A Night of Agony

A Night of Agony (HM1HHC)

Location: Ruther Glen, VA 22546 Caroline County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 53.52', W 77° 29.626'

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Inscription

May 24, 1864

— Blue Trail —

A field hospital was set up beside the river where the wounded were given what little care could be provided in the darkness and rain. The waters of the North Anna were now too high to carry the men to safety, so the Federal soldiers settled down for a long night of suffering, awaiting dawn.

In the midst of all the misery, Color Sergeant Leopold Karpeles of the 57th Massachusetts was particularly brokenhearted. Wounded while holding the regiment's colors, he had refused to leave the flag until ordered to the rear by Lieutenant Colonel Chandler. In the darkness of the hospital, Karpeles overheard a rumor that Chandler was killed because, after Color Corporal Ira Bullard died in the final enemy charge, the colonel seized the flag to protect it from the Rebels.

The regimental historian later wrote "there was no ground to the rumor, but the poor fellow was inconsolable. All night long he charged himself with the death of his 'dear colonel' because he left the field." In fact, Lieutenant Colonel Chandler did die of his wounds. Karpeles would survive his wound and eventually receive the Medal of Honor for his bravery at the Battle of the Wilderness.

Brigadier General Ledlie received no known reprimand for his performance at Ox Ford. Instead of a court-martial, he was promoted to command the 1st Division, 9th Corps, resulting in several more blunders until the Federal debacle on July 30, 1864, known as the Battle of the Crater. Found in a bunker while his division was attacking Petersburg, Ledlle was driven from the army in disgrace, resigning on January 23, 1865.

(captions)
(left) Wounded soldiers are carried off the battlefield.
(right) Color Sergeant Leopold Karpeles and Major Wallace Putnam. Putnam was mortally wounded on May 24, 1864

Sponsored by members of the BGES in honor of Mike Miller, Donna Neary, Gordon Rhea, Art Taylor, Martin Marietta Aggregate and the Hanover County Department of Parks & Recreation.
Details
HM NumberHM1HHC
Tags
Historical PeriodCivil War, 17th Century
Historical PlaceBattlefield
Marker TypeOther
Marker ClassHistorical Marker
Marker StyleInterpretative Marker / Sign
Marker NumberStop 6
Year Placed2014
Placed ByBlue & Gray Education Society, Hanover County Parks and Recreation Department
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 8:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280716 N 4196764
Decimal Degrees37.89200000, -77.49376667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 53.52', W 77° 29.626'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 53' 31.2000" N, 77° 29' 37.5600" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Can be seen from road?No
Is marker in the median?No
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9138 Fall Hole Dr, Ruther Glen VA 22546, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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