GDG- Dead soldiers and looting

CWMHTours at CWMHTours at
Thu Jan 12 06:15:07 CST 2012

So you are saying Confs shot their own soldiers for looting  other Conf 
Your  Most Obedient Servant,

In a message dated 1/11/2012 10:20:05 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
jlawrence at writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
It was not (and is not) that  antiseptic.After Mine Run, Confederates who 
were wearing articles of  "looted" Union clothing (The Confederates ere ill 
equipped and not getting  re-equipped. So they looted the bodies of all 
soldiers, including  their own, for needed items) were shot out of hand. 

The  Hard Hand of War.


----- Original Message -----  
From: "Matt Diestel" <agatematt at>
To: "GDG"  <gettysburg at>
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 8:20  PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Dead soldiers and looting

> Esteemed GDG  Member Contributes:
>> Esteemed GDG Member David Ward  Contributes:
>> From what I understand,  it was common practice for soldiers to take what
>> they needed from  the dead. To some extent, the practice is still going 
>>  on.
>> But in this day and age, it probably limited to ammunition.  Clothing and
>> everything else is in good supply with our modern  military.
>>  Dave  Ward
>>     Traditionally --- and  continuing up until today --- there are two
> types of, for want of a  better word, "looting" of the fallen enemy.
>     The  first is the one of military necessity --- the searching of 
> for  documents  (wallets, letters, photos and, of course, official 
>  documents
> such as orders, maps etc.) -- along with anything that could  loosely be
> surmised as of military value..
>   The  second is the taking of personal items off a dead body for souvenir
> or  necessary purposes which certainly can roam through an almost endless
>  range of items large and small that might catch a soldier's interest  and
> fancy. Indeed, here and there a fallen soldier's family --- North  and 
> South
> --- in the 1880s and 1890s to receive a packet in  the mail from a former
> enemy containing items taken off the family  members dead body so many 
> years
> before.
>     Also, it was a common practice that --- out of necessity --- corpses  
> "looted" by the opposing forces for items of clothing such as  brogans,
> boots and, certainly in winter, great coats  etc.
>    To move away from the Civil War to the Revolution  for a moment, there
> were many personal references of the looting of  the Loyalists killed at
> King's Mountain, for example (Along with  American soldiers urinating on 
> the
> body of the fallen British  commander.)
>     Part of the looting --- past and  present --- may simply be the work 
> opportunists, but another factor  may simply be that death is so common 
> that
> the needs of the  living had to be served even if the quartermaster was 
> bodies of  the enemy.
>                 With regards,
>               Chet
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