Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Orphan Brigade Veterans- the nickname of the First Kentucky Brigade. They Fought with shot guns and hunting rifles, some had no weapons at all.

At the Battle of Stones River, General Braxton Bragg— rode among the survivors, crying out repeatedly, “My poor Orphans! My poor Orphans.” noted brigade historian Ed Porter Thompson, who used the term in his 1868 history of the unit. The term came from how the Confederacy viewed the Kentucky (a union state) soldiers. The term became popular after the war among the veterans.

When the Orphan Brigade was mustered into service, weapons were in short supply. The troops were armed with old smoothbore muskets (some flintlock and others percussion) along with shotguns and hunting rifles. Some men had no arms at all. 

Only a week before the Battle of Shiloh, every regiment except the 9th Kentucky was issued a supply of Enfield rifles imported from England (the 9th armed themselves with Enfields captured during the battle).

When the unit surrendered in 1865, some men were still carrying the same rifles they’d had since Shiloh. PHOTO:Orphan Brigade- Confederate veterans’ reunion at John Thomas Daughaday’s farm 

Confederate veterans' reunion at John Thomas Daughaday's farm; near Palmore, Graves Co., KY; typed list of names included:

FRONT ROW, L to R: James Murphy, James McNeely, James Karr Holloway (Co. G, 1st Texas Regiment, Infantry, Hood's Brigade), Jerome Willingham, John A. Blackburn, Samuel Theopolis Grace (Co. C, 7th Kentucky Regiment, Mounted Infantry), James Adams, John Thomas Daughaday, "Doc" Lawrence or Polk Willingham. SECOND ROW, L to R: Andrew "Nat" Yates, Felix Jones, Franklin Mullins, William Bostic, Will Linder, John A. Wilson, John Hampton Short (Co. E, 3rd Kentucky Regiment, Mounted Infantry), Acie Gates, George Cameron.

BACK ROW, L to R: Richard Johnson Grace (Co. G, 4th Kentucky Regiment, Infantry, Orphan Brigade), Tom Majors, William H. Lawrence (Co. G, 12th Kentucky Regiment, Cavalry), Lycurgus Willingham, Charlie Powell, Pat Wadlington (Co. E, 3rd Kentucky Regiment, Mounted Infantry), Henry George (Co. A, 7th Kentucky Regiment, Mounted Infantry), 1900
Part of Guide to the Confederate Veterans Reunion Photographic Collection, 1895-1924

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