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Friday, August 26, 2011

Memorials to Andrew F. Gammell

There are two plaques at Vicksburg that bear the name of Andrew F. Gammell.  Neither one is actually located within the Vicksburg National Military Park, but they are close by.  Both plaques can be found in the northeast end of the Jewish Cemetery at 2414 Grove Street, the dead-end in the middle of the Vicksburg Battlefield, near the park’s Visitor's Center.

The tract of land where the Anshe Chesed Jewish Cemetery of Vicksburg is now located was once part of the Second Texas Lunette, the fortress manned by the Second Texas Infantry, and the place where Andrew was killed.  At that time, Baldwin Ferry Road, a key entrance into the city, passed through this parcel of land.  A Confederate marker was later erected on the grounds of the cemetery, commemorating the Second Texas Lunette.(1)

2d Texas Infantry Position Tablet
Anshe Chesed Jewish Cemetery, Vicksburg
NPS Photo

The inscription reads:

Lunette on Right of Baldwin’s Ferry Road

This salient lunette and the lines immediately on its right and left were held, May 22, 1863, and the assaults of the Union force repulsed, by the 2d Texas infantry—the right two companies occupying the curtain to the right; the left four companies, the curtain immediately north of the Baldwin’s Ferry Road; and four companies in the lunette. The 42d Alabama held the curtain between the right of the 2d Texas and the railroad. Green’s Brigade, about 1:00 p.m., reinforced this position; and, about 5:00 p.m., detachments of the 1st and 3d Missouri Cavalry, and of the 1st Arkansas Cavalry, dismounted, made a sally from the lunette and materially assisted in repulsing the Union assault on the left flank. Before the end of May the left four companies of the 2d Texas were moved into the lunette. A countermine against the Union approach was fired, June 28; two others were prepared, but not fired. Both the sap rollers in front of the two Union approaches to this work were burned on July 1. This tablet marks the salient angle of this lunette. Casualties: In 2d Texas during the defense: Killed 38, wounded 73, missing 15, total 126, Capt. A.F. Gammell and Lieut. Robert S. Henry killed, Lieut. William F. Kirk mortally wounded.

The second plaque, also located in the Jewish Cemetery, commemorates Moore’s Brigade, of Maj. Gen. John H. Forney's Division, of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton's Army of Vicksburg, and commanded by Col. Ashbel Smith.(2)

2d Texas Infantry Regimental Monument
Anshe Chesed Jewish Cemetery, Vicksburg

Brig. Gen. John C. Moore
Colonel Ashbel Smith
Casualties during defense,
Killed 38, Wounded 73,
Missing 15, Total 126
Captain A.F. Gammell and
Lieut. R.S. Henry killed,
Lieutenant W. F. Kirk
mortally wounded.

Andrew was originally buried in the plot of land that later became the Jewish Cemetery.  In 1866 a Confederate burial ground called Soldiers’ Rest was created at Cedar Hill Cemetery, just outside of the National Park.  An estimated 5,000 Confederate soldiers were then re-interred at Soldiers’ Rest.

Soldiers Rest, Confederate Cemetery
Vicksburg, Mississippi

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