Saturday, February 4, 2012

Part II The 11th NJ at Gettysburg Its Colonel

The man to your left is Colonel Robert McAllister.
Born in Juanita County Pa he raised on the farm of his father which he works into the 1830s. He meets his beloved wife and they marry and settle down to a farmers life.
However the farm fails and he and his wife leave, and begin to make there way east till they finally settle it first Oxford Furnace NJ and then eventually Belvidere NJ. They will call Belvidere home through the war period.

He gains the military knowledge that will serve him so well during the Civil War from commanding the local miliria first in PA and then New Jersey. Rising to the rank of Brig General of Militia.

Quiet, ,a man of incredible deep Christian faith, his soft spokeness is overwhelmed by a booming voice that could be heard above the din of battle and also over the training ground.

His philosphy of fighting from the front of the regiment, leading there was much as Stonewall Jacksons. When it was his time, God had preordanined that. So why would or should he worry about his demise?

When he took command of the 11th NJ, he was at every drill, every inspection, so meticulous was he, he would point out a button out of place, or a coat not just put on right or shoulder boards not just right or even if a non oms officers strips were incorrect. His men grumbled at this so much that they started calling him "Mother McAllister"... Even the camps had to be set up just right...

Then the regiment faced battle for the first time. And as other regiments melted away around them they stood firm. Their casualty counts showed that. But also the men began to realize that what he had been doing is instilling the discipline he knew they would need to survive. And that term of "Mother McAllister", became a term of deep endearment. One that will last the rest of his life..

At Gettysburg, he leads the regiment up to the Emmitsburg Rd.... Placed next to the Klingle house he notes in a letter not published that he wasn't entirely happy with it, but that's where they were....

When Barksdales 3 of 4 regiments advanced into the range of the regiments guns, he roars "FIRE!!!!!!!"
And the regiments 290 assorted guns roared as one sending their rounds down range...

However he doesn't see it to end of the battle.. He no sooner gets the words out then he goes down.. Hit twice......
JIM

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