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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
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Gregory C. White
Canton GA USA
Posts: 380
Joined: 2004
Sgt. John S. Hudson, Company C, 15th Georgia Infantry
9/17/2021 8:17:35 AM
The following is an excerpt of a letter composed September 18, 1862, on the Sharpsburg battlefield, by Peter Wellington Alexander, war correspondent of the Savannah Republican newspaper:

“The fiercest and most hotly contested battle of the war was fought here yesterday. It commenced at early dawn, the enemy being the attacking party, and lasted, with occasional breathing intervals, until it was quite dark. Whether we consider the numbers engaged, the fierceness of the assault, the dogged courage of the Confederates, or the almost unparalleled duration of the fight, it must be regarded as one of the extraordinary battles of modern times.

“I write at a hospital, in the midst of the wounded and dying, amputated arms and legs, feet, fingers, and hands cut off, puddles of of human gore, and ghastly, gaping wounds. There is a smell of death in the air, and the laboring surgeons are literally covered from head to foot with the blood of the sufferers. The wounded are laying in the house, on the piazza, under the trees, in the sun. Some have died; others are begging for water, though but few complain of their suffering. I turned aside yesterday in the midst of the battle to see how a true soldier can die. He was of twenty-two or three summers—of clear skin and mild blue eyes—John S. Hudson, of Elbert county, Ga. His thigh had been torn off by a shell, and hung only by a thin piece of skin. He was calm and resigned, though his struggles were severe and protracted. Finally, as the dread hour of dissolution approached, he gathered up all his remaining strength, and turning to his brother, who hung over him in dumb agony, he said, 'Tell Mother I die rejoicing, and die a soldier's death.' There was not a dry eye among the dozen spectators who, strangely enough; had stopped to witness the last moments of the youthful hero. May Heaven have mercy upon his soul, and upon our bleeding land!”

Sgt. John S. Hudson served with Company C, 15th Georgia Infantry, Toombs' Brigade, and was a teacher from Elbert County, Georgia.
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