Friday, February 6, 2009

Dilger on Day One - Gettysburg

Guns mark one of the positions held by Capt. Hubert Dilger's battery of Ohio men on the first day at Gettysburg. Dilger's efforts were one of the few success stories for the Union army fighting north of the town. He held several positions, taking on both enemy artillery and infantry with great effect. His opening shots against a Confederate battery provided a memorable, if unlikely, sequence of events as reported by one witness:

"The first shot from the Ohio Battery flew over the Confederate Battery. At this time the rebels yelled in derision. Capt. Dilger now sighted the gun himself and fired it. The shot dismounted a rebel gun and killed the horses. Capt. Dilger tried it a second time, sighting and firing the gun. No effect being visible with the naked eye, Col. Brown who was near, asked, 'what effect, Capt. Dilger?' Capt. Dilger, after looking through his glass, replied. 'I have spiked a gun for them plugging it at the muzzle.' "

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