Monday, July 6, 2015

July 5 (Sunday), 1863: With the Retreat of the Wounded From Gettysburg, Pa.

Imboden, John D., Gen., CSA,

Daybreak on the morning of July 5th found the head of our column at Greencastle, twelve or fifteen miles from the Potomac River at Williamsport, our point of crossing. Here our [perceived] troubles from the Federal cavalry began. From the fields and crossroads they attacked us in small bodies, striking the column where here were few or no guards, and creating great confusion.

. . . After a great deal of harassing and desultory fighting along the road, nearly the whole immense train reached Williamsport a little after the middle of the day. The town was taken possession of; all the churches, schoolhouses, etc, were converted into hospitals, and proving insufficient, many of the private homes were occupied.

Straw was obtained on the neighboring farms; the wounded were removed from the wagons and housed; the citizens were all put to cooking, and the army surgeons to dressing wounds.
The dead were selected from the train__for many had perished on the way__and were decently buried. All t his had to be done because the tremendous rains had raised the river more than ten feet above the fording stage, and we could not possibly cross . . .

Sourced from: "Civil War Medicine: Care & Comfort of the Wounded" by Robert E. Denney

Image: Lee's Retreat from Gettysburg


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