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Sailor s Creek: Major General G. W. Custis Lee, Captured with Controversy Perfect Paperback – August 1, 2008
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The author discovered that his great great grandfather was involved in one of these questions. During the battle of Sailor's Creek, he may or may not have captured CSA Major General G. W. Custis Lee. Harris S. Hawthorn of the 121st New York received credit for capturing Lee. David D.Read more ›
Now, 146 years after the capture, the Army has agreed to take another look at whether it made a mistake and whether a young private from the Berkshires deserved the honor instead. Regiment accounts provide reason to think Private David D. White, of Cheshire, nabbed Lee during a barbaric battle in the wilds of Virginia in the war's waning days.
The Army's unusual reconsideration is a victory for White's descendants, particularly his great-great-grandson, Frank E. White Jr., who has worked for decades to set the record straight. He recently enlisted the aid of Massachusetts lawmakers in the effort.
In reviewing the case, the Army also casts a light on a key battle that is largely unknown, except among historians and Civil War buffs who note its frenzied viciousness, even in the context of a war known for its brutality.
At one junction in the Battle of Sailor's Creek in the waning days of the war, White and his Massachusetts brethren fought a desperate hand-to-hand assault against the rebels near the banks of a swollen Virginia creek, slashing with bayonets, clubbing one another with muskets, and biting one another's throats as they grappled on the muddy ground.
The battle was a stunning victory for the Yankees; the South called it "Black Thursday.'' Yet it became a footnote, eclipsed by the Confederate surrender days later at Appomattox.
Not so for Frank White. He wrote a 2008 book, "Sailor's Creek: Major General G.W.Read more ›