Checking up on historical facts

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 9, 2016

This letter is written in regards to a letter to the editor dated Nov. 20, 2015, “Thoughts from the Confederate flag.” Mr. Barns writes he was wounded during the Civil War—bless his heart. He goes on to write that one of the wounds he received was at the battle of Gettysburg, “Cut down by Grant’s sharpshooters.”

When I read that I went to my library and blew the dust off my history books and atlas.

Just as I thought. Grant was not at Gettysburg. Meade was the commanding general at Gettysburg. General Grant was over here in Mississippi with his little running buddy, that one they call Sherman, making life miserable for the good citizens of our state in general and for the brave and courageous citizens of the town of Vicksburg in particular. Well, anyway, the article jogged my memory to a tragic incident that happened in Texas years ago. I forget the exact year, 1966? Can’t recall the exact place, Austin?

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Seems some fellow climbed a tower and started to indiscriminately shoot people. After the mess was cleaned up and the police interviewed everyone, it was discovered that the shooter was an ex-Marine. During an interview with police, one of the survivors told them while he was crawling toward safety, he kept thinking, “that was one hell of a shot.”

If I’m a Rebel soldier standing on the battlefield of Gettysburg and one of Grant’s sharpshooters from the trenches of Vicksburg hits me with a minie ball at a distance of approximately 900 miles away, I’m going to be thinking just like that survivor in Texas, “That was one hell of a shot.”



Jeff Rice