Dead at Gettysburg

Charles Ladd Killed at Gettysburg

Charles Ladd Killed at Gettysburg


This year is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. I had several ancestors that were actively engaged in this battle. So I went looking for a book that could tell me about this battle. I found “A Field Guide To Gettysburg” by Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler. This well written guide can be taken with you for reference as you walk the battlefield. Or you can do what I am doing, reading it at home, and the book is transporting me to Gettysburg. The book is an easy read, with each section called a stop. At each stop the book tells what happened there. The book of course gives the required who, what where, when, and why, but goes on to tell the human side of the story. When I visit Gettysburg, in the future, this book is a must take item. However as I said I feel like I am there by just reading this book. This is also a good resource book for anyone who had family at the Battle of Gettysburg.

My wife’s Great Uncle Charles Ladd, was at Gettysburg, and became part of the carnage that saw over 50,000 casualties. The casualty rate was about one in every three of those engaged in this battle. Charles, grew up in a very different place. He was born August 7, 1836 in upstate New York to Ulysses and Electa Hazen Ladd, in Point Au Roche, near Beekmantown. This area was settled by many Ladd families and was good farm land. I grew up very near here in Plattsburgh N.Y. and have walked the land where his family farm was. In fact we have one farm that still exists from this family in partial operation today. The land on the east is bordered by Lake Champlain. Charles’s, father died when he was 18. With his other siblings married and with families of their own it fell to him to provide support for his mother. Sometime after August of 1860, Charles moved to Ohio, where he continued to help support his mother.

On June 12th 1861, Charles, enlisted for three years into Company E, the 25th Regiment, of Ohio Infantry. Charles, was to hold the rank of sergeant. The Company Descriptive Book, gives this description of Charles. He had a light complexion, standing at 6 foot 2 inches tall, with brown hair and black eyes. He must have stood out in a line as the average height for men in 1863 was 5 feet 8 inches. They gave his occupation as a farmer. He was to take part in a few small battles, and was getting use to camp life. But that was soon to end.

Charles, saw his first large battle in August 1862, in the Second Battle of Bull Run. He received a head wound and was taken prisoner by the Confederate Army on August 30th, 1862. He received a parole almost immediately on September 1, 1862. When he was well enough in October he was given a furlough. However he failed to return when his furlough was up. Charges of desertion and absence without leave were brought against him. These charges were dropped upon his return in May of 1863. Charles, had been ill for several months and could not travel. At Gettysburg, Charles, was on the field of battle on July 1, 1863, with his Company E of the 25th Ohio Infantry. That day they were vastly out numbered and it was a desperate fight to hold the Confederates from getting control of the high ground. Charles was shot in the left leg shattering his bone. His leg was amputated to the lower third of his thigh. But the effort failed to save him. Charles, died of his wound on July 14, 1863.

The fighting that day was brutal and every inch of ground was contested. Musket volleys were fired into each line as close as 20 paces. 220 men were with Sergeant Ladd that day in the Ohio 25th, at the end of the fighting only 36 were still standing. But they still held the high ground. These are the sacrifices that these men in Union blue endured for us. They saved our country, ended slavery, so that today we have a united and strong country. I have often wondered where the courage came from that these men displayed during this war. I just don’t know if I have that kind of courage in me. They were all men of the flesh, but with courage of iron.

This entry was posted in Lets Talk and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Dead at Gettysburg

  1. Lee Bennett says:

    Nice tribute to your ancestor and others who fought and died at Gettysburg. I have ancestors who fought on both sides. My great great grandfather, Samuel Moser Green, was mortally wounded at Gettysburg, and died on July 15, 1863 at Winchester, VA. Samuel was originally from Long Island, NY; but he followed his family when they moved to Virginia. Samuel fought for the CSA. Tributes to those who fought on both sides, to protect country, faith and family!

    My guess (hopefully never to be tested) is that you and I do have the right stuff to make such sacrifices if ever they became necessary. We come from tough stock!

  2. Sheryl says:

    Whew, your story about your wife’s great uncle really puts a face behind the huge number of casulties that you read about at Gettysburg.

  3. chmjr2 says:

    Thanks for your comment on this posting. And yes we do come from some tough stock.

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving that very nice comment. You, too, come from hardy patriotic stock! 🙂 I can’t begin to imagine what our ancestors went through so we could carry on.

  5. EmilyAnn Frances says:

    Your entry becomes very vivid and full of feeling once you began writing about Charles. And I agree with you about the gratitude we owe the Union soldiers.

    • chmjr2 says:

      Thank you EmilyAnn for reading my blog and your comments. I have copies of his service record and the pension application that his mother claimed. I could see the hard times she had to suffer. Perhaps a little of that came out. Also I have read accounts of that part of the battle. I am in total awe of the men who fought here.

  6. jenorv says:

    The union men of Gettysburg were heroes in the truest sense of the word.

  7. chmjr2 says:

    Thank you for reading my blog and your comment.

  8. It’s been years since I’ve been to Gettysburg. I went as a sullen teenager with my poor dad, who wanted us to have an educational trip. But I still remember the contrast of passing through the touristy things in the town itself, then reaching the quiet, contemplative atmosphere of the battlefield. You can’t remain unmoved by a place like that.

  9. chmjr2 says:

    We had thought about going this year, but stayed away as the crowds would large due to the 150th anniversary. Perhaps we will go next summer. It has been years for me also. But I do remember the battlefield. There is something about it. You are very correct when you said “you can’t remain unmoved”. Thanks for reading my post and your comments.

  10. Being an Aussie, my knowledge about Gettysburg has only been gleaned from movies and TV shows, but as Sheryl commented, your story has put a ‘face to it’. It brings our ancestors closer to us. War is all about loss. Our ancestors are in a sense us and we feel their loss.

  11. chmjr2 says:

    I believe that what our ancestors have done in their life does have an effect on us. We feel their loss because we have taken the time to get to know them. Thanks for reading my blog and your comments.

  12. johnwtroy says:

    I did not have a relative in the battle, but I have been to the battlefield, and the one story that struck me most was how many wounded men drowned in the stream that ran through town. When the dead started to roll into the water, their corpses quickly blocked the flow and the water started to swell over the helpless men laying wounded on its banks.

    • chmjr2 says:

      Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. It seems that war brings a terrible price for us to pay. The suffering of the men who fought at Gettysburg is I believe beyond our ability to understand.

  13. Gettysburg has always had a mysterious pull on me, so I really enjoyed reading about your wife’s Great Uncle Charles. I signed up to follow your blog and I am looking forward to many other fascinating posts. Nice read!

    • chmjr2 says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I hope when you read my other postings and the ones I will be doing in the future, that you find them interesting. You get a strange feeling ( at least I do) when you walk the battlefield at Gettysburg. I may in the future do another post on Gettysburg, since my family was well represented at this battle.

  14. Dave Robison says:

    Reblogged this on Old Bones Genealogy of New England and commented:
    This 150th anniversary of the most tragic battle to ever occur on American soil always makes me stop and reflect on the consequences of disagreement taken to the extreme. We are fortunate that the results were what they were and we can now live in relative peace. The current infantile posturing of our legislators points to how the failure to get on with the business of running the most powerful nation on earth underscores what spawns conflicts that can rage out of control.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s