A Dangerous Gun

There is an interesting story regarding the gun Joseph Buckley originally carried and those who subsequently used this gun during the assault on Kenesaw Mountain. Joseph Buckley, who enlisted at Lisbon, was severely wounded by the same bullet that mortally wounded Captain William Harkness. The bullet entered Buckley's shoulder, severing the nerve and shattering the arm between the shoulder and elbow, then passing out at the elbow joint. His comrades were sure he was going to lose his arm but fortunately the surgeons were able to save it. At the time however, he was severely wounded an unfit for battle.

After Joseph Buckley was wounded, Captain Frank Hobbs insisted that Buckley be escorted to the rear. Because many guns had been damaged in battle and replacements were scarce, William Platt, from Seward Township was given Buckley's gun. In a very short period of time he was severely wounded in the right hand. The minnie ball struck the back of the thumb of his right hand, then coursed along the knuckles of the fingers. When it struck the bone of the little finger it glanced up and lodged in the wrist. He was taken to the hospital where his hand was amputated.

The ill-fated gun was next given to Frank Eastergreen, who enlisted from Seward Township. It was not long before he was struck by a bullet in the upper thigh-bone fracturing his thigh. The wound proved to be mortal and he died from the effects of the wound July 3, 1864.

Thomas N. Morley of Yorkville, picked up the gun and was wounded in the left hand and had to have one of his fingers amputated. To the men of Company H, the gun became known as "a dangerous gun," not to the enemy, but to the man who carried it.

Charles Litsey who enlisted from Lisbon, picked up the gun after Thomas Morley was wounded and used it during the rest of the battle without being wounded.  Litsey continued to carry the gun without suffering injury until the regiment was mustered out in Chicago.

Last Modified on 2012-12-29 13:47:03-0600 CST by Elmer Dickson