cannons.
THE BATTLE, DAY 1:  July 1, 1863
McPherson Farm
Courtesy of Jen Goellnitz
http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org
The Battle at Gettysburg, the largest battle of the Civil War, began when the first shot was fired by the Confederates at 7:30 a.m. on July 1 at McPherson Ridge near the McPherson barn with Union cavalry confronting Confederate infantry.  As more forces from both sides arrived, heavy fighting ensued along this ridge.  About 1 p.m., Confederate forces under Major General Robert E. Rhodes attacked threatening Union forces that were on McPherson Ridge and Oak Ridge.  Union forces were able to hold Oak Ridge until about 4:00 p.m. when they retreated through the town of Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill.  At the end of this first day of battle, the Confederate Army appeared to have the upper hand.  General Lee decided to continue the offensive the next day with his 70,000 men against General Meade’s 93,000 men. 
 
By evening the Union troops were entrenched on Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill on the south side of the town of Gettysburg. Union General George Greene, known as “Pop” Greene and the oldest general fighting at Gettysburg, ordered his men to build entrenchments on Culp’s Hill.  These entrenchments, made of earth, wood, and rock, contributed to the successful defense of the Union’s right flank on Culp’s Hill.  General George “Pop” Greene survived the war returning to work as an engineer and helped build the Central Park Reservoir in New York City.  A boulder from Culp’s Hill marks his grave in Rhode Island.
THE BATTLE, DAY 2:  July 2, 1863
Cemetery Ridge
Seminary Ridge (Wooded Area)
 
 
 
 
 
 
On the morning of July 2, battle lines were drawn about one mile apart on parallel ridges, Cemetery Ridge and Seminary Ridge.  Most of the Confederate troops were on Seminary Ridge with most of the Union troops on Cemetery Ridge. The Confederate troops were also stationed through the town of Gettysburg and north of Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill.  At that time, Union forces also occupied Culp’s Hill and south along Cemetery Ridge to the Round Tops. 
The Confederate soldiers were repulsed at Little Round Top by the Union forces.  Fighting continued throughout the day.  It was on Cemetery Hill that Colonel Isaac Avery of North Carolina, as he lay dying, penned a message to his father, “Major, Tell my father I died with my face to the enemy.”
Gen. James Longstreet
The Wheatfield
Courtesy of Jen Goellnitz
http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org











About 4:30 in the afternoon, Confederate General James Longstreet, placing his First Corps of Confederate soldiers along Warfield Ridge, began his assault directing his forces against Union soldiers who were ensconced in areas known as Devils Den, the Wheatfield, and the Peach Orchard and against Meade’s undefended flank at the Round Tops.  By 6:30 p.m. Confederate forces occupied the Wheatfield with deaths in the Wheatfield numbering over 4,000 dead and wounded from both sides.  Battles raged at  the Peach Orchard and Plum Run.  Confederate forces secured the Peach Orchard as Union forces retreated to Cemetery Ridge.  Meade’s troops were alerted about the threat to Little Round Top and brought in reinforcements to shore up the forces there. 
 
Between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m., Confederate General Richard S. Ewell’s Second Corps attacked the Union troops at Culp’s Hill and East Cemetery Hill.   They were able to occupy the lower slopes of Culp’s Hill. 
Another interesting story is one about Wesley Culp who moved from his family farm at Gettysburg
Henry Culp Farm
Courtesy of Jen Goellnitz
http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org
 to Virginia.  However, when the war broke out he joined the Confederate Army in the Stonewall Brigade and returned to Gettysburg in July 1863.  He was killed on Culp’s Hill near his family’s farm.
The fighting at Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield, and the Peach Orchard was among the fiercest and bloodiest battles at Gettysburg.  During the humid, moonlight night after the the battle in the Wheatfield, it is said that the wounded who lay on the field were moaning, praying, and singing.  Confederate survivor, George Hillyer, wrote, “One of our soldiers began to sing.  Hundreds of wounded lay within easy hearing of the singer, whose fine voice echoed down the valley.”  Later, officer George Hillyer became a politician in Georgia and the mayor of Atlanta.
 
Devil's Den

The Peach Orchard
Courtesy of Jen Goellnitz
http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org












At dusk, the Union forces repelled a Confederate assault that reached the top of East Cemetery Hill.
 THE BATTLE, DAY 3:  July 3, 1863
The Confederate soldiers controlled the lower portion of Culp’s Hill but were repelled at its summit on the evening of July 2.  However, between 4:30 and 11:30 a.m. on July 3, they again tried to gain control of the summit.  After seven hours of fighting, much of which was fierce hand-to-hand, the Union forces drove the Confederates back and held the position.
Daniel's Brigade
Courtesy of Jen Goellnitz
http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org
 
It was at Culp’s Hill on July 3 that my 2nd great grandfather, Alexander Balus West, was wounded.  He didn’t die at Gettysburg but was killed a year later at the Third Battle of Winchester.  During July and August of 1863, he was a patient in the Wayside Hospital (General Hospital No. 9) in Richmond, Virginia. He, also, may have spent part of those two months on sick leave recuperating at home from the injuries he received at Gettysburg. According to the information that I have obtained about him and the marker that is on the battlefield, he was in the Army of Northern Virginia, Ewell’s Corps, Rodes’ Division, Daniel’s Brigade, the 53rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment, and Company K.  Company K was from Wilkes, North Carolina.  A 3rd great uncle, Thomas C. Land, and the brother-in-law of Alexander Balus West, was a lieutenant in Company K.  Cousin Glenn Land says that the brigade of which the 53rd regiment was attached “actually fought on the opposite end of the line from where Pickett's Charge took place. They were some of the first Confederates that arrived on the field July 1st. They spent the entire first two days trying to secure the high ground known as Culp's Hill. By the 3rd day they were fought to a “frazzle.”
A couple of other events occurred on Day 3:  an artillery bombardment between 1 and 3 p.m. and a cavalry battle on East Cavalry Field between 1 and 4 p.m.
The Copse of Trees
Cemetery Ridge
However, the culminating battle occurred about 3 p.m. on July 3, 1863, when General Robert E. Lee ordered 13,000 Rebel soldiers to charge from their location on Seminary Ridge across a mile-wide open field and attack the Union center on Cemetery Ridge.  After a two-hour “cannonade,” 7,000 Union soldiers, who were situated near a clump of trees, known today as “the Copse of Trees,” repulsed a 12,000 to 13,000-man Confederate charge known as Pickett’s Charge.  Even though it has been given the name “Pickett’s Charge,” the divisions of Pickett, Pettigrew, and Trimble composed the group.  This event, called the High Water Mark, was the climactic moment of the battle.  It marked the beginning-of-the-end of the Battle of Gettysburg with General Lee and his army in retreat.  
Field of Pickett's Charge
Courtesy of Jen Goellnitz
http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org
I assume that Confederate General James Longstreet was addressing General Robert E. Lee prior to the defeat of the Confederate troops at Cemetery Ridge on July 3 when General Longstreet made this statement, “General, I have been a soldier all my life…It is my opinion that no 15,000 men ever arrayed for battle can take that position.
North Carolina Memorial
Seminary Ridge
 
Robert E. Lee offered to resign his post as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia after Gettysburg, but Jefferson Davis refused to accept it.  George Meade was eventually relieved of his position by President Lincoln who appointed Ulysses Grant as commander.  However, Meade remained in the Union army.  The day after the surrender at Appomattox, Meade rode through the Confederate lines to meet Lee.  He saluted his former adversary, and Lee asked, “What are you doing with all that gray in your beard?”  Meade responded, “That you have a great deal to do with!"

North Carolina Soldiers
Seminary Ridge


 
Sources               
·      “Battle of Gettysburg,” http://www.historynet.com/battle-of-gettysburg
·        Boritt, Gabor, Stephen Lang, and Jake Boritt.  The Gettysburg Story, Battlefield Auto Tour. Right to Rise, Boritt Films, LLC, 2010.
·       “Gettysburg and Touring the Battlefield,” National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania, 2013.
·       Goellnitz, Jen.  http://www.drawthesword.goellnitz.org