The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

What was the most appalling thing that occurred at Opequon?

James E. Taylor was a staff artist for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, and he had witnessed many shocking things during the war, but none of them prepared him for what he viewed on September 20, 1864. The day after the Battle of Opequon, Taylor was getting ready to move out when he saw ten Northern soldiers stealing from a wounded Confederate officer. This, perhaps, was not so atypical, but the wounded man had had both of his eyes shot out—whether these men were the culprits is not certain—and he was still alive, begging them not to take his possessions. They went right ahead robbing him, and Taylor passed on, realizing that what he had seen indicated the gruesome shape the war was taking.


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