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Red Eye

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There are many stories of heroism and sacrifice from Pickett's Charge.

Without a doubt there are untold numbers of miracles, of men saved from certain death by mere chance.

There is, however, only one horse that reached the vortex of death the stone wall at the Angle - and survived. That was Red Eye, the great black charger of Brigadier General Richard Brooke Garnett.

A first hand account tells of his bravery:

"The last I saw of General Garnett he was astride his black charger - Red Eye - in the forefront of the charge and near the stone wall, just beyond which is marked the farthest point reached by the Southern troops. The few that were left of our brigade advanced to this point."

"General Garnett was gallantly waving his hat and cheering the men on to renewed efforts against the enemy. I remember that he wore a black felt hat with a silver cord. His sword hung at his side as he pressed his horse farther against a deadly hail of steel and shot."

"Within yards of the stone wall, General Garnett was wrenched from Red Eye - shot through the body at the waist by grape shot. Miraculously, Red Eye, unhurt, except for a gash in his right shoulder, turned and galloped to the Confederate rear, jumping over fallen infantry as he fled.
Sadly, Red Eye's master, General Richard Brook Garnett's remains were never identified.

With his master dead, the fate of gallant Red Eye is a mystery. Likely though, as a dutiful "soldier" of the Confederacy, he was enlisted to pull a wagon of wounded soldiers or artillery piece on the difficult and perilous retreat into Virginia.

In the great tradition of "Little Sorrel," steed of Stonewall Jackson, Red Eye carried his master into the jaws of hell and became the only Confederate horse who survived, "the Angle", at the infamous Pickett's Charge."

Source:
From the accounts of Mr. James W. Clay, private in Company G, and Capt. Archer Campbell, Eighteenth Virginia Infantry, of how Brig. General, Richard B. Garnett met his death at Gettysburg, on the afternoon of July 3, 1863.


 

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