GDG- looting of the dead

Charles T. Joyce CTJoyce at
Wed Jan 11 14:10:15 CST 2012

For what its worth, just about every image I've every seen of Civil War
dead seems to show so evidence of being "rifled."  I think, especially
as the war dragged on, the living tended to view the dead more and more

I am reminded of one less commonly displayed Gettysburg death image from
the bottom of the triangular field (the Timbers Farm can be seen faintly
in the background - it is in Early Photography at Gettysburg but not A
Journey in Time).  There is a dead Confederate laying face down next to
almost a cave-like structure of boulders, and beside that, neatly laid
out, is wood for a fire. So, it appears that on the evening of July 2
(or 3rd) some Confederates had a camp fire within a few feet of where
one of there own had fallen.
That has always somewhat amazed me.

-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at
[mailto:gettysburg-bounces at] On Behalf Of CWMHTours at
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 3:01 PM
To: gettysburg at
Subject: GDG- looting of the dead

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
After all this kerfluffle over the Harvest of Death I am  wondering?:
How common was looting of dead bodies during/after a battle  was it?  It
common to see pix of corpses with pockets inside out,  etc?
Usually I know everything but now I am perplexed.
I would think that if it was your friend you would go through  his
for things to send back to his family and stuff like poker cards and
to not send them.
Then what do you do with his money?  Send it to his  family?  Did they 
always send it to the family?
His haversack.  Food.  Necessities.  Share that  with messmates?
What if you are out in the woods somewhere and you see a  corpse in the 
uniform of your side?  What do you do?  Look for ID- a  bible perhaps?
about money, food, pocket watches?  What do you  do?
What if you encounter, by yourself in the woods, a freshly  killed
Go through his pockets?  What do you keep?  What  do you do with
Interesting moral issues here.  It was Victorian  times.  Would they
handled things differently than we would  now?
My knickers are starting to get into a know now wondering  about this.
Your  Most Obedient Servant,
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