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Chapter 41 - Malvern Hill

They had bivouacked on the Malvern Hill battlefield among the sweetgums, where two slave cabins stood in 1862.

 

The father and son passed the time by staying out of sight of patrolling park rangers but could see the occasional civilian vehicle coming and going along the highway that split the battlefield.

 

Swatting mayflies still out in June, Raleigh and Jimmy watched a few tourists drive in to see the place where the Confederates had suffered suicidal results by charging uphill in an open field.

 

The Federal cannons blew holes into the Confederate infantry line with exploding canisters, dispersing deadly shrapnel. The Confederates called it “canned hellfire.”

 

The cannons had the effect of giant shotguns, taking out fifty to one hundred Rebels at a time, blowing men to indistinguishable bits and making accurate casuality counts difficult.

 

Jimmy rubbernecked the field. The tranquil setting had few reminders of the “majestic murder” that had taken place.

The Battle of Malvern Hill