Accounts of War

John Kinman

“He early entered the military service, but of the date of his enlistment I have not been informed. He was severely wounded on the morning of the first day of the battle of Pittsburg Landing,—fought April 6 and 7, 1862,—the greatest and most sanguinary battle of the war then yet fought. As the Union troops were driven from the field, and his comrades could not find him when the ground was regained on the following day, it has been supposed that he was removed by the Confederates, and that he probably soon died in their hands. Being very severely wounded, he may, however, have crawled from the spot where he was seen fall and been among the scattered host of both sides who, intermingled, lay cold and rigid on the wide field over which the two great armies had been desperately struggling for two days. The enemy had left his own dead to be buried by our troops, and he had been so stubbornly fought, and at times so hard pressed, and his facilities for caring for his own wounded so taxed, that it may be questioned whether he looked after our badly wounded. But whatever John’s particular fate was, he was one of the many loyal and true whose death-message there was no one to receive and send home, and whose final place of rest will never by mortal be known. Though not even a simple headstone will ever mark his grave, what grander memorial can there be to his valor and patriotism than the national peace and prosperity he died to secure. He died a martyr, for us, his kindred, his country, and for all humanity” (from Heinrich Gernhardt and His Descendants, pp. 292-293).

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