THE DEATH OF SEDGWICK
Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick, commander of the Sixth Corps, was one of
the most popular senior officers in the Army of the Potomac. On
the morning of May 9, 1864, Sedgwick arrived here to direct some
minor redeployment of his troops. Ignoring warnings from his
chief-of-staff, Sedgwick stalked about admonishing his men to cease
worrying about the occasional fire of Confederate sharpshooters
concealed in the woodline far to your front. "I am ashamed of you.
dodging that way,"scolded Segdwick. "They couldn't hit an elephant
at this distance." Shortly thereafter, a bullet slammed into the
General's face, killing him almost instantly.
The shot that killed John Sedgwick, the highest-ranking Northern
officer to die on a Civil War battlefield, came from a Whitworth
rifle at a distance of more than 500 yards. The identity of the
marksman who fired the fatal shot remains a mystery, although at
least five Confederate soldiers later claimed responsibility.