Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Fighting Bishop Falls

This entry is from Diary of a Confederate Soldier, John S. Jackman of the Orphan Brigade, edited by William C. Davis.  Jackman was a witness to Fighting Bishop's (General Leonidas Polk) death, June 14, 1864.


About 9 or 10 o'clock a.m. 14th Capt G. and I were sitting by the col'ls fire, a little to the rear of the regiment.  For two days not a shell had been thrown at our position -- and when a shell came shrieking over the mountain to our left, I remarked to the captain, that some General and his staff, no doubt, had ridden up to the crest of the hill, and the Federal batteries were throwing shells at them. "Yes," said the captain, "and I hope some of them will get shot.  A general can't ride around the lines without a regiment of staff at his heels."  About this time we heard the second shell strike -- I thought it struck into the side of the hill; but it had struck Lt. General Polk.  Where he was killed, was not a hundred yards from us, but the trees were so thick, we could not see from where we were what was going on, and we did not learn what had happened for some minutes.
Leonidas Polk, from the Library of Congress Collection

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