Here’s some trivia. Who was the highest ranking Union soldier to die during the Civil War? Answer: Major General John Sedgwick.
Unfortunately, his death was the result of false confidence, bad planning and bad leadership. Part of the reason for his confidence was probably because he had previously been wounded in the Battle of Glendale and then shot three times during the Battle of Antietam. I’m guessing he started to believe that he was untouchable. Unfortunately, here’s how history records his death.
Major General Sedgwick chastised his men for acting scared of nearby Confederate sharpshooters. He had directed the soldiers in placing ammunition and artillery around them in preparation for what later would be known as the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse. It irritated him that they were acting so squeamish.
With Confederate sharpshooters only about 1,000 yards away from them, the soldiers kept running for cover every time a bullet would be fired.
History tells us that Major General Sedgwick walked right out in the open and was quoted as saying, “What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line?” Apparently, his confidence did nothing to calm the soldiers, which only incensed him more.
He then hollered, “Why are you dodging like this? They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” (From the book Who’s Who in the Civil War and historian Gordon Rhea) Reports then say that he was shot moments later, under his left eye. There, he fell down dead from a sharpshooter’s bullet. Despite being on the opposing side, even General Robert E. Lee expressed sadness over losing his old friend.
And for pic o’ day, just taking it easy… or something like that: