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  2. The Angel of Marye’s Heights | The SC State House
  3. Sergeant Richard R. Kirkland: Angel of Marye's Heights

The Federal Army of the Potomac sat restlessly, eagerly awaiting means with which to cross the Rappahannock River, while elements of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia were called to take defensive positions in and behind Fredericksburg. What ensued was a bloody spectacle that claimed thousands of lives, and tempered the fighting spirit of the armies for the remainder of the Civil War.

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Supported by a considerable number of cannon, Confederate infantry were so effective at halting Federal charges that they nearly ran out of ammunition on several occasions. Despite their numerous successes, many Confederate soldiers were appalled by the bloodshed that they caused, forced by their stationary deployment to continuously gaze upon a veritable sea of dead or wounded Federal soldiers—their own victims.

Richard Kirkland Angel of Marye's Heights Fredericksburg, VA

On December 14 th , the cries and screams of the wounded Federals took its toll on the entrenched Confederates. Sergeant Richard Kirkland of the 2 nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry asked his commanding officer permission to climb over the stone wall which had afforded the Confederates their protection, with the goal of comforting their dying foes in their final hours.


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  • Is the Richard Kirkland Story True??

He gathered filled canteens before leaving the protection of the wall. A monument to Kirkland stands today, in front of the only remaining fragment of the original stone wall. The short stone wall yields to the imposing silhouette of Kirkland risking his life to offer what comfort he can to a dying soldier in his final hour. When memorials provided a written account of actions, oftentimes simple explanations were given, such as fighting for the preservation of the Union, or the sovereignty of different states.

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The Angel of Marye’s Heights | The SC State House

Going off of monuments alone, one might easily conclude that the war was fought exclusively by whites, for limited political reasons. Kirkland strapped himself with a dozen canteens, and went out for more than an hour and a half while the armies held their fire.

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The ailing soldiers will all start calling out for water. Kirkland will give water to as many wounded soldiers as he can, both Union and his Confederate brothers in arms.

Sergeant Richard R. Kirkland: Angel of Marye's Heights

Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland.. Sadly, Lieutenant Kirkland will be killed in action on September 20, at the Battle of Chickamauga. Thank you humantarian Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland.. I think you would enjoy it immensely.


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