John B. Gordon

This is the birthday of Georgia General John B. Gordon. This newspaper’s tribute to him is uncomfortably pro-Southern, but relates some of the man’s best anecdotes. Though his memoirs aren’t always to be trusted (see the Gordon-Barlow Incident), he did have some excellent stories to tell/embellish.

September 17, 1862, is known was the bloodiest day in American history. Confederate General Gordon was there, defending a position called the sunken road. Wave upon wave of Union troops attacked Gordon’s men. The casualties were beyond today’s understanding. Gordon was struck by Yankee bullets four times, but continued to lead his men. Then, a fifth bullet tore through his right jaw and out of his left cheek. He fell with his face in his hat and would have drowned in his own blood except for a hole in his hat. Though Gordon survived these wounds, the last one left him permanently scarred. That is why in later photographs of him you see him only from the right side.

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