General John Sedgwick’s last words “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…” a true morale booster!

General John Sedgwick's last words They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist a true morale booster!
Pic: Crossroads

John Sedgwick was a Union Army general in the American Civil War.

His death was very sudden. During the battle of Spotsylvania, on May 9, 1864 he was hit by sniper fire almost immediately when he had uttered “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…”

During the battle , as the bullets whistled by, some of his men dodged. The general laughingly mentioned that he was ashamed of his men since they were dodging for single bullets. How will they manage open fire ? He added that these bullets couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.

Thereafter there was a a sharp-shooter’s bullet passed with a long shrill whistle very close, and a soldier who was directly in front of the general, dodged to the ground. The general touched him gently with his foot, and repeated the earlier remark. The man rose and saluted and replied he believed in dodging and had saved his head . The general laughed. However the third time the general was in for a big surprise.

For a third time there was the same shrill whistle, however it had struck the general’s face the blood spurting from his left cheek under the eye in a steady stream. He had fallen down ! The soldiers were shocked seeing him die!

His last words They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…was an attempt to boost morale of the war heroes never give up, never surrender !


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