A Recent Article on Col. Mudge

A worthy piece of research bearing on Col. Mudge and the events at Gettysburg – written in the modern era – is the article, A CALL OF LEADERSHIP; Lt. COL. CHARLES REDINGTON MUDGE, U.S.V. AND THE SECOND MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY AT GETTYSBURG, by Anthony J. Milano. It appeared in Gettysburg Magazine, January 1, 1992, Issue No. 6.

As usual, I would like nothing better than to reproduce it here, as it makes for fascinating reading. As usual, copyright restrictions prevent that.

I will offer though, from the article, a few excerpted lines from Mudge’s letters home.

They are just snatches, pieces, of an extended conversation between a son and his father. But I enjoy hearing the words in my mind, as he might have whispered them under his breath, writing in camp at night after a long day’s marching.


After Antietam:

…Our regiment went in, that is, was actually engaged three times in the battle of Wednesday. Twice we were very fortunate, making the rebels run and not suffering ourselves, but the other time we got the worst of it, losing fifteen killed and fifty-five wounded out of less than two hundred….I got a blow on the ribs from a ball which penetrated through my blouse, vest, and two shirts, and skinned my ribs, but only disabled me for a few moments. I thought I was killed when it struck me, but recovered almost immediately…there are no words left to express what Wednesday’s fight was,—the whole ground was fought over twice, each side feeling how great an issue was at stake.


–C.R. Mudge to E.R Mudge, Maryland Heights, September 25, 1862

Comey Family Civil War Papers, Box 1, Folder 13, Manuscript Collection of the American Antiquarian Society.

After Chancellorsville:

…Our men behaved better than ever. Cogswell was wounded early, and then I took command,—gaining and holding ground for fifteen minutes without a cartridge,—until ordered to retire, which I did very slowly, halting and facing frequently. We took in four hundred and thirty men and twenty­ two officers, and lost, as near as I can get it at present, twenty‑two men killed, ninety‑eight wounded, sixteen missing,—one officer killed, four wounded, several grazed. I think the killed is larger, as some of the wounded could not have lived long….The colors are getting to look a little hard….3


–C.R. Mudge to ER. Mudge, Extreme left of the Army of the Potomac covering the United States Ford, May 5, 1863

Comey Family Civil War Papers, Box 1, Folder 13, Manuscript Collection of the American Antiquarian Society.

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