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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Joy of Scholarship

Dr. Cross relates the death of Sgt. Peter Donnelly of the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery at page 35 of his Melancholy Affair at the Weldon Railroad:  The Vermont Brigade, June 23, 1864, mentioning only that the Confederate soldier who killed Donnelly wrote a postwar letter to his sister and returned Donnelly's effects to her.  Luckily, Dr. Cross footnoted The Rutland Daily Herald of October 12, 1865.

I looked up the citation.  It told me that the Confederate soldier who killed Donnelly had originally enlisted in the Richmond Grays and received at the battle of the Crater a second serious wound from which he never recovered.  The only soldier who fit that description was Second Lieutenant John E. Laughton, Jr., who was in command of Company C (the 12th Virginia's) of Mahone's sharpshooter battalion.

This told me where the 12th Virginia was on June 23, 1864, and gave me a personal account from one of its soldiers for one of the few actions for which I lacked one.

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