Re: Two US accounts.June 25 2012 at 9:23 PM
|John (no login)|
Response to Re: Two US accounts.
RE: British officers not being shot down by musket fire. Captain George Gleig himself remarks that Packenham was shot down by musket fire. He was there and saw it for himself.
"Poor Pakenham saw how things were going, and did all that a General could do to rally his broken troops. Riding towards the 44th which had returned to the ground, but in great disorder, he called out for Colonel Mullens to advance; but that officer had disappeared, and was not to be found. He, therefore, prepared to lead them on himself, and had put himself at their head for that purpose, when he received a slight wound in the knee from a musket ball, which killed his horse. Mounting another, he again headed the 44th, when a second ball took effect more fatally."
Nor were Generals Gibbs and Keane inactive. Riding through the ranks, they strove by all means to encourage the assailants and recall the fugitives; till at length both were wounded, and borne off the field. All was now confusion and dismay. Without leaders, ignorant of what was to be done, the troops first halted and then began to retire; till finally the retreat was changed into a flight, and they quitted the ground in the utmost disorder." Gleig's account.
"MacDougall dismounted to come to the aid of his wounded chief. Packenham waved him away, swung himself up on MacDougall's pony and pressed on toward the enemy's line. From the center of that line two shots rang out. One bullet struck the General below the ribs, another pierced his throat. .. Sir Edward slid from his horse. He collapsed in the arms of Duncan MacDougall, as General Ross had collapsed in the Scotsman's arms six months before. Carter's "Blaze of Glory." Page 259.
"General Keane felt a sharp sting in his neck. Raising a hand to explore the wound, he toppled senseless from his horse." Carter: Page 259.
"From the balcony of de la Ronde's the British Quartermaster E. N. Burroughs saw Major Whitaker shot from his horse and marveled at the marksmanship that brought him down. "At a distance of nearly three hundred years! As if to warn us of the fate in store!...The bullet cut about half its diameter in the upper rim of his left ear, passed through his head, out at the right temple and went on. Instantly the whole American line, from the swamp #Coffee's troops# to a point past its center was ablaze. In less time that one can write it, the Forty-fourth Foot was literally swept from the face of the earth. In the wreck and confusion that ensued within five minutes, the regiment seemed to vanish from sight-except the half of it that lay stricken on the ground. Every mounted officer was down at the first fire. No such execution by small arms has ever been seen or heard of." Carter P 254.
"The American ramparts exploded in a burst of flame and smoke. "The whole line." wrote Butler, "from Carroll's Tennesseans to the swamp was almost one solid blaze." Four men deep, the ranks of the Tennesseans and Kentuckians never stopped for breath. As fast as one man fired he stepped back for the next to take his place. By the time the fourth line had discharged its rifles, the first was taking aim again. "There were barely fifteen hundred rifles in the line, " wrote Alexander Walker, "yet scarcely a rifle failed to find its mark." Carter P. 255.