As I explained in a post back in 2015, I take time on May 9 each year to visit the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield and pay my respects to Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick. Sedgwick was killed at the battle by an exceptionally adept Confederate sharpshooter from Joseph Kershaw’s brigade. As seen the photo (right, taken this morning), the shot came from somewhere in that far treeline and hit Sedgwick at the spot reportedly marked by the monument. That’s a good 600 yards, I’m told—not an impossible shot, but not an easy one by any stretch, either.
Over the years, I’ve come to respect “Uncle John,” not because he had any great degree of razzle-dazzle on the field but because he was stalwart and dependable, and because the men themselves respected and even loved him so much.
Here are a few posts about Sedgwick from the ECW archives from previous May ninths:
Sedgwick’s Death (a first-hand account from Sedgwick’s staffer, Martin T. McMahon)
Killed in Action (2014) (an explanation by Chris Kolakowski about Sedgwick’s position as the most-senior Union officer killed in the war)
In Memory of “Uncle John” (2016)
Visiting “Uncle John” (2017)