Friday, June 28, 2013

Retreat of the Confederate Wounded from Gettysburg

On July 4th, after the battle had ended, a wagon train carried the wounded Confederate soldiers away from Gettysburg. They passed by the Snyder farm in New Franklin, Pennsylvania. Milton J. Snyder remembered:
"On Saturday evening, July 4th, 1863, while we were quietly seated inside the house, my father heard a peculiar noise--like the approach of a heavy storm. This was, if I remember correctly, about ten o'clock on Saturday night.
"Father went out into the darkness to listen. A short time after a body of Confederate cavalry came down the road from Greenwood. They halted in front of my father's house and called him out. The night was very dark, and they asked to be directed to Greencastle. They seemed to be lost or bewildered. . .
"About midnight the first of the train of wounded reached our place. The wagons kept the main road as much as possible, and on either side of the train a continual stream of wounded soldiers kept moving. Thus they continued coming and going the remainder of Saturday night, all day Sunday, and the last wagon passed by New Franklin Monday morning at nine o'clock. . .
"Wounded Confederate soldiers were left all along the route of retreat. Many died and were buried by the roadside. I shall never forget those ghastly wounds, those thousands of faces dusky with powder, and that battery of black and horrid fieldpieces, which had sent, as could be seen, many charges of grape and canister into the bosoms of our brave men . . ."


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