Tracking Down a Confederate Deserter after Gettysburg | Virginia Museum of History & Culture
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Tracking Down a Confederate Deserter after Gettysburg

Peter S. Carmichael

On February 21, 2019, Peter S. Carmichael delivered the Banner Lecture, “Tracking Down a Confederate Deserter after Gettysburg.”

On August 20, 1863, thirteen veteran soldiers from the 3rd North Carolina Infantry decided that they'd had enough of war. That evening, in the blackness of night, they picked up their rifles, slung on their cartridge belts, and escaped into the woods. From that point on there was no turning back. Our guest speaker, Professor Peter S. Carmichael, will focus on the words of John Futch, one of the thirteen deserters. Though he was illiterate, Futch left a remarkable set of letters that he dictated to his comrades. Futch’s powerful story puts us in the shoes of a deserter, enabling us to see his world after the devastating defeat in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Carmichael, one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the American Civil War, is the Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies and the director of the Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College. He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular articles and several books, including Lee's Young Artillerist: William R. J. Pegram; The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion; and The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies.

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