Another Gettysburg Hero from the ‘Shire

Well, no sooner did we get the story of Col. Edward Cross, when a new newsletter arrives from the legislature’s Republicans[.pdf], and bedamned if there isn’t another hero, who avenged Cross — and then perished himself.

Following up on last issue’s feature regarding Col. Edward H. Cross of the 5th NH Volunteer Regiment (whose portrait can be found on the first floor outside of SH103) Rep. Reed Panasiti of Amherst let us know of another hero of the Battle of Gettysburg who served under Col. Cross, Sergeant Charles Phelps of Amherst.

As written in our previous feature, on July 2nd, 1863 during the early hours of the Battle of Gettysburg, Col. Cross was shot by a Confederate sniper through the abdomen exiting near his spine mortally wounding him.

After seeing his commander fall to a Confederate sniper’s bullet, Sgt. Charles Phelps took careful aim and shot the sniper as he stood up from behind a stone wall, killing him.

This is beginning to sound like an episode of “Spy vs. Spy”, isn’t it?

Shortly after, however, as the “Fightin’ Fifth” retreated to the cover of the woods, Sgt. Phelps was shot in the back, and died later that evening.

Well, that’s a heck of a thing.

Sgt. Phelps’s remains were sent back to Amherst where he was interred at the Meadowview Cemetery. To this date there is a large marble headstone marking Sgt. Phelps’s grave with inscriptions of the 10 battles that he served in during the war. We thank Rep. Panasiti for sharing this interesting piece of NH Civil War history with us and helping us expand upon last weeks “Historical Happenings” segment.

We’ll have to go visit Sergeant Phelps one of these days.

3 thoughts on “Another Gettysburg Hero from the ‘Shire

    1. Billy Caldwell

      Same here.

      Most of the relatives on my Dad’s side of the family live in N Carolina. As a kid, we’d drive up there a couple times a year to visit and always stopped in Shelby, NC for BBQ on the way. Right there in the city square was a memorial to area Confederate soldiers and I always got a good look at it on the way out of town. Made quite an impression on me as boy.

      Leaving aside all the baggage that goes on in any conversation about the war between the states, I love reading stories about the experiences of individual soldiers – keep them coming!

      Reply

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