Monday, December 31, 2007

John M. Brown

John M. Brown was born in 1842.

John was 19 years old and probably living and working in Newaygo County, Michigan, when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. During the opening phase of McClellan’s “Peninsular” campaign in Virginia, John was left sick at the hospital in Yorktown, Virginia, where he remained hospitalized from about May 4, 1862 through September.

From the battlefield at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 15, John wrote home to Michigan to a woman named Mariette, whom he had apparently known before the war.

With pleasure I attempt to scratch a few words to let you know that I am well. We have been in three days fight, and we are lying now on the brow of a hill supporting a battery. There is not much firing at the present time. The pickets [are] shooting some. There is wounded and dead men lying on the battlefield within 20 rods of us, and we went out with a flag of truce yesterday and today for permission to bring our wounded away and bury our dead, and the Rebs wouldn’t accept it, so the men has to lie on the field hollering for help and then we [dare] not go and get them. I can see them this present moment. Our pickets & the Rebel pickets is within talking distance. We can see the rebels. The main body of them is a half a mile of us. We are in the center. They are fighting on the left wing & right. There is some hard fighting before we can take the heights the rebels has possession of. We can see the rebels plain, and there is orders for us not to shoot unless they go to advance. I don’t know what minute I have to advance, so I cant write much & another thing, I can’t think of half of what I want to write, for my mind is on the fighting & I can’t think of anything else. Write soon. Perhaps I may get your letter, and I may be lying cold. There was some killed in my regt & a good many in the brigade. I will write more about it next time. I can’t express my feelings to you at present. Oh it looks hard _ men with their heads blowed off. Read this if you can. I got a letter from you the other day. Your friend, John M. B[rown]

He eventually recovered enough to be assigned on detached duty and by March of 1863 was reported on duty at Brigade headquarters. He apparently remained on detached service from the regiment and in April he was reported to be on recruiting duty, probably in Michigan.
John soon rejoined the Regiment, however, and was shot in the right knee on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, probably while the Regiment was hotly engaged in the Peach orchard on the second day of the battle. He was subsequently hospitalized in Gettysburg where his leg was amputated at the First Division, Third Corps hospital.

John died of his wounds on July 12, 1863, at a hospital in Gettysburg, and was initially buried on Michael Fiscel’s farm and subsequently reinterred in Gettysburg National Cemetery: section D, grave 13.

There is no pension available.

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