Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wounded at Shiloh

Shiloh was one of the most bloody, devastating battles fought during a civil war encapsulated by an unprecedented loss of life and carnage. On April 6th and 7th, 1862, battle raged near a country church named Shiloh, the Hebrew word for "peace". Casualties at Shiloh alone proved to be greater than all previous American wars combined. At the tender age of 23, this young man was wounded during the battle, languished for a month, and later died in Newport, Kentucky. As a member of the 15th, Shiloh was the first major battle seen by the regiment. The 15th arrived at Shiloh on April 7th as a member The Army of the Ohio, Second Division, Sixth Brigade. They emerged into battle in the early morning hours, and engaged in battle with Confederate forces near the Corinth Road and Sherman's headquarters. Young Joseph received his mortal wound in this area of the battlefield, and was no doubt subjected to the unclean methods of 19th century battlefield medicine. No attention was paid to sanitation or disinfection. Wounds were prodded with dirty hands, left uncovered to fester in the hot sun, and men died slowly and in agony. I can only hope this young man found peace and rests easily. 

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