John Bowie Magruder (1839 - 1863)

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Death: Died in Gettysburg, PA, USA
Cause of death: mortally wounded on 3 July 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About John Bowie Magruder

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=27482561

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2001.05.0285%3Achapter%3D1.32

Gettysburg -- 57th Virginia Infantry Regiment Armistead's Brigade, Pickett's Division, Longstreet's Corps

During Pickett's Charge, Colonel John Bowie Magruder, the commander of the 57th, went down with a mortal wound within 20 steps of Cushing's Guns. His last words were "They are ours". He was struck by two shots—one in the left breast and the other under the right arm, which crossed the wound in his breast.

On the spot where he thus gloriously fell mortally wounded, Colonel Magruder was made prisoner and carried to the hospital in Gettysburg. Here he languished until July 5th, 1863, when his spirit took its flight. He was a member of the ‘Epsilon Alpha Fraternity,’ and a frater caused his remains to be encased in a metallic coffin, and, with all his personal effects, sent to his father by flag of truce to Richmond, in October, 1863. He was buried at ‘Glenmore,’ in Albemarle county.

His cousin, James Watson Magruder, himself afterward killed on the battlefield at Meadow Bridge, May 11th, 1864, writing from camp near Fredericksburg. August 8, 1863, said: ‘From last information, John now sleeps among those gallant spirits who that day bore our banner so nobly against the ramparts of the enemy on the battlefield in a foreign land. If so, he died with his laurels thick around him. I saw him in Loudoun [county] a short while before the army left Virginia, looking better and in better spirits than I ’

-------------------- http://pw2.netcom.com/~buck1755/shsp8.htm

Colonel John Bowie Magruder participated in Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. He fell mortally wounded within twenty steps of the enemy's cannon, shouting: "They are ours." He was struck by two shots - one in the left breast and the other under the right arm, which crossed the wound in his breast. On the spot where he thus gloriously fell mortally wounded, Colonel Magruder was made prisoner and carried to the hospital in Gettysburg. Here he languished until July 5th, 1863, when his spirit took its flight.

There is a memorial to Brigadier General John Bowie Magruder at the Rotunda of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

The following correspondence describes events surrounding John Bowie Magruder's actions leading to his being mortally wounded and captured on 3 July 1963 during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg:

HEADQUARTERS PICKETT'S DIVISION, April 25th, 1863.

To COL. Magruder, - The Maj. - Gen'l commanding directs me to say that it affords him great pleasure to acknowledge the important services of yourself and command during the time that you held the important position on the White Marsh Road. All of the dispositions you made to receive the enemy, and especially the manner in which you received them, and notwithstanding their greatly superior numbers, repulsed them, meets with special approval. He desires you to express his approval in orders to Macon's battery, the 11th Virginia infantry, Kemper's brigade. The 17th Virginia infantry, Corse's brigade, and your own gallant regiment, the 57th.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. JOHNSTON, A. A. A. G.


To Col. J. B. Magruder, 57th Virginia regiment, Commanding, White Marsh Road.

Thereupon the colonel commanding issued congratulatory orders to his troops. General Longstreet ordered his troops to withdraw from the siege of Suffolk on the night of the 4th of May, and Colonel Magruder's regiment marched from thence to Richmond, where it remained about a week; thence it moved to encamp within two miles of Hanover Junction, where preparations were made for the advance into Pennsylvania.

On June 24th, Pickett's division crossed the Potomac at Williamsport and bivouacked on the Maryland shore. It entered Chambersburg on the 27th of June, marched directly through the town, and encamped on the York road about four miles out. The division was detained here three or four days, destroying railroad depots, workshops and public machinery. On the morning of the 2d day of July, 1863, at 2 o'clock, it took up the march to Gettysburg, marching 23 miles, and within three miles of that place, before it was halted to rest. Early next morning it moved towards the line of battle, and in the afternoon made the great charge which shattered and immortalized Pickett's splendid division. Colonel John Bowie Magruder fell mortally wounded within twenty steps of the enemy's cannon, shouting: "They are ours." He was struck by two shots - one in the left breast and the other under the right arm, which crossed the wound in his breast. On the spot where he thus gloriously fell mortally wounded, Colonel Magruder was made prisoner and carried to the hospital in Gettysburg. Here he languished until July 5th, 1863, when his spirit took its flight. He was a member of the "Epsilon Alpha Fraternity," and a frater caused his remains to the encased in a metallic coffin, and, with all his personal effects, sent to his father by flag of truce to Richmond, in October, 1863. He was buried at "Glenmore," in Albemarle county.

His cousin, James Watson Magruder, himself afterward killed on the battlefield at Meadow Bridge, May 11th, 1864, writing from camp near Fredericksburg, August 8, 1863, said: "From last information, John now sleeps among those gallant spirits who that day bore our banner so nobly against the ramparts of the enemy on the battlefield in a foreign land. If so, he died with his laurels thick around him. I saw him in Loudoun [county] a short while before the army left Virginia, looking better and in better spirits than I ever knew him. It almost disposes me to quarrel with the decrees of heaven when he, the noblest of us all, in the flower of his youth, is thus untimely cut off. Why could not other men, who might be better spared, be taken in his stead? But our country demands the noblest for her altars. Our grief is increased by the fact that our country cannot afford to lose such men."

The spirit of this letter exhibits in every line the unselfish patriotism of the Southern youth. Their sacrifices made glorious the history of the Confederate States. The proud record is so close to us that we should see it at every mental glance, feel it at every move, and touch it at every step. It is a fadeless essence, beautiful and brilliant. Its stars, like diamonds in the tomb of royalty, will rest undimmed by the dust and lapse of ages.

John Bowie Magruder, in the flower of his manhood, in the 24th year of his age, fell for the glory of his country in the great battle which turned the destiny of the South. His name is enrolled amongst the heroes of his Alma Mater, the University of Virginia, and listed with the dead on the field of battle, whose courage and chivalry made the fame of the Army of Northern Virginia.

[From the Richmond, Va., Times, May 28, 1899.]

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Colonel John Bowie Magruder (CSA)'s Timeline

1839
November 24, 1839
1863
July 5, 1863
Age 23
Gettysburg, PA, USA