Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Courage of the color bearer

In other posts, we've dscussed the dangers related to carrying the regimental colors into battle. It took special person to fill the color bearer's shoes.

In his Reminiscneces of the Civil War, General John Brown Gordon describes in vivid detail a color bearer's courage and determination despite horrific injuries. Brown writes:

At Big Falls, North Carolina, there lived in 1897 a one-armed soldier whose heroism will be cited by orators and poets as long as heroism is cherished by men. He was a color-bearer of his regiment, the Thirteenth North Carolina. In a charge during the first day's battle at Gettysburg, his right arm, with which he bore the colors, was shivered and almost torn from its socket. Without halting or hesitating, he seized the falling flag in his left hand, and, with his blood spouting from the severed arteries and his right arm dangling in shreds at his side, he still rushed to the front, shouting to his comrades: " Forward, forward!" The name of that modest and gallant soldier is "W. F. Faucette.

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