Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wiedrich's Battery at Cross Keys

Buffalo Morning Express

Tuesday, June 24, 1862

Local, Literary and Miscellaneous

Wiedrich’s Battery at Cross Keys.

A letter from Capt. Wiedrich, by his wife,
effectually disposes of the rumor that he was killed in
the battle of Cross Keys, inasmuch as it gives a most
interesting account of the gallant part which he took
in that battle.  Of the decimation of a regiment by
his battery, which was referred to in the first report
of the battle.  Capt. Wiedrich gives this account:

“We had hardly discharged on cannon when a whole
Regiment of the enemy arose from a wheat field about
400 yards before us.  They were hardly on their legs
when they gave three cheers for the “Louisiana Tigers"
(but we tigered them!) and threw a full salvo
upon us.  Immediately we turned our cannons upon
them, and gave them a taste of our blue pills, which
brought their flag down.  The flag went up, again and
again, for three times, until it disappeared and was
never seen again.  The Southern “brethren” fell like
grass before a scythe .  They lay in heaps.  The
whole regiment, consisting, according to my
judgment, of about 800 to 1000 men, was routed;
only about 200 men were left.”

That the murderous effect of the battery fire upon
this regiment was not conjectural or imaginary, appears
in a subsequent part of Capt.W.’s  letter, where
he says: “The day had hardly dawned on Monday
when we had already formed in line of battle, in which
order we crossed the battlefield of the enemy, where
we found their dead in heaps.  When I came near the
point where the "Louisiana Tigers" had stood, what did
I find? A pond of blood and 172 mutilated corpses.”

The Captain modestly remarks in concluding this
narrative of the performance of the Wiedrich Battery:
“We were, although we did only our duty, considered
the “lions of the day.”  Regiment after regiment,
which we passed, gave us three cheers.  They
gave us the name, ‘The Raging Battery,’ and the
‘Tiger Killers.’”

Original story from microfilm records at,
 Buffalo Erie County Public Library
Central Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203

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