Edwin Francis Jemison

Confederate States of America soldier

Edwin Francis Jemison (December 1, 1844 – July 1, 1862) was a Confederate soldier who served in Company C, 2nd Louisiana Infantry, from May 1861 until he was killed at the Battle of Malvern Hill. Jemison's photograph has become one of the most famous and iconic portraits of the young soldiers of both the Confederate and Union armies, resonating a legacy of the awful cost of the American civil war.

Private Edwin Francis Jemison, whose image became one of the most famous portraits of the young soldiers of the war.

Quotes about Edwin Francis JemisonEdit

  • While his [Private Jemison’s] parents knew where he died, it was many years before they knew the details. One day my father introduced himself to a man as they sat before a hotel. The man repeated the name and said it was the first time he had heard that name since 1862; that a young soldier of that name had been fighting beside him at the Battle of Malvern Hill and been decapitated by a cannon ball. Questions proved it was Uncle Edwin.
  • Wondering who it was who stood foremost in a charge of a Louisiana brigade with fixed bayonet, advancing up the hill and across a clover patch, when a shell from a gunboat in the bay took off his head and spattered his brains and blood all about the uniform of Captain Moseley, himself advancing through the thick rain of shot with his Georgia brigade.
  • I turned suddenly at the terrible concussion caused by the proximity of the shell’s trail of death and saw that man standing headless, with bayonet drawn as in the charge, his blood spurting high in the air from the jugular vein, and it seemed to me an hour before he reeled and fell, still holding on to his gun. To me that was one of the most horrible sights of the period. I went back and looked at him after the fight to assure myself that it was not a dream of frenzy in those exciting moments. He was there as I had seen him fall, and more than 40 years have passed with that picture forever impressed on my memory.
  • He sustain[ed] himself in the front rank of the soldier and gentlemen until the moment of his death. Bounding forward at the order ‘Charge!’ he was stricken down in the front rank, and without a struggle yielded up his young life.

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