Friday, June 13, 2014

The Sad Story of Shooting One's Own

I have researched the Civil War for several years, and the following is a true story, one of many gripping anecdotes that come from our nation's four year internal conflict. It is a portion of the written record of the Battle of Malvern Hill (July 1, 1862) by Captain D.P. Conyngham of the Union army. He recounts a particular portion of the battle in his diary:
"I had a Sergeant Driscoll, a brave man, one of the best shots in the Brigade. When charging Malvern Hill, a company of riflemen was posted in a clump of trees, keeping us under fierce fire, even charging out of the trees on our advance. Their officer seemed to be a daring, reckless boy, and I said to Sergeant Driscoll, 'if that officer is not taken down, many of us will fall before we pass that clump of trees.'
'Leave that to me,' said Driscoll. He raised his rifle, and the moment that officer exposed himself again - BANG! The Southern officer fell, and his company at once broke away from the clump.
As we passed the place I said, 'Driscoll, see if that officer is dead - he was a brave fellow.'
I stood looking on. Driscoll turned him over on his back. The wounded man opened his eyes for a moment and faintly murmured 'Father' and then closed them forever.
I will forever recollect the frantic grief of Driscoll; it was a harrowing experience for all of us to witness. Driscoll had shot and killed his own son. His boy had gone South before the war."


The Govteach said...

Excellent goes many other stories from the " War of Northern Aggression."

Christiane said...

this post certainly puts things into perspective about what is really important

Curious Thinker said...

A very sad and tragic story.

Loddie Resnick said...

This story is very sad indeed, yet a story that glorifies our Heavenly Father. For He also took the life of His only begotten Son so that many could be saved from spiritual death.

ScottShaver said...

Maybe the story suggests we should not be so quick to go to war with another. There are repercussions beyond our ability to fully comprehend.

Aussie John said...


I'm reminded of pastors who do the same thing to the congregation every Sunday.

dr. james willingham said...

I was once reading some material on the effects of the Civil War in Kentucky, and at one of the battlefields a man said to others gathered there: "I shot my father and five brothers here in this battle." What is sadly true of that war is that it was apparently planned some 20-30 years before in Europe, in England in particular. Perhaps the most despised view in history is that of conspiracy theory, but when all the evidence has been waved and there is nothing else left but that then you have to go with it.