Sunday, March 24, 2013
....When then Captain John B. Gordon first organized a company of Tennessee and North Georgia Mountain men he was trying to come up with a nick name for the Company. He decided on the name “Mountain Rifles.” When he announced the name to his company the men told him they had already named the company, “The Raccoon Roughs.”
After leading the Raccoon Roughs at First Manassas in July 1861, Gordon was elected colonel of the 6th Alabama regiment in April 1862, just before the serious campaigning began on the Peninsula. At Seven Pines, he was thrust suddenly into brigade command when Brig. Gen. Robert Rodes was wounded.
There he distinguished himself, leading the brigade in a charge through murderous fire. Every one of his field officers was killed. He alone survived, with bullet holes in his coat; his horse was killed under him. After the battle of Gaines' Mill a month later, Rodes, exhausted and still suffering from his Seven Pines wound, again surrendered brigade command to Gordon. Two days later Gordon led the costly charge at Malvern Hill, where he was temporarily blinded when dirt from an exploding shell hit him in the eyes. There, four hundred of his brigade were casualties.
Gordon was wounded 5 times in the "Bloody Lane" at Sharpsburg.