Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Battle of Gettysburg: John Burns strikes again?

In an earlier post we discussed John Burns, the "citizen soldier" who at the Battle of Gettysburg picked up his musket in defense of his hearth and home. Now, hidden amongst the pages of A.P. Smith's History of the Seventy-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers we find this reference:

"As the regiments were pushing forward, before the fighting commenced, a gray-haired man, sixty years of age, rushed across the fields, gun in hand, and attempted to reach the front; but being unable to overtake the Seventy-sixth New York, he fell in with the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania, and fought with that Regiment all day. Had all the residents of Gettysburg been equally patriotic and courageous, the result of the first day's fighting might have been more disheartening to the South, and rendered the terrible fighting of the next two days unnecessary."

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