On this day in the Civil War, Federal troops entrench at Spotsylvania. Confederate snipers harass the Federals as the entrenchments are being built. Union General John Sedgwick attempts to calm his men, saying: “Don’t duck, they couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance!”  A few moments later, a Rebel bullet strikes the general under his left eye and kills him. The shot is fired by a Confederate marksman from nearly half a mile away.

sedgwick

General John Sedgwick

(Photo Credit: Library of Congress)

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