The following write up comes from Wayne Cosby. It is a first hand account of Private W.P. Snakenburg of Co. K, 14th Louisiana Infantry. Wayne informed me that the original source of Snakenburg's letter is unknown but his account was printed in 1984 in the Amite News Digest. The piece covers from Sharpsburg through Chancellorsville.
Pope retreated toward
While trying to drive the ball down, we turned back and I soon picked up another and loaded it and used it for the rest of the fight. After the battle I was looking at the gun and found that I had picked up my old gun, although there must have been many lying around. We stayed on that field the next day and part of the next, which was Wednesday, Sept. the 3rd, and as Pope had got into the defences of Washington, we moved in the direction of the Potomac River and forced (on the 5th) near Leesburg, Va., at Falling Waters. When we crossed the River, we were in
After lying there sometime, Col. Henry Forno, who was in command of the Brigade (Gen'l Starke having already been killed) gave the command: "Up 8th Brigade. Forward." We got up and went forward and charged with a yell over one line of battle toward the enemy who were in the woods. They gave way. I had fired one shot at them and was loading my gun and had force the ball one-half way down when I felt something burn me and seemed to paralyze me on the left side. I stood still trying to think of the matter, not knowing I was wounded and put my right hand to my left side of waist and pulled my clothes away from my body, when everything seemed to turn green to me and I staggered for 20 feet and fell. I kept my senses and hollered for one of the boys, Pat Hughes, but Private Mike Clark heard me, got me on my feet and helped me off the field and then found that I had been hit three times, one ball through the folds of my blanket on right side, one striking my left hand and one through my body on left side. Before I got out of the field, I thought of the cutting and asked if the ball had gone through. Some of the boys looked and said "No" and I did not know any better for half an hour after. I was at the field hospital, waiting for the doctor to take the ball when someone said it had gone through. There I found Col. Zable, who was wounded, also Capt. Verlander, Sergeant Ed Clay and others. Clay died the next day. It was a very hard fight and many thousands were wounded and killed. Lee's army stayed on the field all next day, waiting for the enemy to renew the battle, but he was as badly whipped as we were. On Thursday night the army moved back across the
Gen. Ambrose Everett Burnside was the General who commanded the enemy at the Battle of Fredericksburg. The Federal authorities putting him in charge in place of McClellan after the Battle of Sharpsburg, Md. When I got back to my Company on
Gen. Hooker's army had all crossed and fixed themselves as they wanted to and were so well satisfied that they went to killing cattle and cooking their meals. Stonewall's (foot) cavalry were put in motion early that morning (May 2) and marched all day until about four in the evening, got in on Hooker's flank and rear, while his army were cooking, and while Hooker no doubt thought that he was in the swamp near Fredericksburg.
The first intimation that the enemy had was when we advanced on a charge and a yell and fired into them. Many of them never got their guns and ran like sheep and we after them until dusk. They were kind enough in their hurry to leave us all of their provision, partly cooked only, but we did not then have time to stop to eat any. This battle was
On the next day (Sunday) we fought nearly all day and finally drove Hooker back across the River badly whipped. In that battle I saw a battery of 50 cannon placed in a half circle and masked by having pine boughs put up in front of them to hide them from the enemy and men kept around them, waiting for the enemy to charge us. They finally did so and the boughs were thrown down and the guns fired into their ranks, such things as grape and canister shot, and tore them all to pieces. I was close to the battery when they fired the first volley and it was deafening.
A great many men on both sides were wounded and killed. The guns set the straw and leaves in the woods on fire and burned up a great many wounded men. I saw some of them on Monday after the battle. After we had whipped back Hooker, we again went back to our old camp near Hanover Crossing and rested there until early in June. We used to hear how Stonewall was getting on every day, but finally heard that he was worse, that he had pneumonia and was very weak on account of the loss of blood cause by his wounds.
On Sunday, the 10th, I went to church at his headquarters to hear of him. There I saw Gen'l Lee, A.P. Hill, D. H. Hill, Longstreet, James Ewell Brown Stuart and others, all come to hear of Jackson; and while there, word came that he was dead.
- to be continued